Abdominal bloating is an extremely common and annoying complaint.  You can start out with a relatively flat tummy in the morning, but as the day progresses, you can watch your abdomen expand.  This kind of bloating makes your pants or skirt progressively tighter in the afternoon, and spoils your party dress in the evening.

Occasionally abdominal bloating can be caused by a serious condition, such as liver disease or heart disease, or it could even be an early warning sign of ovarian cancer.  However in the majority of cases a bloated tummy is merely a result of poor digestion and/or inappropriate food choices.

Here are 6 ways to overcome a bloated belly

1. Avoid constipation

This is a common cause of bloating.  Constipation is usually caused by a diet that is lacking water or fiber, or both.  Grains are a good source of fibre but not everyone eats a lot of grains; either because they have an intolerance to gluten or wheat, or because they are following a low carbohydrate diet in order to lose weight.

Luckily vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds and legumes are all excellent sources of fiber.  If you are still prone to constipation despite an abundance of these foods in your diet, you could try adding freshly ground flaxseeds to your diet, psyllium,  slippery elm or chia seeds.  Magnesium is excellent for constipation because it relaxes the muscles of the intestines.  For this reason magnesium is excellent for people who get constipated when they are stressed or traveling.

Constipation is bad for your health for a number of reasons, particularly because it leads to the reabsorption of toxins from the gut back into the body, and it promotes the overgrowth of bacteria in the intestines. These conditions can lead to headaches, foggy head and low mood.  If you need to clean your bowel, you may benefit from taking Colon Detox capsules.

Exercise is also excellent for keeping regular bowel habits because it promotes bowel contractions.

2. Find out if you have an allergy or intolerance

Eating a food that does not agree with you is the quickest way to become bloated.  The most common offending foods are dairy products, wheat, gluten, soy and eggs.  Sometime fermentable carbohydrates called FODMAPs can be an issue. Any food has the potential to cause a problem though.  Trying to find the problem food on your own can be like finding your way through a maze, therefore we recommend you see a naturopath or nutritionist to guide you through an elimination diet.

3. Ensure you don’t have bacterial or fungal overgrowth in your gut

Small intestinal bacterial or fungal overgrowth is a common cause of bloating, gas, discomfort and altered bowel actions (constipation or diarrhea). We all have approximately 3 pounds of microbes in our intestines. Most of those bugs are supposed to live in your large intestine. For varied reasons, the bugs can creep up higher into your small intestine. This is a problem because it’s where you digest food and absorb nutrients. An overgrowth of microbes here can lead to fermentation in the gut. It’s as bad as it sounds! The herbs and essential oils in BactoClear capsules are excellent at killing bacteria and yeast in the small intestine. To prevent the bad bugs growing back, you need to ensure there are adequate levels of stomach acid and bile in your intestines. Deficiency is present in just about every patient who suffers with digestive problems or has a fatty liver. Supplements of Betaine HCL and Ox bile can make a world of difference.

4. Avoid bubbly drinks and bubble gum

Carbonated drinks can cause gas to become trapped in your belly, leading to bloating and discomfort.  Plain water or water with a squeeze of lemon or lime juice in it is kinder to your stomach.  Peppermint tea is excellent for bloating and abdominal cramps.

Chewing gum is a reliable way to swallow a lot of air, which can cause bloating.  Snack on something healthy like fruit and nuts if you are hungry.  If chewing gum is a nervous habit, find ways to wind down and calm down.

5. Slow down and eat less

Bolting your food is a sure way to become bloated and uncomfortable.  If you eat quickly you will not chew thoroughly.  That means large pieces of food in your stomach and intestines won’t be digested properly; instead they will become food for bad bacteria, yeast and fungi, which produce gasses that cause bloating.  Ideally you would eat in a calm and relaxed manner.  Try not to eat huge meals, particularly in the evening.  As well as causing bloating, it will affect the quality of your sleep.

6. Limit gas forming foods

Beans and lentils have a reputation for causing gas, and if you don’t eat them regularly they can be particularly problematic.  Eating small quantities frequently enables your digestive system to adapt.  However, some people can never digest these foods well no matter what they do.  Cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower can be problematic also, so try not to eat too many foods from this family at the one time, and particularly not if you hope to slip into a tight dress in the evening.

Artificial sweeteners can cause bloating and so can some natural sugar alternatives.  It is essential to avoid the artificial sweeteners aspartame, acesulfame K and sucralose because they can cause health problems far worse than bloating.  Some natural sugar alternatives can cause bloating if consumed in large quantities; they include xylitol, erythritol and mannitol.

7. Insufficient digestive enzymes

With advancing age, after stomach surgery or having stomach disorders can mean there is reduced capacity to ensure sufficient digestion of food, and this can lead to malabsorption and raises the possibility of intolerances developing, so if this may be a concern Super Digestive Enzymes encourage good digestion and reversal of intolerances.

Hopefully these tips will help to keep your tummy flat.

The above statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.