We all know how uncomfortable bloating is, your stomach hurts, you feel like you can’t move, and your clothes just seem to fit a little too snug. Bloating is something that can be totally avoided with just a little attention to the foods you eat and knowledge about what causes bloating.
Causes Of Bloating
Bloating is caused by gas or water retention in your body. Here are some examples of the different ways that this could happen:
Eating Gas Producing Food and Drinks
These include beans, apples, broccoli, pears, cabbage, cauliflower, peaches, brussel sprouts, “sugar-free” foods and sugar substitutes (due to the sugar alcohols), soda and sparkling water, alcohol, and fried foods.
High Sodium Intake
This can cause water retention, which leads to bloating. Foods like canned vegetables, crackers, cured meats, and processed foods will likely contribute to bloating.
When you experience high levels of stress, chemicals are released in your body that hinder your digestion. Also, heightened breathing patterns causes you to swallow more air, leading to trapped gas.
Smoking can lead to bloating the same way a quickened breathing pattern does. Every time a smoke takes a drag, they are swallowing more air that can become trapped in the digestive system.
When your digestive system is compromised, bloating can be one of the side effects. Diseases like Celiac disease (gluten intolerance), lactose intolerance, Crohn’s disease, and IBS all have bloating as one of their symptoms.
The body is fine-tuned organism that operates at its best when everything is balanced. But things like menstruation, supplementation, or medication intake can create changes in chemical levels in the body, throwing your hormone balance off causing bloating.
How To Prevent Bloating
You can avoid bloating by paying attention to these few things:
Eat Anti-Bloating Foods and Drinks
Foods high in potassium work to fight the effects that sodium has on your body. These foods include bananas, avocados, and spinach. Foods that are high in water content like watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumbers, and celery help flush sodium from the body. Foods that are high in probiotics like sauerkraut and kombucha promote a healthy digestive system, keeping bloating at bay.
Cut The Salt
Foods that contain a lot of sodium should be avoided. The current daily recommended amount is 1,500 mg. It can be easy to go over this amount because we don’t realize how much sodium is in processed foods, and even bottled drinks. Cut out table salt and use other herbs and spices to add flavor to your meals.
By avoiding stress to the best of your abilities, you can actually help your body fight bloating. When your body is stressed, it reacts negatively and this can cause uncomfortable and sometimes painful bloating.
Good Eating Habits
Eat slowly, chew thoroughly, and avoid using straws. This will prevent you from swallowing extra air during meals, which could become trapped in your digestive tract.
3 Day Bloat Free Meal Plan
- Breakfast: Overnight Oats
- Morning Snack: Sliced cucumbers
- Lunch: Grilled Rosemary Chicken Skewers with Asparagus Hazelnut Salad (Note: Omit salt in these recipes)
- Snack: 1 large slice of watermelon
- Dinner: Stuffed Zucchini with Tomato Fennel Soup (Note: Fennel is an anti-bloat food, also omit the salt in this recipe)
- Breakfast: Yogurt Parfait- 1 cup of homemade Greek Style yogurt with raw organic milk, ½ cup of strawberries, ½ cup of blueberries, ⅛ cup of almonds
- Morning Snack: 1 large banana
- Lunch: Meatless Fajita (try using this homemade spice blend instead of store bought seasoning), ½ avocado, sliced
- Snack: Spinach Salad (Note: Avoid salt in this recipe)
- Dinner: Pan-Seared Salmon with Dill and Fennel Salad
- Breakfast: Breakfast Bites (Note: Avoid salt in this recipe)
- Morning Snack: ¼ cup of raw mixed nuts
- Lunch: Stuffed Peppers (Note: Avoid salt and beans in this recipe)
- Snack: 1 large banana
- Dinner: Roasted Sweet Potato Soup (Note: Avoid salt in this recipe, use low-sodium broth)
This meal plan will help you get rid of any bloating you may experience and help you fit back into your clothes comfortably. You can use this meal plan as a way to plan all your meals, making bloating a thing of the past.
NOTE: The Grilled Chicken Skewers and Meatless Fajitas were found on Anytime Fitness Blog, a great site for meals, exercise, and health news. Please visit their site here.
This article was originally published on Healthy Holistic Living.