No one likes the feeling of a distended stomach that sticks out a mile in front of you and walks ahead of you as you go forward, along with the comments and snide remarks that insensitive individuals make in passing such as, “Expecting another baby now, are we?” along with packing on the pounds and being out of shape put into the mix.
What causes bloating, anyway? Bloating is basically defined as an uncomfortable feeling of fullness usually accompanied by gaseous disturbance and a distended or swollen abdominal area. In looking at causes, it appears that the wrong food and drink choices are the main culprits, which correlates with other resulting problems that include:
•indigestion in general
•gas and flatulence
•Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
•lactose and gluten additive intolerance
•other food allergies
•indigestible substances (such as hard vitamins and supplements)
•milk and dairy intolerance
•high or excess fiber in the diet
•over consumption or guzzling of water
•artificial sweetener use
•protein bar and drink use
•fructose and carbohydrate combinations in foods
•various chemical compounds in diet foods
•excess stomach fat
In order to limit or do away with bloating in your life and its uncomfortable and painful physical symptoms and resulting ailments, not to mention fending off the rude remarks and the double takes, there are natural remedies that can help with debloating in NO time. Foods, herbal combinations, extracts, and exercises are a few of the natural remedies for bloating and eight (8) tricks that just might spell relief for you and your bloated abdomen are here for the asking.
1. Carminative herbals that help with bloating and easing gas include: Chamomile, Dill, Fennel, Basil, Caraway, Cinnamon, Cumin, Garlic, Ginger, Nutmeg, Oregano, Parsley, Peppermint, Slippery Elm, Spearmint, and Wintergreen. Both Ginger and Peppermint are effective herbals in the reduction of bloating. Ginger aids in more efficient digestion and gases are dispelled faster to the small intestine to ease bloating. It can be taken in powdered capsule form, tea, or even juiced in its raw form. Peppermint is a natural antispasmodic that can soothe and settle the stomach and impede bloating. Like Ginger, it can be taken as a tea or capsule or even put as an essential oil in lotion and rubbed in the abdominal area. Any of these herbals are, of course, better used in their natural state or raw form, as herbals in capsule form can produce pharmaceutical effects that could interact with other medications, so it is best to further investigate manufactured herbals before consuming.
2. Activated Charcoal Capsules – This natural supplement can be of help with relief of bloating symptoms if taken an hour or so before or after consuming food. One gram in capsule form is sufficient for relief. Contraindication is noted with depletion of iodine as the charcoal binds to iodine, and long-term use is not recommended.
3. Probiotics – Probiotics are helpful with digestion and the reduction of gas and bloating. The active good bacteria in probiotics found within the human digestive system (gut) are available in supplement capsule form but also occur in more natural forms that include yogurt, kefir, pickles, tempeh, kimchi, sauerkraut, buttermilk, and miso. The most effective probiotics for easing bloating include Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactic. Probiotics can cause excessive gas and bloating as an individual’s gut flora has sensitivities that have to be met with the right form of probiotic, so it is best to experiment with various natural forms before taking any of them on permanently.
4. Fermented Food Limitations – Bloating can be avoided if certain foods are either avoided or strictly limited. Anything that is high in fermentable sugars should be avoided. Even though fermentation is good for the gut region under normal health conditions, it can bring about excessive bloating under stressful situations or with those who eat intermittently. Limit eating dried fruit, stone fruit, apples, garlic, onions, legumes and wheat for a period of time and keep track of the decrease in bloating without the intake of these foods.
5. Fat Laden Meals – Foods that are overloaded with fat can lead to bloating. Deep-fried foods, processed foods or other high-fat foods are delayed in leaving the stomach for further digestion in the small and large intestines, which increases the bloats. In order to avoid bloating, skip high fat foods and meals laced with hard to digest fats.
6. Organic Apple Cider Vinegar – Apple cider vinegar with “mother” is another natural solution for a number of digestive health issues, which includes bloating. Mixing one teaspoon with approximately one cup of room temperature filtered water is effective either sipped or downed quickly.
7. Exercise – Various exercises and specific movements will help with bloating. Positioning through acupuncture, which involves kneeling with the shins folded under for a short period of time will relieve bloating symptoms. In this position, pressure will be applied to the right points concerning the digestive system.
Another gentle movement is simply rubbing the stomach region in a clockwise motion. Use the flat of the hand to massage the belly area in large and smooth clockwise motion. Other less strenuous exercises involve moving the abdomen and increasing the breathing rate so peristalsis (moving food along in the digestive tract)can operate effectively and reduce gas and bloating. Other less strenuous exercise through walking and yoga movements can help with bloating. Yoga movements that help with bloating, which can be done at home, include the downward dog, dolphin or gentle cobra poses.
8. Natural Food Enzymes – A natural enzyme (sugar-digesting) that helps to digest food and hinders gas and bloating is alpha-galactosidase. It breaks down foods like beans (legumes) and other vegetables that are difficult to digest. Problems with foods that contain lactose can be addressed with natural lactase drops or tablets. An overall natural plant enzyme combination is effective with digestion and bloating and should contain the following enzymes: Amylase, Lactase, Maltase, Invertase, Hemilase, Cellulase, Protease and Lipase along with natural extracts such as ginger root and peppermint leaf.
Bloating can be a serious problem for many, but there are natural remedies to curtail and remedy bloating. There are also certain dietary and food concerns that individuals with chronic bloating must take into consideration. With bloating, excess stomach fat and overall weight have to be examined as well. Without changes in diet, and the examination of serious health conditions that cause bloating, along with the acceptance of effective natural alternatives to combat bloating, people with these issues will continue to suffer.