Abdominal bloating is when the abdomen feels full and tight and is usually caused by intestinal gas.
It can be caused by swallowing air, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, food intolerances (especially lactose intolerance), overeating, or a partial bowel obstruction.
Bloating can be incredibly uncomfortable, especially if it happens often or most times when you eat.
Certain foods are known to cause bloating in some people, particularly processed Dairy, refined grains and certain beans and legumes.
Any natural food that causes bloating is usually a sign that the digestive system is not working optimally, and in this case, it is worth considering going on a fast or cleanse for multiple days to reset the gut and digestive system.
Following are some known foods, food categories and remedies that can help ease bloating and even support you in making this discomfort a thing of the past.
Aside from being delicious, cinnamon is one of mother nature's revered spices for supporting a healthy digestive system. It's particularly known for its effectiveness in reducing gas and uncomfortable bloating.
Cinnamon is also good for anemia, arthritis, diarrhea, painful menstrual periods and constipation.
Try sprinkling organic dried cinnamon on oatmeal or fruit in the morning to help help your body digest food more easily. Another great option is this homemade cinnamon tea:
1/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon or a Cinnamon Stick
1cup Boiling water
Place the cinnamon into a tea pod or just place the cinnamon stick into a cup of hot water and steep. Add the boiling water and steep for 10 minutes. Sweeten with raw honey or organic stevia if desired.
Learn more in 5 Tips for Better Digestion & Less Bloat.
2. Fermented Foods
Fermented foods are some of the best foods to reduce bloating, because of how much they boost your digestive system by cultivating healthy bacteria in the gut.
Foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, pickled vegetables, sourdough bread, kombucha, miso soup are all loaded with natural probiotics, as well as organic dairy yogurt, cheese with vegetable enzyme and kefir. A selection of these foods should be a regular part of your diet.
Eating fermented foods will build a diverse microbiome in your gut, so if you regularly experience uncomfortable bloating, these foods will help to re-set the ecology of your gut which is vital to healing bloating or any kind of digestive problem.
Learn more in 6 Fermented Foods for a Healthy Gut.
Bananas are a known good mood food, and part of that could be because they’re one of the foods to reduce bloating. The fiber in bananas is great for pushing food through your system that’s causing bloating, while the high potassium in bananas helps balance sodium levels, which cause bloating too.
A banana a day helps keep the bloat away!
4. Citrus Fruits
Just like bananas, citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, lemons, tangerines and limes are high in fibre and potassium to help reduce bloating. They also deliver healthy acids into the digestive tract which helps to break down undigested food.
Citrus fruits are loaded with Vitamin C which is vital for protecting against any kind of congestion, inflammation or overwhelm in the body and for protecting the immune system.
So grab a a couple of citrus fruits each day - skin them, cut them into wedges and enjoy, use a hand squeezer and drink, or throw them into a juicer with a mix of other ingredients when preparing your daily juice.
Ginger is another of the top foods to reduce bloating, and for good reason.
Ginger is the classic tonic for the digestive tract and a staple of traditional Chinese medicine for more than 2,500 years. It has long been prized for its aromatic, culinary and medicinal properties and has had a long tradition of being very effective in alleviating symptoms of gastrointestinal distress.
Classified as an aromatic bitter herb, it stimulates digestion, keeps the intestinal muscles toned, and relieves abdominal bloating, vomiting, and diarrhea.
It may also serve to protect the stomach lining against such irritants as alcohol and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. It effectively assists nausea associated with morning sickness, motion sickness, chemotherapy, and anesthesia.
Cooking with ginger can be a great way to prevent bloating before it even happens. Otherwise, by steeping a knob of ginger into warm water after a meal, you can make a teas which helps to soothe your stomach and reduce bloating effectively and quickly.
Artichoke is the flower bud of a large, thistle-like plant, it has only a few edible portions - the heart and the tender, fleshy portion at the base of the tough outer leaves. The artichoke is very high in fiber, potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus and other trace elements that are important for a balanced system.
Artichokes are great foods to reduce bloating. They’ve been used for centuries by many different cultures as a health food, a diuretic, and a way to clean the system and improve digestion. Gently slice off the sharp leaf tips, then steam for 20-25 minutes. Remove the steamed artichoke leaves and dip in garlic butter, aioli or extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and ground black pepper.
Water is almost always a good solution to your health issues, and bloating is no exception. Drinking more water throughout the day will not only make you feel less hungry, but it will help flush out your digestive system and whatever is causing the bloating in the first place.
It's important to realise that ultimately, bloating is a result of imbalances in the digestive tract, not drinking too much water. Clean water is vital every day.
To drink more water and aid digestion, add either a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice to your glass water bottle or add a couple of drops of lemon or grapefruit essential oil.
You can also try warm lemon water, to soothe and comfort your digestive system any time the symptoms of bloating arise.
Learn more in How to Curb Constant Hunger.
8. Pulse Sacred Meal
If you’re finding many foods cause you to bloat, try going a few days on nothing but Pulse Sacred Meal and water.
Since it's such a complete, nourishing whole food, you'll discover that you only need a small handful to satiate your appetite, which means it lowers the chance of you over eating.
Prepared from a specific mix of dried fruits, raw nuts, seeds and roots, pulse will also help to cleanse and reset your digestive system and is suitable for vegan and gluten-free diets.
Learn more in Top Threats to Gut Health & What You Can Do About It.
Extra Tips to Prevent and Heal Bloating:
- Eat slowly and consciously, remembering that your stomach takes time to signal that it’s full;
- 15-30 minutes before a meal, mix 1-2 tablespoons of organic Apple Cider Vinegar into a glass of water and drink. This add healthy acids to the gut which will help break down your meal faster and easier if you suffer from bloating or digestive problems;
- Try a raw or green salad before every meal - dress with fresh squeezed lemon juice, olive oil and salt - this will add vital nutrients and high water content fibres into your stomach to help digest your main meal, plus you'll be inclined to not over eat;
- Sip don't gulp water during your meal;
- Eat more healthy, plant fats like avocados, macadamias, almonds, coconuts, olives and their oils, which are also known for their digestive powers.
- Avoid processed and refined sugars and grains, hydrogenated vegetable oils (common in fried takeaway foods) and processed saturated fatty foods like bacon, salami etc.
- If you’re consistently experiencing bloating, try either or both a water fast and a cleanse to your digestive system. This will help your system both reset and rest, so it can perform more efficiently. Our Cleanse Me Colon Cleanse protocol is the ideal way to prepare before your fast or cleanse.
Learn more in Two Detoxifying Remedies Made by Earth.
Treatment Tips to Reduce Bloating
- Try not to flop straight onto the couch after a meal. Instead, do some gentle movement after your meal to help 'work off' your food - walk around the block, do some light stretching, yoga or even take a warm bath with Epsom Salts, Magnesium Bath Salts and diffuse essential oils to get the blood moving in and around your digestive system;
- After meal time, take five minutes to do do 4 rounds of 4 of deep breathing - breathe deeply into your diaphragm for a count of 4, hold for a count of 4 and release for a count of 4. Do this 4 times. It will calm and oxygenate your digestive system which can also relieve symptoms of bloating.
Remember, bloating is generally a sign of a poor functioning digestive system and eating to excess.
Both of these are tied together, so by embracing some of the tips outlined here, you'll find that you'll being to eat less, you'll switch to more of the right types of foods, and you'll support your body to experience less discomfort and bloating.
Tolman Self Care.