Updated: 5 hours ago
Bloating is just one of those annoying parts about being human. It happens to everyone from time to time and it's totally normal!
Bloating is the distension of the abdomen. It can be uncomfortable but always unwanted. There are many causes of bloating but don't worry I have some solutions for you!
Let’s dive into the causes and solutions/prevention!
Eating and drinking fast
My advice here is to eat mindfully. Chew food slowly and enjoy it. Also, drink water consistently throughout the day as chugging any kind of drink will cause the abdomen to expand.
Wheat & Gluten
Wheat contains high levels of lectins which can cause inflammation, GI issues, and a leaky gut which all cause bloat. I am going to be writing a whole blog post about lectins and how they affect our health so stay tuned!
Most adults are dairy intolerant/allergic and for those who aren't, dairy can still cause bloating. It is very high in saturated fat and can be tough on the digestive system.
Drinking bubbles will lead to air bubbles in the belly which leads to bloating. I say, ditch carbonated drinks all together as it directly affects bone density and can cause osteoporosis later in life. Carbonated beverages include seltzer’s, soda, and sparkling water.
Drinking through a straw
Similar to drinking carbonated liquids, drinking from a straw will cause you to ingest more air, therefore causing the same side effect minus the bone density issue.
Raw fruits and veggies
Don’t get me wrong, fruits and veggies are amazing for us and necessary in our diet. Our digestive systems don’t like fruits and veggies in their raw state. It’s really tough to digest which can cause bloating, digestive discomfort, and constipation, which brings me to the next issue…
For whatever reason you may be constipated, don’t let it go untreated. Not only will your abdomen be hard and uncomfortable, it can cause toxicity in the body if left untreated for a certain period of time. To fix this issue, avoid laxatives as it can cause further discomfort. Instead, I recommend getting Mag07 Oxygen Detox Cleanse. This is a much more natural way to clear out the bowels and it causes no pain or discomfort in the process. I’m leaving it linked right below! These are also great to use if you feel like you're in need of a general cleanse.
Gluten are proteins found in wheat. This is not the same as having a wheat allergy/intolerance. Most gluten free packaged food items still contain wheat. What they do to make it gluten free is remove the gluten proteins found in wheat. I just wanted to clear that up because in some cases one might be intolerant/allergic to gluten but not wheat.
Too much sodium
This happens a lot simply because people are unaware of how much sodium they’re consuming. While small to moderate amounts of sodium is vital to our health, high levels will cause an array of problems. Besides heart attack and stoke, excessive sodium will cause your body to hold onto excess amounts of water which results in bloating. Be mindful of your sodium intake, read the nutrition label on all packaged foods, and avoid using a lot of salt and butter on food. The average amount of sodium one should consume per day is about 2,000 milligrams. Water retention from sodium can be combated with drinking lots of water throughout the day!
Too many carbs
Too many carbs will yield the same issue as too much salt. A high carb diet can cause water retention. Make sure you're eating enough protein as well as healthy sources of fat. This should balance things out a bit. On average, one should be consuming ½ - 1 gram of protein per body pound.
There are just some foods that the body doesn't like, meaning it’s causing an adverse reaction whether you realize it or not. Food intolerances can cause an array of sneaky symptoms that people don’t give much thought to. Like, bloating, headaches, nasal congestion. I recently wrote a whole blog dedicated to food intolerances and how they could be affecting you and your health. I’ll leave that link right below if you want to learn more!
Being dehydrated will simply cause your body to hold onto any water it already has. When you do decide to hydrate yourself, it will hold onto that water even more because it's been deprived. It’s a survival mechanism within the body. We need water to survive above anything else. You need to be drinking water consistently throughout the day, every single day. A basic rule of thumb to know if you're drinking enough water is the color of your urine. Ideally, it should be a very light yellow.
This one is kind of obvious. We all over eat from time to time and know the feeling of having a food baby. It is not good for your digestive system to be full to the point of discomfort so just avoid overeating. You can do this by eating slower and sipping water throughout a meal.
Eating gassy foods
Foods like all beans, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, apples, peaches, plums, pears, prunes, raisins can all cause excessive gas build up. This happens because certain foods don't start getting digested until it reaches the intestines where bacteria has to break them down, during this process gas is released leaving you feeling bloated and gassy.
Imbalanced gut bacteria
This one isn't as common as the other causes listed above but it happens. We have a colony of bacteria in our gut. It’s what keeps our guts functioning optimally. Typically, our gut is very effective at managing its own bacteria but sometimes the bacteria can get out of whack. This happens a lot when one has taken antibiotics - they kill both the good and bad bacteria in the gut. Probiotic capsules will help restore the good bacteria in the gut. Make sure to take a probiotic an hour after taking any antibiotic.
There are many causes of bloating, sometimes it’s unavoidable. Sometimes we don’t care if it means enjoying our favorite foods. Sometimes you can follow all the “rules” and still experience bloating. That is all okay!
At the end of the day, bloating is normal. We all have days where we’re more bloated than others. If your belly is feeling yucky do these...
Drink lots of room temperature water, it’s much easier on the digestive system and will hydrate you faster vs. iced water.
Drink tea daily. Tea is so good for us and it can help decrease bloating, especially peppermint, ginger, and green tea.
Try intermittent fasting. This has personally helped me with my bloating issues a ton! By fasting for around 16 - 18 hours I’m able to give my gut a break and reduce inflammation. Still drink lots of water though!
If you're experiencing discomfort from bloating, try a heating pad.
Causes of bloating varies from person to person. Everyone's body is a bit different when it comes to these matters. Combating bloat is all about listening to your body. Paying attention to what makes you bloated. Practicing healthy habits like drinking water throughout the day, avoiding carbonated drinks, and eating enough protein can make a world of a difference.
But, remember if you are experiencing bloat, don’t be hard on yourself! Like I said, it’s one of those things about being human and it's not going to be avoidable 100% of the time. Love your body no matter what state it’s in 💕
Wishing you a beautiful day 🌿