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BLOATING

Sindhu Prakash
Sindhu Prakash
Bloating is an abdominal discomfort due to gaseous pressure or sudden water retention. It makes you feel full or larger in a uncomfortable way.

Lets explore various causes of bloating and simple steps to take to reduce the same.

1) Check for any food allergies and intolerances you have

LACTOSE :- If your body can not digest lactose (a sugar) found in milk then it can lead to digestive issues like gas, belly pain. You may avoid milk and opt for dairy free milk like almond milk, soy milk. However some people do not have issues with consuming butter, cream or fermented dairy like yogurt.

FRUCTOSE :-  For people with fructose intolerance when bacteria present in your gut ferments fructose there will be release of gas which causes bloating, flatulence and diarrhea. Processed junk food are very high is fructose, so its would be best to avoid them.

GLUTEN:- For people with gluten sensitivity wheat, barley, rye causes major digestive issues that includes bloating, gas, diarrhea and stomach cramps. You can opt for gluten free grains like rice, quinoa, buckwheat etc

LENTILS & BEANS:- Presence of high fiber content in lentils & beans leads to gas during digestion. However you can take certain precautions during preparation and consumption to help prevent gas buildup in your digestive tract. Make sure to soak your lentils and beans for atleast 24 – 48 hrs, sprouted and slow cooked lentils/beans will be easier on your digestive system.

VEGETABLES & FRUITS :- Cruciferous vegetables like Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Brussel sprouts etc  can cause bloating in some people with sensitive gut. Cooking them well before consuming is very important to avoid bloating. Presence of fructose and high fiber content in fruits like apples are fermented in intestine which release gas and cause bloating. Try using oranges, bananas, berries etc instead.

EGGS :- Gas and bloating are common symptoms of egg allergy. Please see your doctor to rule out the allergy test and eliminate the food that is causing issues.

 2) Do not consume huge meals in one go or avoid overeating, If you're eating big meals and tend to feel uncomfortable afterwards, then try eating smaller portions throughout the day. 

Drinking and eating too quickly can lead to build of gas in gastro intestinal tract, always chew your food slowly.

3) Avoid carbonated drinks, the bubbles in it contain high amounts of carbon dioxide (a gas). When you consume you end up trapping gas in your intestines causing you to bloat. Always go for plain water.

4) Fiber is essentially to keep everything moving through intestines which prevents constipation and bloating. The recommended dietary fiber intake is 25gms per day, but do not abruptly increase your fiber intake if you are currently consuming way less than this number, it is best to increase your fiber intake slowly (2-3 grams a day) until you reach 25 grams. If you experience any bloating, hold off with increasing your fiber intake for a few days and then try again.  

5) Watch your Sodium intake

Too much sodium in your diet makes your body to retain extra water and feel bloated. Avoid adding extra salt to your food. However most of the extra sodium (salt) comes from processed and prepacked food, so avoiding them would be better option. Drink extra water to flush out extra sodium from your body.

6) Watch your water intake, when you are not drinking enough fluids your body retains water to prevent dehydration. Water also aids in restoring sodium imbalance and normalize the digestive tract which reduces bloating.

7) Try including fermented foods in your diet. Fermented foods are rich in probiotics (live microorganisms) that helps in improving your gut health. Yogurt is one of the best sources of natural probiotics.

8) Staying physically active helps in reducing bloating and constipation issues.

In many cases, bloating can be reduced or even eliminated with simple changes in diet. However, there is always the possibility of some serious medical condition if you have chronic bloating that causes severe problems in your life or becomes a lot worse all of a sudden, the you must definitely see a doctor.