How To Banish Bloating - Manski's Wellness

How To Banish Bloating

Bloating is a super common PMS symptom women experience before and on their periods. Bloating is when your belly feels full and tight, often due to gas. Bloating before your period is often due to water retention from the hormone fluctuations between progesterone and estrogen. These fluctuations cause the body to retain more water/salt which explains why you feel bloated during this time. Never fear though, there are many nutritional and lifestyle strategies you can implement that will bring down fluid retention (and gas) helping you keep the bloat at bay all cycle long.

Foods & Drinks to Avoid/Reduce:

  • Beans may cause bloating because they have a high fiber content and contain oligosaccharides, which are sugars that the body can find difficult to break down.

  • Raw Veggies & Cruciferous Veggies can make bloating worse. Cruciferous veggies contain raffinose — a sugar that remains undigested until bacteria in your gut ferment it, which produces gas (bloating).

  • Carbonated beverages (because of carbon dioxide) creates excess gas causing bloating.

  • Sugar Alcohols like mannitol, sorbitol, xylitol, lactitol, isomalt, maltitol and hydrogenated starch hydrolysates (HSH) are commonly found in “sugar free” diet foods (ice cream, bars, etc) or health products like protein powder. Sugar alcohols can cause stomach upset for some people because they are not absorbed or digested fully leading to awful bloat.

  • Alcohol can irritate & inflame your GI tract causing swelling in your body (hello bloat).

  • Sugary foods are fermented as they're broken down in your large intestine. The process creates a buildup of gas in your colon, causing that uncomfortable bloat.

  • High fat foods. Fat is an essential part of anyone’s diet and is an important source of energy. However, the body digests fats slowly which can delay emptying of the stomach causing bloat.

  • Excess Sodium in diet can cause more water retention and bloating. 1,500 milligrams (mg) of sodium per day is what the AHA recommends. Foods high in sodium are:

    • Bread

    • Lunchmeat

    • Chips

    • Nuts (aim for raw nuts)

    • Canned meats/veggies (rinse off & drain)

    • Canned soups

    • Cheese

    • Frozen dinners

    Foods & Drinks to Add:

  • Seed Cycling contains fiber which helps regulate bowel movements. Thus, it can help prevent bloat. It also contains many nutrients that help decrease bloat like:

    • Calcium.

    • Vitamin B6. Low B6 levels have been linked with increased bloat.

    • Magnesium. This has been shown to help decrease bloating and water rentention. Because constipation can be from low magnesium levels, increasing magnesium can help promote these regular bowel movements, reducing bloat.

  • Ginger, Fennel & Licorice teas all help digestive issues and decrease bloat.

  • Water may seem counterintuitive to many people but dehydration leads to constipation which leads to bloating. More water decreases bloat and rids the body of excess sodium.

  • Potassium rich foods like avocado, cantaloupe, honeydew & bananas help manage your sodium levels by controlling the amount of water you hang onto decreasing bloat.

More Reasons why you are dealing with bloat and how to overcome it:

  1. Not eating enough food or skipping meals. If you're skipping a morning meal or not eating enough for a meal, you will end up eating too much when you eventually eat later which can cause a lot of stress on your GI tract and lead to bloating.

  2. Not Exercising. Exercise helps speed up your bowel transit which helps you go to the bathroom more frequently, leading to less bloat.

  3. Sitting too much. Sitting too much can make it hard for food to move through your digestive tract, which can lead to bloat. Try standing while working at your desk and going for a walk during your lunch break.

  4. Eating too fast. Eating too fast increases the amount of air you are swallowing which increases gas buildup in your GI tract. When you eat too fast you are missing out on the first part of your digestion, which is your mouth. Your mouth contains amylase which is a digestive enzyme that helps break down your food so when it gets to your GI tract, the food is easier to digest and absorb. Sitting down while eating, eating non distracted, taking deep breaths before you eat and chewing your food slowly can help with bloating.

  5. Chewing gum. When you chew gum, you are swallowing more air which creates bloating. Not to mention, most gum brands contains sugar alcohols which can also cause bloating.

  6. You don’t eat enough fiber. 25 grams of fiber is recommended by the Dietary Guidelines which helps “keep things moving”. However, too much fiber can also cause constipation/bloating especially if you don’t drink enough water. Always aim for drinking half your body weight in ounces of water.

Always reach out your doctor if you deal with chronic bloating. Comment down below what tips you were surprised about and share with a friend!

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