We’ve all felt it before: bloating. And for those of us who have digestive problems, it’s an issue that we deal with regularly. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can change about your diet in order to battle the bloat.
Avoid Caffeine: This means cutting back on coffee. Caffeine can increase stomach acid and be rough on sensitive intestines. If you want a rich-tasting coffee substitute, try my traditional Indian chai recipe…
Be a Pro: If you don’t have problems enjoying dairy, include low fat dairy: its probiotics can add helpful bacteria cultures to your stomach that can aid in digestion. My top pick is kefir, but if you can’t find kefir go for yogurt — the plain lowfat one is best because the fruit-on-the-bottom variety can add tons of unwanted sugar. You can always sweeten it up at home with a teaspoon of honey or pop in some fresh berries for a fast, mess-free breakfast.
Limit salt: Salt is crucial for good health because it controls the water level in your body. However, when you overdo it with salt, bloating and water retention can occur. Nutritionists recommend a diet with 2,300 milligrams/day, or roughly one teaspoon. The best way to control salt intake is to avoid processed and fast foods, many of which contain three to four times the salt you should have in one meal.
Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Diet sodas don’t count because they don’t fully hydrate! Water helps to move waste out of the intestines regularly which could mean a flatter tummy. For tips on how to get more water into your diet, re-visit the earlier hydration lesson…
Manage Stress: Living with lots of anxiety or stress can cause regular stomach pains, which can throw your digestive health into a tailspin. Try to find ways to release your stress, and make sure that you fill your schedule with activities that you enjoy.
Keep Fat in Check: Make sure that you limit foods in your diet that are high in fat. Fatty foods often slow down the digestive process, which not only upsets your stomach, but can also make you feel bloated.
Schedule It: Keeping your digestive tract healthy is one of the best ways to avoid bloating. One way to maintain a healthy digestive system is to eat on a regular schedule. Try to eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks around the same time each day to keep your digestive system happy.
Exercise Regularly: Of course exercise can help with feelings of bloat! Aside from all of the regular benefits of activity, regular exercise can help keep food moving throughout your digestive system. It also helps you maintain a healthy weight, which is a key factor in maintaining digestive health.
Stay tuned for more information on maintaining a healthy digestive tract.