Digestion tips to fight the bloat are a common hot topic in the health and fitness world. Our gym routine is on point and our healthy food intake is going strong but why do you still feel bloated?
Our favorite Fit Foodie, Sarah Grace over at FreshFitNHealthy.com! is here for this “Real Life Talk”. As a dietetics student she is frequently asked the same question among healthy eaters. Here’s her tips on digestive health and tips to avoid bloating as you try to implement healthier choices into your diet.
Here are Sarah’s top 10 tips to offer based on research and experience:
- Drink a lot of water
- Water will help to keep the food moving through the digestion process instead of accumulating, and staying hydrated also helps maintain regular bowel movements
- Eat enough fiber containing foods
- Eating enough fiber rich foods to get in your daily need (about 20-35g/day), will help keep you full, and slow down the release of glucose into your bloodstream. Just like water, it also helps in keeping you regular and moving food through the digestion process as it adds “bulk”.
- Beans, apples and berries, nuts, raw bran or other high fiber cereals, oats, sweet potatoes and last but not least, pumpkin, all are a great source of fiber! Head on over to my PUMPKIN category, to see a ton of different delicious pumpkin recipes you can make!
- Keep stress to a minimal level (& learn how to cope with the stress you’re bound to experience)
- As I’ve seen in my personal life, when I am stressed or feeling “uptight” about something, I begin to experience stomach problems like irregularity, cramps, bloating, and more. Fun fact? the brain and digestive system are connected! So stress can upset the digestion track as well. Try to find things that ease stress for you, whether it be going on a walk or run, reading, taking a hot bath, or listening to music. Find some “you time!”
- Exercise daily
- Exercise helps to “keep things moving” and speeds up digestion of food. It also helps in maintaining a healthy weight which is a must for a healthy digestive system.
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals
- Large meals can cause you to feel bloated and it also take a lot more time for your body to digest meals when it comes in large amounts. Try to eat smaller meals, but more frequently throughout your day, as that will also speed up your metabolism!
- Decrease/limit caffeine, smoking or alcohol
- Alcohol interferes with acid secretion, stomach muscles, and nutrient absorption, and all of these things in excess can lead to ulcers, diarrhea, or liver issues.
- Limit your gum chewing
- Gum can sometimes cause you to swallow extra air, which can cause bloating or burping. When I’m already feeling bloated because of “girl problems” or other reasons, I try to avoid chewing gum as much as I can!
- Stay aware of foods that irritate you personally (sometimes beans, acidic foods, fried foods, dairy, ect)
- Everyone’s body reacts differently to different foods. Stay aware of things that tend to always irritate you. Some cannot tolerate dairy as well as others, and some just seem to feel terrible after eating fried foods (aka, me!). Be conscious when you experience digestion problems and remember what you just recently ate that could of caused them; and then of course, try to limit those specific foods!
- Remember – About Time – offers protein powders that are either gluten and/or lactose free, or even a completely vegan powder for those that realize dairy bothers you.
- Limit salt intake
- Even a little extra sodium can cause bloating, which has always been a problem for me as I LOVE salt (a little too much; my mom would have to take away the shaker at dinner from me when I was younger). Try to limit adding extra salt along with limiting high sodium foods like processed meats and canned soups.
- Take a probiotic!
- From early on I was always told to take a probiotic, whether you have digestion issues or not. With the production of our foods nowadays along with the processing that goes into a lot of them, it is good for us all to be taking a probiotic in order to keep that healthy bacteria level high in our gut. Especially if you have ever taken antibiotics, you should really be taking a probiotic! Because antibiotics not only kill the bad bacteria, but the good bacteria in your body. Basically, probiotics are a good part of anybody’s lifestyle.