Bloating can be unpleasant, uncomfortable, and frustrating. A common cause of bloating is an overgrowth of intestinal bacteria which results in the release of excess gas, poor digestion of foods, or poorly digested food particles passing through the intestine into the bloodstream. Other causes are also possible depending on the individual’s medical history and symptoms, therefore it is best to talk with one’s physician for proper diagnosis and recommended treatments. Nevertheless, here are some tips on how to reduce bloating:
1. Chew thoroughly instead of gulping down your food before you swallow
To avoid abdominal discomfort associated with stomach bloating due to poor digestion of food foods must be well chewed before swallowing for the body to obtain the most out of them. Foods that are not properly digested may ferment in the intestines giving rise to excess gas formation. For proper digestion, it is advisable to avoid drinking fluids with meals as this dilutes the digestive enzyme ptyalin needed for carbohydrate digestion making carbohydrate-rich foods difficult to digest therefore they ferment in the stomach giving rise to the excess gas formation or bloating later on when they reach the small intestine.
2. Limit your intake of fat
A high-fat diet can cause bloating in some people because the bile needed for the digestion of lipids or fats has a hard time breaking them down. Moreover, fat may be difficult to digest especially when combined with other foods. To reduce stomach bloating avoid eating fried foods and meats which are high in fat content. If you have to eat meat try boiling it instead of frying it as this makes it easier to digest. Also, cut back on dairy products, leave the skin intact if possible while cutting chicken/turkey (fat is concentrated around skin), choose low-fat varieties like skim milk & 2% cheese if tolerable, omit the butter, substitute margarine for butter; mayonnaise for salad dressings.
3. Avoid gassy foods
Another cause of bloating is the consumption of gassy foods like corn, peanuts, broccoli, and other fibrous vegetables. However, it must be noted that these foods are excellent sources of important nutrients so they should only be consumed in moderation. Also, avoid drinking carbonated beverages with or after these foods since this can give rise to excess gas formation which usually causes stomach discomfort, and finally try taking anti-gas remedies like simethicone (Phazyme) before consuming fizzy drinks.
4. Limit your consumption of dairy products
Carbohydrate sensitivity is when individuals do not digest certain carbohydrates or starches well due to low levels or an absence of digestive enzymes required for their digestion therefore they ferment in the stomach giving rise to excess gas formation, abdominal pain, and bloating. The major carbohydrate that causes this problem is lactose which is found in dairy products. To determine if you have carbohydrate sensitivity try eliminating all dairy products for a week then slowly reintroduce high lactose-containing foods like milk and yogurt and see how your body reacts to them by taking note of any symptoms that may arise, if symptoms persist avoid these permanently and go on a lactose-free diet. Many other symptoms arise from consuming too much sugar or starch such as fatigue, irritability, drowsiness, etc so look out for those as well.
5. Get help for any anxiety or depression that causes constipation
Stomach bloating can be caused by many factors including excess gas in the stomach, emotional stress, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), lactose intolerance, fructose malabsorption, and carbohydrate sensitivity among other possible causes.
I hope your question ‘how to reduce bloating?’ must have been answered by now. Follow the above-mentioned guidelines and forget bloated stomach.