Beat the bloat with this guide to a happy, healthy gut

Many of us have experienced discomfort from bloating after consuming certain foods containing sugars like lactose, fructose, or xylitol that our bodies struggle to digest properly.

These sugars, known as Fodmaps, reach our colon intact where they’re enthusiastically fermented by our gut bacteria, leading to an overproduction of gas and uncomfortable bloating. For those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), heightened pain sensitivity can exacerbate the issue.

Aside from dietary factors, a lack of abdominal muscle tone, swallowing air while eating, an imbalance in gut flora, or difficulty managing stress can all contribute to bloating.

“If you’re experiencing sudden bloating accompanied by severe pain, changes in bowel habits, or persistent symptoms like vomiting or diarrhoea, it’s wise to seek medical advice promptly,” advises Dr William Berrebi, a respected gastroenterologist and author.

Practical tips for a healthier gut

For those looking to ease bloating and to improve gut health, here are some practical solutions.

  1. Mindful eating: Consider making slight adjustments to your diet. While raw veggies are fantastic for gut health, they can be tough on sensitive stomachs. Opt for smaller portions or lightly cook them to make them easier to digest.
  2. Smart substitutions: Swap out fresh cheeses for aged or hard varieties, which contain less lactose. Soaking dried legumes before cooking can also help reduce bloating.
  3. Chew, chew, chew: Take your time with meals. Thoroughly chewing your food not only aids digestion but also helps to break down complex carbohydrates, including Fodmaps.
  4. Supplement support: Activated charcoal can be a game-changer for bloating, absorbing excess gas in the digestive system. Peppermint oil may also help to soothe discomfort and aid digestion.
  5. Probiotics: If you suspect an imbalance in your gut flora, probiotic supplements could be beneficial. Consult a healthcare professional for guidance on selecting the right strains.
  6. Move your body: Regular physical activity, even just a brisk walk, can work wonders for digestion. Incorporate exercises that engage your core muscles to support proper organ positioning.
  7. Stress management: Stress and bloating often go hand in hand. Explore relaxation techniques, such as mindfulness meditation or yoga, to help reduce stress levels and alleviate bloating.
  8. Quality sleep: Prioritise good sleep hygiene to support overall well-being. Create a calming bedtime routine, limit caffeine intake, and avoid screens before bedtime for a restful night’s sleep.

Remember, it’s essential to listen to your body and seek professional guidance if you’re experiencing persistent or severe symptoms. By making mindful choices and prioritising your health, you can effectively manage bloating and enjoy a happier, healthier gut.

This article was syndicated from Marie Claire France
Translated and adapted by Praise Vandeh, Marie Claire Nigeria Content Writer


React to this post!
No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.