You know that bloated feeling, the pressure… the gurgling…
It's not comfortable, especially when you put on your pants and they don't fit. So, let's take a closer look at what's going on here.
What Causes Bloating?
Bloating covers a series of things that are going on in your intestine and lower \ abdomen. It has a little bit to do with inflammation, gas, undigested food, and a lot of uncomfortable things.
One of the top things that cause bloating is a poor diet. You put something in your body that it doesn't like, so it's doing something to get rid of it and let you know there's a problem.
The biggest culprits:
Yep, ice cream, cookies, donuts, bread… many of the comfort foods people turn to when sick, depressed, and… well, bloated, are the ones that cause the most bloating.
In some cases, these foods trigger the bacteria in your gut to produce a lot of gas. This gas builds up and causes your lower stomach to expand. But, it can also be inflammation. The foods you ate could irritate and cause your digestive system to swell up as the tissues become irritated.
For some people, it's undigested food. Your body's not breaking down what you eat, it hurts going through. This happens a lot in children, especially when they swallow their food whole. It's one of the reasons why teaching them to chew thoroughly is so important.
Of course, medications, water retention, environmental pollution, and a lack of exercise could also cause bloating. PMS and menstrual bloating are different but could be water retention and poor digestion caused by hormonal change.
How To Support Your Acid Production To Properly Digest Your Food
Changing your diet to eliminate your triggers is one of the first steps to reduce and eliminate bloating.
There's also a couple of herbs and supplements that can help.
Thyme & Peppermint
Throughout history, thyme and peppermint helped calm people's stomachs. Peppermint is a warm digestive herb that helps reduce a little bit of inflammation and encourages digestive heat. This digestive heat helps trigger your digestive system enzymes to work better and faster, helping you break down your food better.
Thyme works similarly, with the active ingredient thymol helping to reduce inflammation and work as an immunomodulatory stabilization factor, which can help you fight the stomach flu.
Apple Cider Vinegar
A few years ago, apple cider vinegar was the cure-all for everything. Fortunately, it really does help your digestion. ACV can help increase your stomach acid, letting you break down your food in your stomach a little bit better. It also provides nutrients that support your probiotics. It also helps to normalize the pH in your stomach and intestine to where it should be (your stomach should be very acidic and your intestines should be alkaline. If you make your stomach alkaline, it hurts your health). It has a mild anti-
bacterial action and can improve immunity in some people susceptible to stomach bugs.
If you're having trouble digesting fats or are at risk for gallbladder problems, fennel is your friend. The nutrients in fennel help your body digest fat and encourage your gallbladder to fully empty out the biles stored in it. This helps eliminate the crystallization of any stone and promotes the healthy production of fresh bile.
Support the Probiotics
Keeping your probiotics healthy means you can produce more vitamins and break down your food better.
Something that makes beer can be good? Yes, barley contains beta-glucans that scientists are focusing on because of their wide range of possibilities. Various potential benefits include lowering cholesterol, reducing the risk of colon cancer, reducing bloating (yes, we know beer causes bloating), and have the possibilities of helping diabetes and heart disease. More research is needed, but barley is an easy and healthy whole grain.
Good probiotic supplements will help reintroduce fresh probiotics into your system and help keep the gene pool diversified. Since probiotics only live one to three days, this is important to do. Acidobacteria and bifidobacterium are two of the most popular, but dozens of different species exist in our digestive system. Choosing a good supplement that has a range of probiotics will do you the best.
Fighting inflammation takes antioxidants. Fruits and vegetables have the most antioxidants, with the brightest and most rich color fruits and vegetables having the most. Tens of thousands of antioxidants exist, so eating your fruits and vegetables will give you the most variety. We also like pomegranate. This is a mighty fruit that contains lots of antioxidants. Some studies indicate that it could help digest fats easier and reduce obesity.
What To Do Next
Your step is to eat healthy fruits and vegetables and then start going in for a bit more targeted help. There are lots of different things you could try, but keeping it natural will give your body the best chance to do things naturally.