Health magazine spring 18

Page 34

Beat the

bloat 7 ways to help reduce bloating...the natural way

1. Slow and steady The old saying ‘slow and steady wins the race’ is true when it comes to your digestion! Cassandra explains, “Chewing takes place to break down our food into small particles. If you don’t chew properly, the rest of the digestive process cannot take place, as it should. This can cause bloating, flatulence and cramping.” It may seem obvious, but not chewing properly can be a major contributor to bloating. “Try to chew each mouthful until the food is liquid, this will help to make sure the food is properly digested and will encourage you to eat slower. Also, when you take more time to thoroughly chew and taste your food, your snack or meal becomes more satisfying and so will help to prevent you from over eating,” adds Dr. Marilyn Glenville, author of Natural Alternatives to Sugar (www. 2. Get your diet right “In terms of what to eat, problem foods can vary a lot between individuals. One of the most successful approaches for bloating and IBS is the ‘low-FODMAP’ diet developed by Monash University in Australia2, which limits sources of fermentable carbohydrates,” explains Cassandra. Try to stick to the FODMAP diet for a couple of months and then start to slowly


Health Magazine Spring 2018

re-introduce food groups that are eliminated from the diet. This is a great way to seek out what you’re sensitive to and how your body reacts to different foods. 3. Probiotic Support “We also know that digestion – including transit time through the gut – can be affected by the bacteria that live there. So, a good-quality probiotic supplement could help move things along and improve digestive comfort,” explains Cassandra. Taking a probiotic supplement can help re-balance the good bacteria in your gut, support digestion and reduce symptoms of intolerance. 4. Drink More “If you’re feeling bloated you might think it is best not to drink, but not drinking actually makes fluid retention worse, in the same way that crash dieting makes the body hang onto fat because it thinks it’s starving. I’d recommend a herbal tea, such as Dandelion tea, as this contains a natural diuretic that helps you restore a healthy fluid balance. I’d recommend that you avoid gas making fizzy drinks”, explains Marilyn.

5. Get your heart rate up Getting enough exercise is important as it helps to stimulate the digestive tract and move food along, which is especially important for women. “Good physical activity may therefore benefit those with constipation in particular. Exercise may also help with bloating and other IBS-type symptoms – perhaps mainly by relieving stress. For this reason, gentle and relaxing exercises such as Yoga and Pilates may be the most beneficial,” adds Marilyn.

‘A probiotic supplement can help re-balance the good bacteria in your gut, support digestion and reduce symptoms of intolerance’