These can be signs that your system is in desperate need of a Spring Clean. Late nights, stress, processed foods and too much alcohol can overload the liver, kidneys and digestive system, leaving them in need of a well earned rest.
It is natural for the body to produce gas, and this can be up to two litres of gas per day, but being bloated definitely has drawbacks:
- You are often bloated – you feel and “look” bloated
- Bloating is consistently painful
- Bloating consistently interferes with your daily life
There are a number of reasons you can be bloated , some are common and some are not so common so I just thought I would share three of the main reasons for gas and bloating and three natural remedies you can try.
Bloating can be caused by the food you are eating, some foods produce gas, among these are the obvious foods, for example:
- beans and cabbage and broccoli,
- wheat products (pasta, bread, beer, etc),
- milk (if you are intolerant to lactose)
- sugar including artificial sweeteners
- gums and thickeners
- protein powders and protein bars
Often we lack the necessary stomach acid, digestive enzymes and bile to digest the food we are eating. Your body needs to be able to break down the macronutrients protein, fat and carbohydrate into their building-block molecules to give your body the fuel it needs and this can be affected by the digestive process which includes stomach acid, digestive enzymes and bile.
If your body cannot adequately break down your food, guess what happens – gas and bloating.
Large, unbroken and undigested food particles reach your small intestine, the next step after your stomach, and as they go further down the digestive system they meet up with your gut flora and the bacteria that live there. Then the bacteria does its bacterial thing: fermentation of large molecules and you guessed it Fermentation = Gas = Bloating.
Simple. This means an imbalance of helpful / friendly bacteria to potentially “harmful ” bacteria, it can also include bacterial overgrowth such as Candida or SIBO or an inflammatory process such as leaky gut.
You could have one of these factors or all three, either way it creates a perfect storm! However I won’t leave you hanging and there are my three top tips to Beat the Bloat
Chew your food!
Sounds obvious I know but chewing is one of the first stages of the digestive process and when you chew, you are mechanically breaking down your food; you take some of the pressure off your digestive system because you are breaking up your food into smaller molecules which are less fermentable and cause less of a reaction with the immune system.
Sit and relax when you eat, this not only prepares your body for the “rest and digest” phase but it will also help you swallow less air. If you are gobbling down your food on the run, not only is your body in a stress situation but you are taking on more air than you need and Air = Gas = Bloating.
Lemon Water: 1/2 a freshly squeezed lemon in warm water first thing in the morning contains B Vitamins and Vitamin C to help flush the system and reduce bloating
Apple Cider Vinegar: a tablespoon in a glass of water 15 minutes before eating can help to simulate the digestive juices and reduce bloating
Fennel Seeds: Fennel Seeds are very effective for digestive problems; you can simply chew on the seeds or they can be added to warm water and drunk as Fennel tea. In India, fennel seeds are routinely chewed upon after meals to aid in digestion after a rich meal while acting as a herbal mouth freshener. They help to overcome gas, cramps and acid indigestion.
Fix your digestion!
This is slightly more complex than the remedies above but if you are not paying attention to your stress and/or, suffering from any type of gut dysbiosis then it is essential to heal your gut.
Until you strengthen and balance your entire digestive system, including dealing with stress which has a direct affect on your digestive system, then your problems are likely to continue and possibly worsen, and unfortunately the rest of your health is likely to deteriorate right along with your digestive health. We are not only what we eat but we can absorb and digest.
But the good news is that strengthening and balancing your entire digestive system doesn’t have to be complicated! There are some simple and easy steps to follow to fix your digestion including the steps I mentioned above, it can also be as easy as adding the right nutritional supplements to your daily routine.