By Be Well Health Coach Katrine van Wyk
When your digestion is working optimally, you shouldn’t even notice it working at all. But, for many of us that’s not the case… Gas, bloating, rumbling and even cramping are symptoms we experience on a daily basis. Instead of learning to live with the discomfort, do something about it today!
Here are 6 ways to deal with the causes and help relieve the symptoms.
I know this might seem trivial but in fact your digestion starts up there, in your mouth. Saliva mixes with your food and starts to break down the carbohydrates. You may even notice that the food tastes sweeter the longer you chew. Chewing also promotes slowing down! Most of us are so distracted or rushing when we eat that we don’t notice when we’re full. Filling up your stomach to the rim is another recipe for digestion disaster. Give your belly room to process and break down the food properly.
2. Don’t “Swallow It Down” With Lots of Cold Liquids
Drinking enough water is important for our health and digestion. However, drinking lots of cold water with your meal actually dilutes the stomach acid and makes it more challenging for your stomach to digest the food properly. Instead, drink your water and cold liquids away from your meals and sip some hot tea instead. Try some ginger tea – it is great for digestion!
3. Take Out the Triggers
Food sensitivities are a common cause of bloating and gas. If you haven’t already removed gluten or dairy from your diet, try removing them and see if your symptoms improve. After 2 weeks introduce the foods back, one at a time, and notice how your body responds. If you have a heightened reaction you’ll be able to tell, once and for all, what food(s) is the culprit. Another group of common trouble-makers are artificial sweeteners and diet soda. If you have not quit these toxic products yet, it’s time to kick the habit. Your belly will thank you.
4. Kill the Bad Bacteria
Sometimes gas and bloating is not simply caused by the foods you’re eating. If you’ve tried making the changes above and eat a healthy diet but still experience these symptoms regularly it might be time to clean out the gut. Overpopulation of bad bacteria or yeast in the gut is quite common today due to a diet too high in sugar and the overuse of antibiotics, both in food and as medicine. The antibiotics kill off our healthy gut flora and the bad bacteria take over. Try taking an herbal anti-microbial for a few weeks to clean out the gut.
5. Repopulate Probiotics
While killing off and removing the bad bacteria is essential, it’s just as important to repopulate your gut with good bacteria, commonly known as probiotics. Probiotics are an important part of the body’s defense system and also help it to break down food and absorb nutrients. Because the body doesn’t make it’s own probiotic it’s important to replenish your gut by taking a probiotic supplement and eating probiotic-rich foods (such as kimchi and sauerkraut!)
6. Take a Digestive Enzyme
Digestive enzymes can help with gassiness and bloating that is often caused by the body’s inability to process certain foods such as gluten or the sugars in dairy.
Looking for a more in depth strategy to beat the bloat, then read here.
Let us know what you have found to be most helpful.