5 Simple Ways to Beat the Bloat
Bloating, cramping and digestive discomfort are familiar problems for millions of people and often cause misery to the sufferers. But there is a lot you can do to tame your troublesome tummy.
Follow these five simple tips to get your gut back on the road to health.
1. Think about your food. Remember the phrase 'whetting your appetite'? Well it's more than just a figure of speech. When you see or smell food, you begin a process of 'cephalic digestion' where your digestive juices begin to flow, in anticipation of a meal. These enzymes are important for breaking down your food and so taking a little time before you actually start to eat can really give your digestive system a head start.
2. Chew thoroughly. The most effective parts of your digestive system, when it comes to breaking down food, are your teeth. Digestive enzymes play their role, but they can only do their job when food reaches the stomach in small, manageable chunks. Chewing your food is a vital phase of digestion. You may have heard the saying, 'you are what you eat'. It could be more accurately expressed as, 'you are what you can absorb'. Un-chewed food becomes indigestible food, which becomes in-absorbable food. When you can't absorb the food you have eaten, it stays in your digestive system and begins to ferment, causing discomfort, wind, gas and bloating.
3. How much stomach acid do you produce? The pharmaceutical heartburn medication business is booming because they promote the myth that heartburn is due to too much stomach acid. In fact, the opposite is often true. Stomach acid is an essential part of our digestive system and suppressing it can cause all sorts of digestive problems. As you age, and as a result of stress and some over-the-counter medications, your stomach acid levels can drop to the extent you don’t produce enough to do the job of digesting food sufficiently. For a more in-depth explanation, take a look at this article on the role of stomach acid and the dangers of heartburn medication.
4. Consider taking digestive enzymes. As we age, our bodies naturally produce fewer digestive enzymes. Some foods are naturally higher than others in these helpful enzymes. Try eating a little pineapple or papaya before a meal and see if this helps your feelings of bloating. If this doesn't help, try taking a digestive enzyme capsule, available in any health food shop. It will give your system a gentle boost to help it do its job properly.
5. Go for a walk. There are several important benefits to taking a gentle walk shortly after you eat. To start with, it will help lower your blood sugar levels, so your body will make less insulin. As insulin is the fat storage hormone, taking a gentle stroll for 15 minutes makes you less likely to store fat. This can also help you digest your food better as walking increases the speed at which the food moves through the digestive system.
Go ahead, try these tips out for yourself and see if any of your symptoms improve. If you have been struggling with digestive problems for a while keep an eye on my website for upcoming programmes aimed at improving your digestion, or get in touch to book your free 30-minute phone consultation.