7 Easy Tips To Reduce Stomach Bloat and Gas

Wardha Hussain Rizvi Jan 21 2016
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Women often complain of having a bigger belly at night than it was in the morning. According to the myth this happens because of fluid accumulation in the abdomen throughout the day. This might be true in diseased people, in no way it is true for normal adults. Fluid accumulation in normal adults might happen in hands and feet such as pregnant women when they are upright.

So what is that keeps you from zipping up your pants and have a flatter belly for the party tonight? This actually happens because of gas accumulation during the day. This causes stomach bloating and abdominal discomfort. The good news is that it can be helped.

Get Rid Of Constipation

Constipation is number one cause of stomach bloating. Sedentary life style, too little water and fiber consumption are the main reasons for it. Every normal adult should take 25-38 grams of fiber for ease in passing stool and avoiding constipation. Fruits, vegetables and nuts are full of fibers. Along with that, 6 glasses of water is necessary for healthy digestion. Simple physical activity such as walking helps significantly with digestion issues. 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week is great for general health.

High fiber diet sometimes can back fire, especially if it’s taken all of a sudden after prolonged period of low fiber diet. Nutritionists recommend to gradually increase fiber content in diet with plenty of fluid to create tolerance.

Are You Suffering From Lactose Intolerance?

Often people suffering from unexplained diarrhea have lactose intolerance. Lactose is sugar found in milk. People, who are unable to digest it, suffer from gas, diarrhea, cramps and stomach bloating. Similar symptoms occur with other food allergies and intolerance. These allergies should be diagnosed by your doctor. Often people cut off dairy products due to self-diagnosis which is more often wrong. If you think you have lactose intolerance, visit your doctor for tests.

You can reduce these symptoms by having less of the food such as milk, or have it with other foods. In case of lactose intolerance you can pick from lactose free milk, aged cheese and yogurt.

Don’t Eat Too Fast

As busy as ones schedule, the shorter and faster the meal. Eating quickly and chewing too fast, makes you swallow air along with food. This air makes your stomach bloat.

According to studies, meals should be enjoyed and eaten slowly. Each meal of the day should take thirty minutes. There are two ways this helps reduce bloating. First, it prevents air swallowing with food and secondly by digestion in mouth. It is scientifically proven that digestion starts from the mouth. Properly chewing your food digests it about 40% in your mouth that may help prevent bloating a lot.

Say No to Carbonated Drinks

Carbonated drinks also known as ‘fizzy’ drinks have a lot of gas. When you have these drinks, even the diet ones, they cause your stomach to bloat with excess gas. Often people assume cold drinks may help with digestion and heart burn. It might give you a momentary relief, but it makes situation worse as it is acid which makes heart burn worse and gas which bloats stomach further. So avoid fizzy drinks with your meals.

Chew Gum To Ease Bloat

It may be hard to believe but having chewing gum all day can also cause gas. You might have heard numerous benefits of chewing gum, for your breath, teeth and facial muscles. They are true to an extent but too much chewing gum allows gas to pass through your food pipe into your stomach and causes bloating.

Avoid Processed Foods

Artificially flavored drinks, fast food and fries all are high in sodium and artificial sweeteners. These ingredients lead to bloating and unpleasant heavy feeling in the stomach.

Avoid fast foods and opt for salads and light food for lunch. When buying canned and frozen foods, look for labels such as ‘low sodium’ or ‘sodium free’.

Anti-Bloating Agents

Certain items on your kitchen counter and fridge may help you ease or prevent bloating after a certain meal that might cause gas such as gassy vegetables (broccoli, cabbage etc). Since you cannot afford to miss out on these super nutritious vegetables, start with making them a part of your diet gradually so that your body can get used to compounds causing gas. You can have these foods with these anti bloating agents for better digestion and avoiding gas.

  • Peppermint tea
  • Parsley
  • Ginger
  • Yogurt (probiotics)

All of these help with gas, you can garnish your food with ginger and parsley. Add yogurt in the form of raita to your meal. Peppermint green tea can be used as a post meal drink later at the night.

 

Wardha Hussain Rizvi

Wardha Hussain Rizvi:

Wardha is currently a student of M.B.B.S second year in Ziauddin University and aspires to be the best dermatologist in Pakistan. Due to her dissatisfaction with the current health industry she is doing her bit in creating health awareness by freelance writing for HTV, Pakistan's most effective health platform.