Feeling bloated? Everyone has been there. Stomach pain, gas, bloating – these uncomfortable problems in your abdomen can affect your ability to go about your normal activities and enjoy your day.
Bloating occurs when gas or air gets trapped in your abdomen. It can also occur due to fluid retention. These things can cause your stomach to become tight and/or larger. This can be frustrating if you’re trying to wear your skinny jeans!
Bloating has many different causes, such as food intolerances, swallowing air, and your menstrual cycle.
Fortunately, there are just as many remedies that can help you deal with this annoying and troublesome problem.
#1. Drink Water
Drinking plenty of water will help keep your digestive system moving, prevent constipation, and of course keep you hydrated. Sip on water throughout your day to help reduce the gas that causes you to feel bloated.
#2. Pick Up Some Potassium
Potassium is a mineral that helps regulate the balance of fluid in your body. Because it relieves water retention from too much salt, potassium is helpful in keeping bloat at bay.
There are a number of delicious high-potassium foods which include bananas, tomatoes, cantaloupe, mangoes, and asparagus. Bananas and tomatoes are easy to digest, while asparagus contains an amino acid called asparagine, which acts as a diuretic and flushes excess fluid from your system.
#3. Have a Cup of Colon Tea or Peppermint Tea
Senna leaf is a non-prescription FDA approved laxative and can be drank in tea. It helps clear the bowel and is used to treat constipation. A colon tea such as this one can help to rid your body of toxins, aid in digestion and proper food absorption, and its specialty is reducing bloating!
Natural peppermint has long been known for its soothing properties. Peppermint relaxes your digestive muscles and helps to reduce spasms in the digestive tract. It also works to prevent cramps.
Have a cup of colon or peppermint tea before, during, or after a meal and enjoy the calming effects and keep things moving.
#4. Try Lemon Water
Often when you feel bloated you may tend to avoid fluids, but have you considered the possibility that your body is retaining fluids because you’re dehydrated? So when bloating occurs, it’s time to push the fluids.
Adding some lemon to water is an excellent remedy for bloating because lemons are a natural diuretic and gentle laxative. Try adding lemon to warm water (ice cold water is harder on your digestive system) and take small sips, so you don’t ingest any extra air.
#5. Go for a Walk
Probably one of the most effective ways to reduce bloating immediately, taking a brisk walk for 20-30 minutes will give noticeable results right away.
Walking, or pretty much any other kind of cardiovascular activity such as swimming, cycling, jogging, or stair climbing will help to move the gas through your digestive tract. Working up a sweat also helps to release any unnecessary retained fluids.
#6. Spit Out Your Gum
It is very possible you are feeling bloated because you are swallowing excess air. Things like chewing gum, drinking through a straw, and talking while eating can cause you to swallow air, which works its way through your GI tract and may end up causing you to feel bloated. Take the time to chew your food thoroughly and let your friend carry the conversation for a few minutes!
#7. Ditch the Soda
And while we’re on the subject of swallowing air, you can actually see all the air bubbles in carbonated beverages, and this air goes right into your belly. Stick to water or tea and you’ll experience less bloating and stomach pooching.
#8. Massage Your Belly
Often applying gentle pressure to your abdomen can help to relieve some of your gas and bloating. The stimulation increases circulation to that area and aids in digestion.
There are a number of ways to apply gentle pressure to your abdomen. You can try a hot water bottle placed on your stomach while you lie on your back. Also try placing a pillow underneath your stomach when you lie on your stomach. You can also try gently rubbing your lower abdomen in a clockwise motion.
Make sure you relax and breathe deeply while doing these, as they are meant to relax and soothe your pain, not increase your tense feelings.
#9. Reduce Stress
Along those same lines, often your bloated and tense stomach can be traced to feelings of worry and anxiety. When your mind is full of stress, this automatically affects your physical well-being.
Try deep breathing exercises to get plenty of oxygen to all your body systems. Be careful to not be so busy that you eat on the go – this can cause indigestion as well as making you more likely to swallow air. So take a deep breath! Relax! Then eat.
#10. Pass on the Salt
Sodium is one of the most common causes of excess fluid and bloating. Too much sodium in your diet causes a fluid build up which increases blood volume, makes your heart work harder, and leaves you feeling fatigued.
So check your labels and avoid high sodium foods such as processed meats and canned entrees. Opt for foods that list their sodium level at less than 20 percent per serving.
#11. Add Ginger to Your Diet
Ginger is a root that can be sliced, minced, shredded and enjoyed in all types of recipes. It can also be enjoyed in tea. Ginger is a long time home remedy for all kinds of ailments, and bloating is on the list. Ginger is an anti-inflammatory and proven to be an aid to digestion.
Homemade ginger tea is extremely easy to make, just pour hot water over sliced ginger, let steep, and drink through a strainer like this cool tumbler!
#12. Yoga? Yes!
Yoga can be very effective when you’re dealing with not only bloating, but constipation and gas as well. There are a number of yoga poses that stimulate your abdominal organs and increase circulation to these areas, helping aid in digestion and decrease stress.
Start on your back with some deep breathing to help you relax. Some poses that you can start with are the bridge pose, the cat and cow, child’s pose, and wind-relieving pose.
#13. Add Some Probiotics
Though it may sound a little gross, it’s true: your digestive system is lined with more than 100 trillion bacteria. Gross or not, these bacteria are super important to your gastrointestinal (and overall) health.
Probiotics are the good and helpful bacteria that you need to keep your gut healthy, support immune health, and keep the bacteria in your gut balanced. You can add probiotics to your diet through probiotic supplements, and also by eating yogurt, kefir, and fermented vegetables (such as sauerkraut).
#14. Try Some Quinoa
Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is treated like a grain, when in fact we eat the tiny seeds of the plant. Quinoa is a complete protein, which means it contains all nine essential amino acids the body needs to get from food.Quinoa is rich in potassium and magnesium- both of which have been proven to reduce bloating. Try this yummy recipe for a Matcha and Quinoa Breakfast Bowl.
#15. Avoid Junk Food
Junk food, by name, is just that. Junk. Full of additives and preservatives and non-food ingredients. It also has high sodium levels, and sodium has already been named as a leading cause of fluid retention and bloating.
Besides sodium, most junk food is high in fat and thus a contributor to gas and bloating and general digestive discomfort. So stay away from the junk and you’ll reduce your bloat.
#16. Reduce Your Alcohol Intake
When you drink alcohol, you may become bloated for a couple reasons. Your body is depleted of water, so it holds on to whatever it can, causing bloating not only in your middle but all over your body.
Another reason alcohol may cause bloating is because of the air added to drinks such as beer, champagne, and any fizzy mixed drinks. The added carbon dioxide is released in your tummy and causes that full, bloated feeling. (Not to mention beer has yeast, another bloating culprit.)
Time for Relief
If you have felt the uncomfortable feeling of bloating you know you’ll do anything to relieve that swollen, tight, and bothersome sensation. Trying some or all of the above remedies can help you to deal with bloating and also send you on a path that will reduce your bloating in the future.
Want instant relief? Take a walk, drink some tea. Then begin to make regular choices that will help you avoid bloating in the future.