5 simple de-bloating strategies
Many people tell me they experience their stomachs getting more and more bloated as the day continues so today’s email is dedicated to sharing five practical tips with you so you’re armed with proven strategies to support your digestion.
The first thing to explore is why this might be happening. One of the common culprits is STRESS.
The production of stress hormones causes blood to be diverted away from digestion to your periphery so that your arms and legs are powered with a good blood and oxygen supply should they need to get out of danger quickly.
Due to the pace of life that many of us lead, we find ourselves regularly stressed or at least our body perceives us to be under pressure or urgency; either way, our body responds accordingly. When we eat in this ‘stressed’ state, digestion is compromised, meaning that if you’ve had a hectic morning or you’re not feeling entirely calm when you eat, you are very likely to experience bloating as the day wears on.
To remedy this, try 5 deep diaphragmatic breaths before eating (breathe in for 3 seconds, hold for 4 seconds and breathe out for 5 seconds).
2). REMOVE COFFEE FOR 4 SMALL WEEKS
Coffee can also stimulate stress hormone production. Some people find that removing or reducing their intake of coffee helps to reduce afternoon bloating, although I understand that’s probably not a solution you’re keen to hear!
3). APPLE CIDER VINEGAR / LEMON JUICE
Another common cause of bloating can be due to the insufficient production of stomach acid; this can be as a result of stress or diet. A lack of stomach acid can affect optimal digestive processes right from the outset. Think of your food as a big long string of circles, or pearls on a string. Your teeth and saliva go to work first on breaking the circles apart and stomach acid then continues that breakdown process.
Poor stomach acid production alone can lead to bloating. When food is not broken down sufficiently it may arrive in the intestines in a form that is still too large. Here the bacteria that inhabit the large intestine will begin to ferment whatever food is delivered to them. As gut bacteria break down the larger fragments of food they produce gas, which can lead to that uncomfortable bloated feeling.
Apple cider vinegar or lemon juice in warm water before meals can help to increase stomach acid production, which promotes proper digestion of food. It is also a good idea to drink water away from meals rather than with them to maximise the action of your stomach acid.
Chewing food really well is the first step to help reduce bloating. Sit in a calm state and focus on chewing your food properly. This is often helped by ensuring you’re not distracted when you eat your meals. No more eating on the run or in front of your computer screen if you can help it! You might be surprised just how much of a difference this small change can make.
5). KEEP A FOOD/SYMPTOM DIARY
Sometimes bloating is caused by the consumption of foods that your body cannot digest efficiently. It can be challenging to pinpoint a food intolerance as we can experience symptoms up to 48 hours after consuming something that doesn’t agree with us, depending on the stage of digestion. If you have a feeling that something you’re eating isn’t working for you, it can be helpful to keep a note of your symptoms and what you eat for a couple of weeks to try and track the culprit.
I hope the above helps.