What foods are secretly causing that bloating? And what foods can combat it?
By Flavorful Fit’s Eve Scaba
Many woman has experienced that feeling that her belly is just a little too chubby for that gorgeous dress. Many have held their breath and sucked in their stomachs to look good for the camera, But what if you didn’t have to? What if you could eliminate bloatedness and finally have that flat belly you desire?
Bloating is a condition defined as swelling in the abdominal area. It is usually caused by excess gas production, or disturbances in the movement of the muscles of the digestive system. This can cause increased pressure and discomfort, and can sometimes make the stomach appear larger. Bloating can involve excessive amounts of solids, liquids, or gases in your digestive system. In addition, in some people, bloating causes an increase in abdominal sensitivity.
Bloatedness is almost always caused by sensitivity or intolerance to certain foods. It is important to rule out food sensitivities to relieve the pressure. Allergy tests may not always pick up on intolerances. Using the process of elimination will help a person discover what it is that he or she may not be able to consume without feeling icky or weighed down. Eliminate certain foods one by one, and slowly reintroduce them to find the culprit. There are a few common trigger foods to bloating.
#1 Bloating Culprit: Sugar
Sugar is one of the most common bloat triggers. Even if one does not have a big sweet tooth, sugar can hide in foods that aren’t even sweet (even foods you may even think are healthy). When a carbohydrate is broken down and digested, it turns into sugar that our body uses for energy. A carbohydrate in wheat, called amylopectin A, is more easily converted to blood sugar than just about any other carbohydrate.
Two slices of bread made with whole wheat flour raises blood sugar higher than six teaspoons of table sugar and higher than many candy bars! This is due to the glycemic index that raises insulin levels and rapidly drops them, causing a sugar high and overeating. The effect of how things are processed plays a big role. Alcohol, artificial sweeteners, refined carbohydrates, and even dried fruits can affect our midsection. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that refined-grain intake have direct links to abdominal fat. Increasing your consumption of whole grains (though not whole wheat), like oatmeal, brown rice, barley, quinoa, and millet can help trim your midsection.
#2 Bloating Culprit: Processed Foods
The feeling of being bloated or weighed down can also come from a buildup of processed foods in the abdomen. Processed foods like white flour or deli meats can sit in the intestines and cause discomfort. A quick and easy remedy for bloating would be to drink hot water with lemon. The acid in the lemon will break down the buildup, acting almost as a soap, and the hot water will help wash the grime away. When someone is washing dishes with cold water, the food and gunk is extremely difficult to remove properly. However, as soon as hot water and soap is added, everything starts to slide off the plates. The same goes for our insides.
#3 Bloating Culprit: Not Drinking Enough Water
Drinking enough water, both hot and cold, is something that can prevent and relieve bloating. It flushes out toxins in the body, and helps move food along.
#4 Bloating Culprit: Too Much Salt
An excessive amount of sodium can cause water retention, causing bloating. It is important to drink a lot of water, while also taking in less salt. Processed foods and packaged items are the biggest offenders. Always read labels and avoid salty foods like feta cheese and consomme mixes. One teaspoon of consomme has over 900 milligrams of sodium, while the recommended daily intake is 1500 milligrams.
#5 Bloating Culprit: Not Enough Exercise
Exercise improves blood flow throughout the body, including the digestive system. A consistent exercise routine can help the digestive system combat sluggishness. Exercise prevents and relieves bloating, gas, and constipation. Drink plenty of water, especially before, during, and after a workout. Exercise can dehydrate the body as one sweats, which can deprive the digestive system of the water it needs to function at optimum levels.
#6 Bloating Culprit: Overlooking Superfoods
It is essential to eat anti-inflammatory foods to decrease inflammation of the gut and to increase digestive enzymes. Incorporate hot ginger tea, green tea, turmeric spice, cayenne pepper, Greek yogurt, bananas, and melons to reduce inflammation and get a flatter belly.
Overall, make sure to eat healthy, fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, lean fats, and whole grains. Limit your intake of heavy, fatty foods. Move more and drink more keep your body running efficiently, and decrease your sodium intake. It’s achievable!
A certified health coach, personal trainer, and natural chef, Eve discovered her current way of life after trying a lot of diets that simply didn’t work. Instead, she discovered what did work: a lifestyle change. Today, through her “Flavorful Fit” movement, she coaches women on the making the right choices and becoming healthy. Follow her on instagram @flavorful_fit.