Stomach bloating is usually related to trouble digesting food and dietary issues.
For some people it happens only occasionally, after a big weekend or after pigging out on fast food.
However for others, a bloated tummy is a more common occurrence and can be a real inconvenience.
Kim Barnouin, author of ‘Skinny Bitch’, offers the following three tips to soothe a bloated stomach.
Improve your diet
“If you’re suffering from bloating, the first step is always to cut down or eliminate foods that might be causing gut inflammation from your diet,” said Barnouin.
Following a more plant-based diet while reducing sugar, highly-processed foods, coffee and alcohol can all help reduce inflammation and keep enzyme balance in the gut healthy.
Plants also contain lots of fibre which helps digestion and makes you feel fuller for longer.
“Enzymes play an important role in digesting food and fighting disease, keeping both belly and body looking and feeling great,” said Barnouin.
Foods that are naturally rich in digestive enzymes can aid the digestive process, helping prevent bloating.
These can include pineapples, papayas, mangoes, avocados and ginger.
These foods are most often eaten raw, and raw foods typically contain between 40 per cent and 60 per cent of the digestive enzymes necessary to extract the nutrients from food, according to Barnouin.
Some people with specific digestion problems cannot get enough of these enzymes from food alone, so may want to consider taking enzyme supplements.
“If you’re suffering from a chronic bloated feeling, try taking an enzyme supplement around 30 minutes before eating. If the bloating alleviates, you may have an enzyme deficiency,” said Barnouin.
Make sure you drink enough water, as digestion requires water to do its job properly.
Try to drink at least one and a half to two litres a day.
“Chomping down your meals quickly and rushing to the next thing will limit the digestion which starts in your mouth while putting your body into ‘stress mode’,” said Barnouin.
Slow things down a little, take your time to eat your food by chewing slower, and spend some time relaxing after you’ve eaten.
This will aid digestion and lead to better overall health.