Everyone experiences bloating from time to time. Thankfully, there’s no need to trade in your little black dress for a muumuu (unless you want to!) with these tricks that help beat bloating.
This herbal remedy is now recognized by mainstream science for its efficacy in treating IBS. Comprised of nine medicinal herbal extracts, Iberogast can provide quick relief from bloating and other uncomfortable digestive complaints.
Ultimately, you can thank the friendly little bugs in our gut for gas. All the fermentable sugars and dietary fiber that our bodies can’t digest form a buffet for the flora in our gut; as these bacteria munch eat, they produce gas as a by-product. This in and of itself is a normal, healthy process that supports gut health, but it’s embarrassing or uncomfortable when excessive. Many people find relief from bloating by restoring more good bacteria to their gut with a quality probiotic. However, a small minority find that probiotics actually make their gas worse. It depends on your unique gut flora to start with.
According to ancient Chinese medicine, the energy meridians that run along our shins support digestion. If your knees and hips are okay, try kneeling with your shins folded under you for a while. The ground will naturally apply pressure to these digestive acupuncture points.
All day long, our digestive tract is making smooth, muscular movements called peristalsis. This propels food along our digestive tract. You can speed up the movement of gas through your gut by massaging your tummy in the same direction as peristalsis. Simply look down at your belly and use the palm of your hand to massage your belly in large, clockwise circles.
Just like the trick above can support peristalsis, so does gentle exercise. Moving your middle body and increasing your breathing rate gently massages internal organs and moves gas along. A word of warning: Don’t engage in anything too extreme, as higher-intensity exercise will temporarily divert energy away from digestion. Just take a walk or do some gentle yoga.
Juice it, chew it, or drink it in a tea. Ginger is a powerful digestive aid and can provide relief from a wide range of gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, vomiting, and bloating. You can carry powdered ginger capsules or crystallized ginger in your handbag as an on-the-go solution.
This wonderful herb is naturally anti-spasmodic and can settle the stomach cramping that usually precedes bloating. Take it as a tea or in food-grade capsule form. Even a little pure essential oil mixed in a carrier lotion or oil can effectively drop tummy bloat.
Carry a little tub discreetly in your handbag for a natural, emergency remedy when you feel bloating build. Charcoal effectively captures the gas and can also help with embarrassing flatulence. Just be careful not to use with certain medications (it can block absorption) or rely on charcoal for long-term use. (It will also make your poop turn temporarily black.)
If you are prone to bloating, it may be helpful to temporarily reduce your intake of foods that are naturally high in fermentable sugars. Though the fermentation process is good for the gut under normal circumstances, it can produce excessive bloating if you are nervous, excited, out of your normal dietary routine, or leaving longer periods of time between eating. Limit dried fruit, stone fruit, apples, garlic, onion, legumes, and wheat and see if it makes a difference.
Have you ever wondered why a fatty meal makes you feel so full? One reason is that fat sends satiating messages to your brain after you eat it. Another reason is that fat delays gastric emptying. In other words, it slows down the speed at which food leaves the stomach and enters the small intestine. In fact, the stomach can take up to six hours to empty after a fatty meal! This plays havoc with digestion — one of many reasons to skip deep-fried and fatty foods.
This story originally appeared on Food Matters. It has been reprinted with permission.