Bloating is extremely uncomfortable. When I was in college (before I figured out how to reduce bloating) I would have to lie on my stomach after I ate because the bloating was so severe. It can make you lose confidence as well as make doing the things you love - like going to the beach, exercising, or hanging out with your friends - more difficult. In fact, a study found a strong relationship between those who experience bloating and increased anxiety and depression. This is likely due to the fact that the majority of your serotonin (happy hormone) is produced in your gut. So if you have a disturbance - like bloating - this could effect the production of this hormone.
There are a number of factors that cause bloating, but I'm going to review the most common one. Bloating is often caused by the bacteria in your gut breaking down foods and forming gas bubbles that get trapped in your GI tract. One common misconception is that eating too much salt can cause bloating. Excess sodium (the type in processed foods - NOT in high quality, unprocessed salt) may cause puffiness in the face and fingers, but it doesn't contribute to the feelings of bloating.
Certain foods feed your gut bacteria in a way that promotes bloating. These include highly processed carbohydrates, the fiber in beans that haven't been properly cooked, and sugar alcohols (like xylitol, erythritol, and sorbitol). Even certain healthy foods like kale can cause bloating if not cooked correctly.
Today I'm sharing three super simple tips to reduce painful bloating that you can implement right now!
Cook your cruciferous veggies
Cruciferous veggies like kale, cauliflower, broccoli, bok choy, and brussels sprouts are amazing superfoods. They're amazing for boosting your liver health by increasing phase 2 detoxification and providing the prebiotic fiber to support a healthy gut flora. However, raw cruciferous veggies can be too difficult for the body to breakdown and leave you feeling bloated. Whenever you eat any of these veggies, make sure to bake, steam, or sauté them to break down the fibers and make it easier to digest!
Check out recipes you can use with your cruciferous veggies HERE!
Reduce your sugar intake
Let me clarify - I'm talking about processed sugars. These simple sugars can overfeed your gut bacteria and cause extra gas production. Not to mention the other effects that excess sugar can have such as hormone imbalance, mood swings, weight gain, anxiety, and increased risk of heart disease.
Read more about the effects of sugar on your body HERE!
Heal your gut
Gut inflammation can contribute to uncomfortable bloating, too. In fact, this is often a huge factor. An inflamed gut can cause Leaky Gut which leads your body to have an immune reaction to normal foods such as celery, strawberries, cucumbers, and seeds. This immune response can cause a variety of symptoms such as headaches, dry skin, acne, and bloating. One of the best ways to heal your gut is by giving it rest with methods such as Intermittent Fasting paired with a gut healing protocol.
Learn more about Intermittent Fasting HERE!
Pssst... I'm releasing a 3 Week Intermittent Fasting Program with recipes, workouts, and all the science you need to know to implement it into your life! Keep your eyes out... details coming soon ;)