Understanding Bloating: A Quick Guide to Relieving Digestive Discomfort

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Bloating can be a sign that your gut health is compromised, often occurring unexpectedly during your day or after meals. Bloating can be uncomfortable and even painful, serving as a sign of potential issues with your gut health. It’s important to understand that some degree of bloating is natural, especially after a meal, as your stomach expands to allow for digestion. Your digestive system is responsible for breaking down food and extracting nutrients for energy, growth, and repair. However, persistent bloating may be a symptom of an unhappy digestive system, potentially affecting your overall well-being and leading to low energy and nutritional deficiencies.

What can be causing your bloating?

Now, nobody likes low energy or missing out on nutrients from the food that we eat. So, understanding what might be causing your bloating can be a real game-changer. While the causes and symptoms of bloating may vary individually, common symptoms include abdominal swelling, pressure, the sensation of fullness, and a build-up of gas 1. While various factors can contribute to bloating, nutrition plays a significant role. Some usual suspects include:

  • Poor digestion: Sometimes, your gut may need a little extra help breaking down nutrients.
  • Stress and anxiety: Your gut and your brain, talk to one another, and they talk more than you think.
  • Constipation: Like a traffic jam in your digestive highway, slow bowel movement can lead to bloating.
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Celiac disease: For those sensitive to gluten this can contribute to bloating.

Nutrition plays a crucial role in digestive health, and certain dietary choices contribute to bloating.  Carbonated drinks can contribute to gas build-up in the digestive system, while high-fiber foods like beans, Brussel Sprouts, cabbage, and whole wheat products can ferment in the gut leading to discomfort. For some, food intolerances, if left untreated can lead to severe discomfort and may lead to other health complications. If you are experiencing bloating and pain along with other symptoms like constipation, diarrhoea, or frequent bathroom visits it is important to see your health care professional.

Tips to help reduce bloating

  1. Eat mindfully and chew your food thoroughly: Taking time to chew your food thoroughly aids digestion and reduces bloating.
  2. Identify Trigger foods: Keep track of foods that trigger bloating and consider reducing or avoiding them.
  3. Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water supports healthy digestion and prevents constipation, which can worsen bloating.
  4. Try fermented foods: Incorporate probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kefir, and kimchi to promote a balanced gut.  
  5. Stay active: Regular movement can help stimulate digestion and alleviate bloating.
  6. Gradually Increase Fiber Intake. If you want to add more fiber to your diet, do it gradually to allow your digestive system time to adjust.
  7. Prepare beans differently:  Beans are an amazing source of protein and fiber and for some can be a trigger for bloating.  Alternatives may include rinsing beans several times before using them or organic tinned beans which may be more easily digested than dried beans, or reducing your portion size and having them more regularly.

Bloating is a common digestive issue, but with mindful nutrition choices, you may find some relief. Understanding the connection between bloating and nutrition may help you make informed decisions for your well-being.

If you want to find out how nutrition can support you, help you identify possible triggers, and find the right foods for you. Why not book a discovery call?

References:

  1. Health Direct. (2022.) Bloating Retrieved from: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/bloating

Tags

digestion, guthealth, pain


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