Easy Ways to Live Well: Steph McGovern discusses bloating
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Stomach bloating is known to cause painful symptoms which may occur after eating a heavy meal or ingesting something that increases gas in your gastrointestinal tract, such as carbonated beverages or beans. But in some cases, bloating can occur without overeating or the consumption of gas-causing foods. There is a drink proven to help reduce your bloat.
It may seem counterintuitive, but experts advise the best drink to help reduce bloating is water.
Bloating can often be caused by fluid retention which occurs from eating too much salt and this is where upping your water intake may help to flush out the excess fluids and help one feel more comfortable.
It’s imperative to make sure you’re drinking enough water particularly if you’re adding more fibre-rich foods to your diet and in hot weather.
Depending on your age, gender, activity and medical history, a person should aim for 11 to 15 cups of water a day.
If you are bloated and your stomach feels like it’s about to pop, downing water may be the best quick fix, said Dr Mehmet Oz.
He continued: “Good old H2O restores the sodium balance in the body and normalizes your digestive tract.
“Be sure to keep hydrated.
“Drink the daily recommendation of eight glasses of water to rid the body of harmful toxins.”
Other tips for helping to reduce bloating include:
Don’t eat too much at a time
Rule out food allergies and intolerances to common foods
Avoid swallowing air and gases
Don’t eat foods that are known to give you gas
Try a low-FODMAP diet
Be careful with sugar alcohols
Take digestive enzyme supplements
Cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, cabbage, garden, cress, bok choy and Brussels sprouts are known to increase bloating symptoms and while they contain many essential nutrients, they also contain FODMAPS.
In healthy people, FODMAPs are absorbed through the lining of the small intestine.
When an individual has difficulty with this, as in those with IBS, excess FODMAPs pass to the large intestine, where the resident bacteria cause them to ferment.
This fermentation produces hydrogen or methane, which causes bloating.
Healthline says cooking cruciferous vegetables may make them easier to digest, but you can swap them for spinach, cucumber, lettuce, sweet potatoes and zucchini.
You may want to cut down on your consumption of onions, broccoli, cabbage, sprouts and cauliflower if you want to reduce bloating, but you should still make sure to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.
If you are thinking about cutting a particular food group out long-term you should first get advice from your GP.
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