So much has happened and developed in my world, and of course the world of wellness and Nutrition too during lockdown. With health being at the forefront of everyone’s minds, I have never been busier. What I have found through, is that people have either gone one way or the other! They have either exercised little maniacs, and got muscles like Silvester Stallone, or they have eaten too many cakes, drunk too much wine and put on three stone! If you are the latter and feel like your tummy is bloating like you’re five months pregnant, do not fear! I have some advice for you that will hopefully help.
Having a bloated tummy is such a common complaint across the board, no matter what your age, size, or how your hormones are functioning, but it’s good to know that you can put some of the blame on biology! Did you know that a woman’s colon is 10 centimetres longer than a mans and is constantly competing for space with the bladder, uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes? Plus, in order to prepare us for pregnancy and subsequent extra water retention, our colons are more of a winding path with lots of unexpected turns. So, if you think about it logically, it’s not surprising that we bloat from time to time. Luckily, there are certain things we can do that can help prevent us from bloating, and the most basic lifestyle adjustments can have a positive impact. Simple things such as making sure you're getting lots of fibre day-to-day, cutting back on salt and processed foods, and increasing your water intake can often be a good starting point to minimize that bloated feeling. There are lots of natural ways to support your digestive system to calm things down and there are several foods you can eat or avoid eating. Plus, activities you can do to keep yourself in check and here are a few natural solutions for you to try:
- Consume Plant-Based Probiotics
If you and your swollen stomach need a bit of extra help, the best thing you can do is include some live bacteria that can help address imbalance in the gut flora. Your gut flora, or your gut microbiome, is the system of microbes that live in your digestive tract that can have an influence on everything from IBS to depression. Probiotics are your very own superheroes that stop bad bacteria and yeast from accumulating in your intestines. Kimchi, sauerkraut, tempeh, and kombucha are all great options for getting probiotics into your diet, plus they help to ensure regular bowl movements, as constipation can be a major factor of bloating. So, you need to stay regular!
- Drink Fennel Tea
Fennel is really helpful when it comes to soothing the digestion. You can put crushed or whole seeds in a cup of boiling water and let it infuse for ten minutes before you sip on it. There's always the option of sprinkling them on top of your next meal, too.
- Sip on Water with Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
Drinking lots of water is so helpful when it comes to digestive health and adding lemon can help as it’s a great source of soluble fibre, which can help reduce constipation and bloating. Being properly hydrated helps your body move nutrients through your system faster and is generally a good idea if you want to successfully fight bloating.
- Be Mindful of The Beans You Eat
I love beans and talk about adding them into your diet to help you feel full and satisfied and give you extra plant-based protein. However, for some people the extra fibre they bring to your diet can sometimes increase bloating. When the sugars in beans break down, they can cause a build-up of gas. Soaking beans overnight is touted as a method to make them easier on digestion but rinsing tinned beans should be just fine too. If beans are a new addition to your diet try only adding a few at a time to let your body adjust and get used to them.
- Drink Less Coffee
As you may know coffee is naturally dehydrating, which increases acid production, and irritates your GI tract, all of which provide the perfect blend for bloating! Sorry all your coffee lovers! But we live in the real world and, for many of us, kissing coffee goodbye in order to reduce a bloated stomach simply isn't an option. If this is you, then just try limiting yourself to one cup of coffee or less a day to help prevent coffee-related bloat.
- Eat Ginger or Drink Ginger Tea
Ginger has been used for centuries to cure all kinds of basic ailments. Two compounds called gingerols and shogaols found in this root can reduce inflammation in your gut and send a strong message to the muscles in your intestines to chill out. Cut a few very thin slices of fresh ginger and soak in boiling water for ten minutes. You can add honey, apple cider vinegar and a squeeze of lemon to make it tasty. You can even chew on little pieces of raw ginger for a quick fix, if you don't mind the taste. Powdered ginger root, which you can take daily as a supplement, is also an option.
- Do A Few Simple Yoga Moves
Not only does it ease muscular and joint pain, but yoga additionally offers relief when your digestive system is all tangled up. There are a few different postures you can do at home starting with apanasana, which is basically lying on your back and hugging your knees into your chest. You can then take a supine twist by bringing your knees to one side and letting your head fall the opposite way. Downward facing dog and standing forward fold are simple but effective as well; they're easy inversions that encourage blood-flow to your lower half. Poses should be held for a few minutes at a time to get maximum results.
News update: During lockdown I have launched my brand-new business ‘Thrive’ and am now training others to do exactly what I do. So if you are interested in owning your own health and wellbeing business, go visit my website: www.lifeisforthriving.com and download our free e-book that explains all about the business opportunity. Every week I also make information videos and recipe videos to help inspire you to want to stay healthy. If you go to our website, you can see all these videos for FREE! Or follow us on social media to get daily inspiration. Plus, you can sign up to my weekly free newsletters for even more health and wellbeing information! Everything you need to know is here: www.lifeisforthriving.com