Beat the Bloat

Foods that Relieve Stomach PainI was waiting at the bustop last week, heading into the city for dinner with my friend. “I’d love to wear a dress like that,” the woman standing next to me said after complimenting me on a wrap dress that has become a fast fashion fix when all the laundry is dirty.

“I’ve been suffering from a lot of bloating lately,” she said and as an IBS sufferer, I’m intimately familiar with what my bus mate was telling me.

Don’t be a Nervous Nelly

Avoid caffeine – this means cutting coffee back. Caffeine can increase stomach acid and be rough on sensitive intestines. If you want a rich-tasting coffee substitute, try my traditional Indian chai.

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.

Salt vs. Water

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. 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.

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