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Five reasons you’re bloated.. and how to fix it!

Reasons you're bloated

While your body is built to breakdown food, its ability to breakdown gas is next to none, leaving you puffy and bloated in all the wrong places. The key? Reducing or releasing gas so that it can’t build-up in your stomach and intestines - the root cause of balloon belly. Here, five gas-causing habits and how to break them for a bloat-free result.

 

1. You’re Eating Too Fast
The easiest way to reduce bloating is to slow down at meal times, taking time to chew your food to encourage digestive enzymes to work their magic. The fact is, when you gulp your food or use a straw, you’re also inhaling air bubbles, ergo, increasing gas in your system which leads to further bloating. Try to chew each mouthful 10-20 times before swallowing and ditch the straw for good.
 
2. You’re Not Getting Enough Fibre
Fibre is essential in helping sweep away toxins in the gut, balancing blood sugar and keeping you regular, so it makes sense that if you’re not getting enough you’re susceptible to bloating. Try to incorporate more whole grains in your diet and look for products like psyllium husk, oats or ground flax seeds to get your fibre levels soaring. But remember: it’s important to drink water with fibre or you could exacerbate the problem.
 
3. You’re Dehydrated
Bloating can also be caused by water retention. Like your body latches onto fat when it’s starving, it also holds onto water when it’s dehydrated, leaving you looking bloated and swollen. Increase your fluid intake to at least 1.5 litres a day, avoiding carbonated drinks (they increase gas) and sticking to filtered water and herbal teas instead.
 
4. You’re Eating Too Many Gassy Foods
If you’ve ever tried the cabbage soup diet you’ll be all too familiar with the gas created by certain foods. Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, kale and broccoli all have a tendency to increase gas, leaving your stomach and intestines overloaded and ballooning. Rather than ditching them for good, try fermented cabbage instead as it’s easier to digest, or limit intake to one small serve of cruciferous at a time.
 
5. You’re Eating Too Much Salt
Like dehydration, salt also causes water retention and is a big factor in feeling bloated. So how does it work? When you eat too much salt a message is sent to your kidneys to hold onto as much water as possible to recalibrate your system. The water is stored all over your body, both in your fat and muscle tissue and between your blood vessels, though in some people it tends to congregate in the abdomen, hands and feet. The solution lies in reducing salt intake as much as possible and if you do fall off the wagon, counteract the effects by drinking more water. 
 

 
Words by Yasemin Trollope, image used under license of Shutterstock.com

Yasemin Trollope is a health and beauty expert with over 10 years of experience in print and online media. She’s studied at IIN and believes that true health comes from listening to your body’s needs rather than following a script. Currently pregnant with her second child, she embraces wholefoods while occasionally indulging in Gelato Messina. Because life is about balance, right? You can follow her on Instagram @yaz_trollope.