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If your stomach or tummy often feels bloated, it could be due to:

  • excess wind
  • constipation
  • swallowing air (from talking while eating, etc.)
  • food intolerance
  • irritable bowel syndrome

Try some of these tips, referring to bloating, not belly fat!

Raw foods –
Steam your vegetables. If you eat them raw, they occupy more room in your intestines, which causes bloating. Eat only cooked vegetables and smaller portions of unsweetened dried fruit

Try probiotics –
Sometimes bloating can be caused by an imbalance of the bacteria in your intestines, probiotics supplements contain “good bacteria” that can promote regularity and minimize bloating.

Gassy foods –
If you’re not use to eating certain high fiber and gassy foods, they can cause bloating; your body could adapt if you eat them regularly. Gassy foods include Beans, onions, cabbage, sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, pepper, legumes and citrus fruits. Make sure you still eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

Spicy foods –
Don’t completely avoid these foods, just cut back if you want to decrease bloating for an occasion or an event. Spicy foods can stimulate the release of stomach acid, which could cause irritation in your stomach, which can lead to bloating. These include Chili powder, hot sauces, onion, garlic, mustard, black pepper, horseradish, vinegar, tomato sauce, barbecue sauce and nutmeg.

Drink more water –
Drinking lots of water will cause you to excrete more water, which in turn, reduces water retention. Drink around 2 liters a day.

Constipation –
Everyone knows that constipation causes bloating. Ensure you exercise; even a 20-30-minute power walk four times a week can improve your bowel function. Eat a high-fiber diet and drink plenty of fluids to prevent constipation.

Salt –
Avoid adding extra salt, salt-based seasonings, and stay away from processed/packaged foods because they are extremely high in sodium. Sodium leads to water retention, which contributes to a feeling sluggish, a puffy appearance, and extra water weight; as well as contributing to medical conditions, such as high blood pressure.

Carbohydrates –
Your muscles store excess carbohydrate as glycogen. Every gram of glycogen is stored with about 3 grams of water. But unless you’re running a marathon tomorrow, you don’t need all this extra fuel. If you decrease your carbohydrate intake temporarily, your body will resort to burning this stored glycogen for energy, which conveniently drains the associated excess stored water.

Smaller meals –
Split your meals into 5-6 smaller ones and eat every 3-4 hours. Eating a large portion until you are full will make your belly appear bloated.

Chew your food –
Thoroughly chew your food to felicitate digestion. Eating quick will cause you to swallow air, which leads to bloating. Don’t talk and eat at the same time, and sit down to eat (sitting upright and not slumped over). Stop chewing gum and chew with your mouth closed so that you’re not taking in excess air.

Chewing gum –
when you chew gum, you swallow air that causes pressure, bloating, and belly expansion.

Do not use a straw –
As it will cause you to inhale excess air, which will make your belly appear bloated.

Other things to avoid-

  • Dairy – Check for lactose intolerance.
  • Carbonated drinks – Where do you think those bubbles go?
  • Alcohol and fried foods.
  • Artificial sweeteners – Sugar alcohols cause gas.
  • Gluten – If you have gluten intolerance.

Try these-

  • Exercise – Helps to keep food moving through your digestive system.
  • Peppermint tea – Can help reduce gas.
  • Dandelion tea/supplements – A diuretic, it can help get rid of excess fluid.
  • Bananas and avocados – Are rich in potassium. Potassium helps to flush out excess sodium from your system, which helps reduce water retention.
  • Asparagus – A diuretic, which helps flush out the excess water, it can also make you urine smell a bit, but don’t worry about that.

Herbs that help to soothe the digestive tract and relieve gas are known as carminatives. Ginger is a particularly effective carminative, helping to alleviate gas, bloating and cramps

If your bloating problem persists, consult your doctor, they can rule out other underlying medical conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome or food intolerance.

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