Do you often walk around with a growling stomach in the office, wondering what’s wrong with your tummy? It could be a case of bloated stomach. If not treated properly, the stomach bloating can disrupt our daily routine. Its treatment requires a change in diet and lifestyle. But most of us don’t exactly know what those changes are. We spoke to experts to put together easy ways to help you banish the bloat.
First, we need to understand what bloating is. Stomach bloating is that discomforting situation where one feels that their stomach is full and tight due to excessive buildup of gas in the small intestine. One also feels the need to burp constantly and suffers from stomach cramps.
1 Don’t rush your meal
Go slow, enjoy your food. Chew it slowly while you swallow. Gulping it down too quickly can lead you to swallow air which leads to bloating. According to experts, If your meal times last less than 20 minutes, you are going too fast. The other reason which causes the stomach to swell is overeating. Too much food at one time can overload your digestive system; which means the food takes more time to get digested properly. Opt for smaller meals and give time between your meals.
2 Don’t be lazy
Most of the us tend to get lazy and sit down after a meal, and that slows down the digestion process. Right after having a meal, walk around for a bit to facilitate the digestion process. The other common mistake people make is that they lie down and go off to sleep right after dinner. Regular exercise also helps avoid bloating issues. Those who can’t workout regularly should take out time for morning and evening walks.
3 Salt control
Foods that are high in salt and sodium content can also trigger bloating. Fried chips, dry fruits and processed food are high in sodium content. Sodium tends to retain water, which makes your stomach feel full and gassy. According to experts, while buying processed and canned food, check the nutritional label to ensure that the sodium content is less than 500gm per serving.
4 Eat wisely
Sometimes bloating is caused by certain foods which our bodies are intolerant to, but they must be confirmed by the doctor. So consult your family doctor first. Experts recommend that one should include peppermint tea, yoghurt and oatmeal in the diet. While peppermint tea has a soothing effect on the stomach and helps relieve gas, yoghurt maintains healthy bacteria in the gut and promotes healthy digestion. Oatmeal is an excellent laxative which promotes healthy bowel movement.
5 Carbonated drinks and chewing gums
You may love your carbonated drinks and chewing gums, but they can cause havoc to your stomach. The fizz in your soda drinks can cause gas which can get trapped in your stomach. Whereas chewing on gum can cause you to swallow air, which again can cause bloating.
6 Avoid Constipation
Constipation is one of the main reasons for a bloated tummy. A low-fiber diet is one of the major reasons for constipation. Most people make the mistake of introducing too much fiber too soon in their diet. Excessive fiber again causes bloating. The best way to go about this is to slowly introduce fiber in your diet. Include kiwi and berries in your diet. The other reason for constipation is a lack of regular water intake. Water is essential for proper bowel movements.
Inputs by Dr RK Singal, chairman, internal medicine, BLK Hospital & Kanchan Padhwardhan, nutritionist, House of Health and Nutrition
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