It’s a battle no one wants to fight, yet everyone wants to win: the battle of the bloat. Oh, the problems it poses, and always at the worst of times. But fret not, no matter how often bloating plagues you, there are things you can do to help. Health is a beauty of a beast that way: there’s always an answer to the problem, even if it’s not an easy answer to see or approach. We’re lucky that bloating is easy to combat directly through what we eat, drink, and small lifestyle choices throughout the day. Though some individuals may deal with bloating more heavily than others, being aware of what leads to bloat is a smart way to approach this problem no matter how much you deal with it.
Let’s take a look at some foods, drinks, and lifestyle habits that battle the bloat and possibly help you avoid it most all the time.
1. Pump Up on Potassium
Potassium is your body’s best friend when it comes to boosting your digestion, easing bloat, and keeping your electrolytes in balance. Your body needs some sodium, but added sodium from foods only poses a problem for bloat. It can’t be avoided sometimes but in your daily life, try not to reach for the salt shaker and go for more potassium-rich foods if you’re always bloated. Think of potassium and sodium like a see-saw, one will fight for the heavier side, and potassium is the side you want to be on if you’re carrying excess water weight.
Foods that contain high levels of potassium that are also easy to digest are: asparagus, bananas, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, leafy greens, celery (which has a nice balance of potassium and sodium to keep things even), avocados, tomatoes, oranges, cucumbers, squash, papaya, pineapple, and apples. Try to emphasize more veggies than fruits, since if you suffer bloat frequently, excess fruit sugar could pose a problem over time. Overall, these mentioned here are your safest bet for bloat. A Winter Glow Smoothie is a great way to use these to enjoy first thing in the day.
2. Utilize Herbal Tea Daily
Herbal tea is naturally detoxifying, easy on the body, and warms up the system to flush things out. It’s also very healing to the body, which soothes and lowers bloat naturally. Herbal teas that help combat indigestion and bloating include: peppermint, lemon balm, green, lemon and ginger, chai, roobios, chamomile and cinnamon. Emphasize these in place of cold drinks and caffeinated drinks on days your stomach needs some help. They’re also great night-cappers to help combat bloating overnight as you sleep. Drink some the night before a big event, or after a restaurant meal that leaves you more bloated than you’d like.
3. Keep Those Good Bugs!
Probiotics contain enzymes and good bacteria to keep your digestive system regular. These good bugs protect your body from bad bacteria (such as yeasts and fungi) that can lead to bloating when your digestive health gets out of balance. It’s best to choose a non-dairy probiotic to make sure you’re not taking in lactose without knowing it. Here are some tips for choosing a probiotic if you need some help. You can either choose to take a supplement, or eat fermented foods and drink beverages like coconut kefir, which may also help as well. Use these daily, preferably on an empty stomach so your body can absorb them, which will also help you digest your food.
4. Get Real With Rice
Rice is your BFF when the bloat is on. Choose any kind, and you’re almost always safe. Brown rice is especially rich in amino acids, potassium, and magnesium, but wild and black (and even Basmati) make excellent choices that will go down and ease the bloat. Rice is one of the easiest to digest foods which is one reason so many people with allergies are able to consume it. Of course, more fiber-rich grains like quinoa, millet, oats, rye, and barley are great for you but if you’re conquering bloat, just take the easy route and get real with rice!
5. Space Out Your Meals
Spacing out your meals is also important. Eating regular meals is necessary for overall metabolism, but if you’re truly not hungry and feeling bloated, listen to your body. Food will be there when your body calls for it. Don’t go more than four hours without eating, even if it’s something light, but also listen to your body’s cues that it might need some digestive rest during a bloating session – it will thank you later! The body likes to eat, digest, and then use your meal to utilize those nutrients, but then it also likes a break. Give it one when needed.
6. Overall Lifestyle Tips
Eat mostly fresh foods whenever possible, since processed foods and even many animal-based foods always contain natural or added sodium that only make things worse, or are simply hard to digest. You might also want to eat simpler to digest foods rather than too many beans and legumes during a bloat session. Also, lay off the booze and energy drinks. Alcohol and caffeine may conquer bloat initially, but they can cause problems later on and dilute potassium from the body (that friend you want to keep on your side). Next, try to fit in a daily walk or exercise program. Walking and yoga are two awesome choices to battle bloating if you need a break from running and high-intensity training. Also be sure you’re getting enough rest. Hormones that affect digestion and bloating reset themselves overnight and make more of a difference than you realize. You know the rule – seven to eight hours – no exceptions!
Bloating isn’t the end of the world, but it can feel like it during the midst of it. So the easy solution is to practice the lifestyle tips and eating tips regularly, and keep the salty, richer foods to small, daily servings or just weekly if possible.
What’s your bloating battle tip?
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