Feeling bloated after a summer of overindulgence? You’re certainly not alone! Whether coming out of a social summer, stressful holiday season or just an average week on the job, many people feel “bloated” on a daily basis. Categorized as an uncomfortable feeling of fullness that’s typically experienced in the belly region, bloat is often the result of excessive gas buildup. Drinking carbonated beverages, eating too fast, being constipated, having too much or too little dietary fiber, overeating, being sedentary, and overindulging in sugar and/or alcohol are all contributing factors. Although typically innocuous, this heavy, puffy feeling is uncomfortable and can be a huge mood, energy and libido killer!
- Bloating is an uncomfortable feeling of fullness that’s typically experienced in the belly region and often results from excessive gas buildup.
- Foods such as asparagus, celery, parsley, tomatoes and avocados help balance fluids within and outside the cells, allowing the body to shed water and reduce puffiness.
- Other bloat-fighting tips include making lunch your biggest meal, drinking fluids between (rather than with) meals and skipping snacking.
- For a more advanced solution, we encourage you to sign up for our 3-Day Seasonal Detox! Strategically developed by our Nutritionist and Wellness Chef, this all-inclusive meal program is specially curated to restart, re-balance and re-energize. In just three days, you’ll flush the liver, beat the bloat, cut cravings and re-energize from head to toe!
The good news is that there are many simple diet and lifestyle modifications that can decrease bloat in no time. Here are the top ways to beat the bloat:
- Add more asparagus, parsley, celery, watermelon and green tea to your diet – these natural diuretics help increase the amount of fluids excreted through the urine, which naturally reduces fluid retention.
- Increase your potassium intake – the average American is eating much more than the recommended 2,300mg of sodium per day. This is due largely in part to the Standard American Diet (SAD), which is centered on packaged, pre-made junk foods. Potassium balances sodium by helping to draw water into the cells, instead of allowing it to swell outside—i.e. uncomfortable fluid retention. Foods rich in potassium include tomatoes, bananas, beets, brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes and avocado.
- Make lunch your biggest meal – your digestion is strongest midday when the sun is at its peak; thus, it’s ideal to eat your biggest meal between 12-1pm. When digestion is working properly, food is efficiently broken down so nutrients can be delivered to the cells and wastes eliminated. Sluggish digestion causes the metabolism to slow and food to sit, undigested, longer than it should. When this happens, the food rots—similar to it sitting in the trash—and releases gases that cause the stomach to expand.
- Eat less sugar – sugar feeds bad gut bugs such as Candida that can contribute to weight gain, fluid retention, cravings and insatiable hunger. If you’re going to eat something sweet, aim for 60 minutes before or after your meal, especially one containing animal protein. This will help you avoid the bloat that results from poor food combining.
- Take a daily probiotic – probiotics are good gut bacteria that keep your gut healthy in order to promote digestion, bowel regularity, a strong immune system and balanced mood. At Nourished®, we sell different varieties of dairy-free probiotics that are especially helpful when taking antibiotics. We also sell Superfood Smoothies containing 20 billion CFU of probiotics along with prebiotics, a type of fiber that encourages the growth of beneficial gut bacteria.
- Pass on carbonated beverages – from champagne to soda, La Croix and even kombucha, any beverage with bubbles adds air—aka gas—into your belly. Beat the bloat by sipping on infused water, hot tea or warm lemon water instead.
- Go for a walk – movement helps boost circulation which is great for digestion, detoxification and bowel regularity. A light 20-30-minute walk is all you need to reap the benefits.
- Drink fluids between meals – drinking beverages, especially those served over ice, flushes away hydrochloric acid (HCl) and other enzymes that are needed for digestion. A good rule of thumb is to avoid drinking liquids 30-45 minutes before and at least 60 minutes after a meal. If you must drink something, sip on hot tea containing digestion-promoting herbs such as peppermint and ginger.
- Chew on fennel seeds – dried fennel seeds are a natural diuretic that help soothe muscles in the gastrointestinal tract to reduce bloating, gas and cramps. If you’re feeling bloated after a meal, chew on ½ teaspoon of organic fennel seeds until liquefied, and swallow.
- Skip snacking – when you eat well-balanced meals containing the dynamic trio of fat, fiber and protein, you should be able to go 4-5 hours in between. Leaving enough time between meals promotes the return of true hunger and allows acid levels to restore so they’re ready to break down the next meal.
Although bloating is becoming more mainstream, it’s certainly NOT normal. The whole point of eating is to gain energy. So, if a meal leaves you feeling heavy, bloated, gassy or grumpy, something isn’t working for you. By slowing down, eating and drinking to support digestion, and moving your body on a regular basis, you’ll deflate, increase your energy and boost your mood. For a more advanced solution, we encourage you to sign up for our 3-Day Seasonal Detox! Strategically developed by our Nutritionist and Wellness Chef, this all-inclusive meal program is specially curated to restart, re-balance and re-energize. In just three days, you’ll flush the liver, beat the bloat, cut cravings and re-energize from head to toe!