Say Bye to Bloating

by JESSICA ZENG

Do you find yourself feeling like a balloon after chowing down chicken tenders and mozzarella sticks at De Neve Late Night? You are not alone! This feeling of puffiness is a symptom of bloating, which occurs when your stomach feels swollen with gas. However, this feeling of fullness in the abdomen can be alleviated with a few changes to your diet and lifestyle. Keep reading to find out ways to beat the bloat!

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WHAT CAUSES BLOATING?

high FODMAP intake

FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols. These carbohydrates are difficult to digest. [1]

Quick Terms Breakdown:

  • Oligosaccharides are carbohydrates composed of a relatively small number of monosaccharide units.

    • Foods high in oligosaccharides: Onions, garlic, and beans.

  • Disaccharides are carbohydrates that contain two simple sugar molecules.

    • Foods high in disaccharides: Dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and ice cream.

  • Monosaccharides are the most basic unit of carbohydrates.

    • Foods high in monosaccharides: Fruits such as apples and watermelon, vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage, honey, and candy.

  • Polyols are carbohydrates but not sugars, considered a sugar alcohol.

    • Foods high in polyols: chewing gum, avocado, and sweet potato. [2] [3]


carbonated drinks

Drinks like Sprite, Coca-cola, and Spritzers are carbonated, which means that they are infused with carbon dioxide. When the gas becomes trapped in the digestive system, a feeling of uncomfortable gassiness may ensue.  [4]


speedy eating

Scouring down food too quickly can lead to bloating, as the excess air that is swallowed may become trapped, thereby causing abdominal discomfort or even pain. [5]

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HOW TO ALLEVIATE BLOATING?

eat foods with low FODMAPs

By eating foods with less FODMAPs, you are likely to reduce the feelings of a bad bloat. These foods are easier for your body to absorb and digest. Some examples include:

  • Fruits: Bananas, oranges

  • Vegetables: Cucumbers, carrots, kale, potatoes, spinach, sweet potatoes

  • Grains: Oats, quinoa, rice [6]

drink warm tea

Sip on a warm cup of tea at the end of each meal! This can help to relax your intestinal muscles and relieve gas pressure buildup. Peppermint tea and chamomile tea are great options because they contain anti-inflammatory properties that have been shown to calm the stomach. [7] [8]

stay hydrated

When dehydrated, the body holds onto excess water, resulting in a bloated stomach. Hence, drinking water consistently throughout the day may help to reduce the likelihood of bloating. Not to mention, staying hydrated improves your metabolism in the long-run, which helps your body break down food faster. Also, don’t forget to add a slice lemon to your water! Lemon is a natural diuretic, and thus helps to reduce excess sodium and fluids in the body. [9]

reduce salt intake

High sodium intake causes the body to hold onto water, and this excess fluid can result in bloatedness. Therefore, avoid eating super salty foods, especially late at night when your body metabolizes food slower than normal. Reducing sodium intake in your diet also prevents various cardiovascular diseases. [10]

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BOTTOM LINE

Try to incorporate a few of these solutions and see if you feel a difference in your bloating! By just being more mindful with what you’re eating and how you’re eating, your body and soul will feel much better and cleaner. Your body will thank you for making these smarter choices!

REFERENCES

  1. “A Diet Low in FODMAPs Reduces Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome”. Gastroenterol. (2014).

  2. “What is the FODMAP Diet? A Complete Guide and Food List”. blog.kettleandfire.com. (2018).

  3. “FODMAP 101: A Detailed Beginner’s Guide”. healthline.com. (2017).

  4. “Bloated? This ‘healthy’ drink could be the reason”. mybodyandsoul.com. (2017).

  5. “Bloating or Water Retention?” Go Ask Alice! (2017).

  6. “Foods Provoking and Alleviating Symptoms in Gastroparesis: Patient Experiences”. Dig Dis Sci. (2015).

  7. “Chamomile: a herbal medicine of the past with a bright future”. Mol Med Rep. (2010).

  8. “Peppermint (Mentha Xpiperita) An Evidence-Based Systematic Review by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration”. J Herb Pharmacother. (2008).

  9. “Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water”. medicalnewstoday.com. (2017).

  10. “Effect of lower sodium intake on health: systematic review and meta-analyses”. BMJ.(2013).

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