5 easy ways to beat the bloat naturally
Bloating is something many of us experience and, when your digestion isn’t feeling at its best, it can impact your overall feeling of wellness. Eating is an activity to be enjoyed, and to help ensure you do, here are some simple lifestyle practices you can put in place to help reduce bloating.
When bloating is something more serious
Whilst bloating is a normal bodily function, there are times when bloating can be a sign of an intolerance or allergy to certain foods.
Visit your doctor if bloating is severe, if you experience bloating regularly, or your bloating is also accompanied by any other symptoms such as nausea, stomach pains or even blood in your stools.
Bloating remedies and natural ways to reduce bloating
1. Make mindful eating a must
If you find that rushing through a meal whilst trying to finish a piece of work leaves you uncomfortable and bloated, there’s a reason. When we’re stressed, our body’s fight or flight mode kicks in, releasing the stress hormone cortisol, which puts a pause on digestion.
Plus, looking at screens – whether phone, TV or laptop, can all distract us from our food and keep your body in a state of stress, which will increase digestion problems.
Essentially, you can’t be stressed and digest at the same time. With busy modern lives, we often find ourselves grabbing food on the go, eating quickly, and not giving our body the chance to prepare for digestion.
It’s time to give your digestive system a chance to prepare for the food it’s about to receive.
Before eating, take five deep breaths. Look at your food, smell it. Whilst eating, chew each mouthful and don’t prepare the next mouthful on your fork until you’ve finished swallowing the current one. Give yourself time to eat a healthy, nutritious meal – after all, food is there to be enjoyed, so aim to devote allocated time to eating peacefully.
2. Take care of your gut
Research is increasingly showing that our guts play a huge role in everything from digestion to mood, immunity, energy levels and skin health, so prioritising your gut health could be the key to giving your body and mind the boost it needs. The gut contains trillions of bacteria – some good, some bad, which together make our gut microbiome. Frequent bloating can be a sign of an imbalance in this microbiome.
To give your gut microbiome a little help, ensure you eat a colourful, varied diet. Aim to incorporate lots of plant foods including fruit and vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and wholegrains. You could also try incorporating fermented foods into your diet, such as kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut or natural yoghurt, to help feed the good gut bacteria in your gut and encourage diversity.
There are also lifestyle factors that can wreak havoc on your gut health, such as chronic stress, which will leave your digestion feeling less than healthy. Implementing techniques, such as breathing exercises or meditation, to combat everyday stressors could help you here.
3. Loosen your jeans
Eating in tight clothing such as high-waist trousers can place external pressure on your gut, making you breathe in or clench the muscles and restrict the area. If you can, loosen clothing whilst eating, or if you’re in the right environment, eat in looser bottoms with an elasticated waistband. Eating in comfortable clothes makes meal times far more enjoyable.
4. Try natural digestive aids
If you experience discomfort after eating, a herbal tea for digestion could help ease symptoms. There’s a number of helpful herbs here, with a popular one being peppermint.
Additionally, including spicy teas helps to stimulate and invigorate the system and get the juices flowing.
Simple hot water is also a wonderful way to warm and awaken the body.
Cutting down on processed foods and refined sugar, such ready-meals, crisps, cakes and biscuits, is also a great way to give your digestion a break.
5. Choose yoga
There are several different yoga positions you can get try to ease trapped wind; a key cause of bloating. Try getting on all fours, and whilst taking a big breath in, round your back. On the exhale, reverse this position, arching your back the opposite way, and lifting your head towards the ceiling.
Author: Saf Hareshe
Herbal Education Specialist
Saf is a qualified Nutritional Therapist from the College of Naturopathic Medicine and runs a private clinical practice specialising in digestive health. She delivers herbal education both internally at Pukka and externally to our partners and practitioners and is passionate about making herbs and nutrition exciting and accessible for all.
Years of experience
DipCNM, mANP, mGNC
Qualified nutritionist (College of Naturopathic Medicine, 2021)