• Natalie Gibson

What to eat when feeling bloated

When I used to experience bloating, I found it difficult to work out what was causing the bloat to occur. Some days it felt like just looking at food was enough to make my pants incredibly tight, other days I could eat particular foods and be ok and then other days I could eat the same foods and be struggling for the rest of the afternoon/evening.

Bloating is incredibly uncomfortable, painful and stressful.

I used to wonder whether I should not eat, whether I should it and if I ate, what should it be?

Bloating and eating

Before we go into the specifics, let’s talk about the general tips.

If you are prone to bloating, some of the things we commonly overlook include:

- Focus on eating smaller meals more regularly. Overeating can cause a lot of gas due to indigestion.

- Eat mindfully - placing significant emphasis on digestion is important. Eating mindfully includes removing distractions whist eating, eating slowly observing the taste, flavour and consistency of your food. Focus on chewing your food well also.

- Avoid drinking around meals. This dilutes your digestive juices and can impair your digestive system’s ability to break down the food causing fermentation. Abstain drinking 15 minutes before your meal and also 15 minutes after eating.

- Make sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day. A good indication of how much water you should drink is: your body weight (kg) x 0.03

- Before eating, take a couple of big deep breaths to calm your nervous system. When we are stressed, our body is not prioritising digestion so we need to calm the body to optimise breaking down foods.

- Ensure you are chewing when eating a meal especially if the meal is liquid (soup or a smoothie). I like to top my smoothies with some pumpkin seeds and use a spoon to ensure I eat the meal slower and that I chew throughout eating.

- Incorporate some bitter foods into your meals to stimulate digestive juices. Bitter foods include: rocket, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, radicchio, dandelion greens, alfalfa and celery. A side salad of some of these ingredients is a great way to incorporate into your diet.

- Start to do your own investigation: write down what you eat on a daily basis and how you feel. This can start the process of working out what is causing your bloating.

Tips for when you are experiencing bloating:

- Have a cup of herbal digestive tea: I enjoy a mixture of fennel, ginger, peppermint and chamomile.

- Continue eating: starving yourself is not beneficial to your body and your body needs nutrients. Saying that though, avoid any tougher foods to digest: cauliflower, broccoli, lentils and beans and even brown rice. Stick with foods that you find easier to digest.

- If there are other foods that do not agree with you that you have identified, reduce these whilst you are bloated.

- Foods that are easy to digest that you may wish to include: fish, white rice (in small quantities), eggs, bananas, chicken, sweet potatoes.

- Make sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day, however small sips are better than gulping large mouthfuls.

- Go for a walk -exercise is beneficial for moving the body including the digestive system. A walk is ideal and can be as little as 15 minutes just to get your body moving

- 2 drops of peppermint oil rubbed on your belly can help with bloating. Please check for sensitivities before applying directly to skin.

Still struggling with bloating and had enough? Book in for a consult to start the process of being bloat free here.

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