Although bloating during menstruation is a normal PMS reaction, many others experience bloating on a consistent basis. In many cases, while the only side effect is abdominal discomfort, bloating can be a symptom of a much more serious issue: a poor diet.
If you regularly feel bloated every day and after every meal, read on to learn how to modify your diet and introduce essential nutrients and better habits into your life. Here are the seven best tips to beat belly bloating.
Consume the Right Amount of Fiber
A common culprit of bloating is a lack of fiber. Without adequate fiber in your system, food isn’t digested at a proper rate, which can lead to constipation and bloating. Eating fiber-rich foods, like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, ensure that you get the appropriate amount of fiber each day. Ideally, men should consume up to 38 grams of fiber each day and women should aim for 25 grams of fiber each day.
In addition to bloating, a diet that is rich in fiber also regulates cholesterol and blood sugar levels, as well as helps to maintain higher energy levels and consistency in weight. Foods with a high fiber content include flax seeds, raspberries, and lentils—each packing at least five grams of fiber per quarter cup.
Lower Sodium Intake
Most people already know that too much salt causes water retention and bloating. However, what they don’t know is that many processed foods and pre-cooked meals are loaded with excess sodium to enhance flavor and preserve products. In fact, according to nutritionists, more than 80% of daily sodium intake comes from processed foods.
Reducing the amount of sodium and salt in your diet necessitates a change to eating more organic and home-cooked meals. Keep your sodium intake under 1,500 grams per day to ensure less bloating and discomfort. Instead of salt, flavor your food with fresh herbs and sodium-free seasoning.
As a general rule, everyone should be drinking an average of eight 250 mL glasses of water every day. While water is vital for normal body functions, such as digestion, temperature regulation, and nutrient absorption, it also helps to eliminate salt and toxins from your body.
Starting each morning with a full glass of water flushes your body of excess sodium and helps to stimulate your metabolism and digestion.
If constipation is the source of your bloating, exercise may be the solution. According to studies conducted by Harvard University, exercise can stimulate bowel function and aid in digestion. Several hours after a meal, head to the gym and spend 30 minutes exercise to see if this solution works for you.
When bloated, it’s important to emphasize abdominal workouts. The stomach muscles are made up of four groups: the rectus abdominis, the external obliques, the internal obliques, and the transverse abdominis. You’ll need to work all four areas to increase muscle strength and tighten your stomach. Challenge yourself with a rotation of abdominal exercises that target each specific area.
Spread Food Throughout the Day
Eating a high volume of food inevitably causes your stomach to distend, making you feel uncomfortably full and bloated. Typically, large meals include unnecessary carbohydrates, sodium, sugars, and fats that contribute to other health issues as well. Instead of only having three large meals per day, aim to have smaller meals every two to four hours. You’ll feel consistently satisfied throughout the day and reduce your likelihood of bloating.
Consume More Spices
Tea and spices both contain some of the most powerful remedies to bloating. Peppermint and ginger tea, as well as star anise, cardamom, and fennel, are all effective for relieving constipation and bloating.
A recent study found that peppermint and ginger can alleviate gas by relaxing the digestive tract to ensure normal intestinal wall contractions. Drinking herbal tea is effective, as is flavoring food with spices.
Beat the Bloat
The only sure way to relieve bloating consistently is to enact a change in your diet and lifestyle. Implement a lifestyle change today and embark on a new and healthy life.