Six tips to beat bloating from McCauley. The festive season means lots of lovely things. It means twinkling lights framing the city’s streets, and beautiful shop windows, and Christmas Carols and choirs, and friends and family… for many of us it also means plenty of rich foods and alcoholic drinks (‘sure, it’s Christmas!’). A little excess is natural during this time of year and we’re not going to scold you for it – but it can lead to feeling a tad sluggish and bloated.
While we are definitely big advocates of the art of moderation, we also understand that even a little excess can cause a sensitive tummy to feel bloated and digestion to feel slow. We also know the very best things you can do to give your body all the help it needs. With that in mind, here are our top tips to beat bloat and keep things moving all through the season of excess!
1. Optimal Eating Patterns: Monitor Frequency
When it comes to optimal eating patterns, it’s not just about what you eat but also how often you eat. Although the temptation of rich and indulgent finger foods can be strong during the festival season, it’s easy to forget that even the most delicious treats come with a trade-off; discomfort. Make sure to keep an eye on how frequently you indulge, by being cautious, it gives your digestive system the time to process your meals aiding in bloating relief.
2. Hydration Habits for Easier Digestion
Drinking more water can sound like bad advice, since you’re already retaining water when you’re bloated… but hydration is super important to keep everything working as it should.
When your body tries to handle dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, it retains water, which means you end up with a distended, uncomfortable tummy. Drink lots of water to keep your body hydrated, and you’ll help to flush out the retained water and sodium that give you the dreaded bloat.
3. The Power of Digestive Enzymes
Digestive enzymes are proteins that facilitate the absorption of nutrients in the small intestine. They work by breaking down the bigger molecules from the food you eat, like proteins, carbs and fats, into smaller and more easily digested molecules.
They can be found in your saliva, your stomach, and mostly your small intestine where the real digestive work is done. If you want to make sure you’re giving your gut all the help it can get to break down and fully digest what you eat, try some good quality digestive enzyme supplements.
4. Eating Slower: A Mindful Approach to Meals
Swallowing air while we eat is a prime culprit when it comes to causes of bloating. It happens to everyone, but it can particularly affect people who eat a little too fast and don’t chew their food properly, or people who snack fast and on the go.
However, adopting a more mindful approach to eating can be a huge help. Take your time, chew thoroughly, don’t talk while you eat, and take smaller bites… your tummy will be grateful!
5. Probiotics: Your Gut’s Best Friend
Probiotics are the good live bacteria and yeasts that live in your body, and they do a lot of work to keep your digestive system running smoothly. You can get probiotics from food like natural live yogurt, sauerkraut and other fermented foods.
However to be absolutely sure but sure your gut flora is packed with the bacteria you need, you can take a probiotic supplement such as Aya Ultimate 10 Billion Probiotic. If your child is experiencing bloating, make sure to talk to your doctor about whether probiotics can help them. There are a number of probiotics for children that may relieve bloating, such as Optibac Probiotics For Babies & Children.
Research shows they can help with bloating, constipation, and other digestive issues and conditions that leave us feeling uncomfortable. By keeping an eye on your gut health, you are also doing your mental health a favor. We recently wrote an article about how these are linked and how gut microbiome affects your mental health.
6. Keep an Eye On Your Stress Levels
As discussed, the connection between our thoughts and our tummies is a powerful one (a great example of this is that feeling of ‘butterflies in the stomach’ we get when we’re nervous).
According to the APA, stress has a considerable effect on how we digest food, how we absorb nutrients, and even how we experience bloating or constipation. It’s really important for your mental and physical health that you make an effort to eliminate stress from your life. Yoga, journaling, meditation, mindfulness, and adequate sleep are all a huge help, but if you need something a little more immediate, try Bach Rescue Remedy Night Spray and some good, deep-down-to-the-stomach breathing.
As the festive season unfolds with its array of delightful dishes and tempting treats, it’s empowering to know you can partake without the post-meal discomfort. With these six tips in your arsenal, bloating doesn’t stand a chance.