Bloating is an extremely common abdominal problem, and it’s also commonly misunderstood. For some reason, many people associate bloating with water in the abdomen. This may be because while a hard bloated stomach is common, the tummy can also feel squishy and full of liquid when bloated. However, this does not mean that you are sporting 10 pounds of water weight; you are instead more likely to be full of gas. Why is this important? Because the first step to reduce bloating is proper identification of the problem.
Now, you may be tempted to rush out and buy over the counter cures for bloating that can help reduce the bloat and the offending gas. And, this may seem like a great short term solution. However, it’s worthwhile to note that natural remedies for bloating, including dietary changes, can offer long term effects and relief that simply are not achievable by a pill. In fact, a chemical pill may not only simply suppresses the symptoms instead of addressing the root of the issue, but is more likely to cause potential long term side effects that will outweigh the short term benefits. For instance, a combination of avoiding bloat inducing foods, and replacing them with foods that naturally reduce bloating can keep your digestive system in check.
Start by gradually eliminating bloat inducing foods such as fast foods, dairy, gluten (including grains and hidden gluten) and sugar, which, once you learn to read the labels, will appear in many everyday food items, from cereal to supposedly healthy granola bars.
For people who are in fact dealing with fluid retention as opposed to excess flatulence, instead of a pill, consider removing as much table salt from your diet as possible for it is toxic to our bodies, and substitute it for natural unprocessed salts that contain about 84 minerals beneficial for our health. Chemically cleaned table salt is an unnatural chemical form of sodium chloride, which upsets your body’s fluid balance and overwhelms your digestive waste elimination systems. Sodium chloride amounts to 97.5 percent of its total ingredient content, with the other 2.5 percent being comprised of iodine and moisture absorbing chemicals. The excessive 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit heat required to dry out table salts, changes the natural chemical structure of the salt, and aluminum hydroxide that is often added to make table salt easier to pour, as well as other preservatives that are normally not listed on the packaging (due to poor regulations), get deposited into the brain as toxins and contribute to causes of many health problems including Alzheimer’s disease.
Heavy and hot spices and seasonings are not the best substitute however and electing mild options such as basil and mint will not contribute to a poofy pouch by increasing stomach irritation. Fried foods additionally should be avoided (even those prepared in “good fats” or those considered good as part of a detox and cleanse diet like lard). This is particularly useful for women who get bloated during their periods, so make grilled or broiled meals instead.
You may be wondering what there is left to eat if you remove pasta, breads, KFC fried chicken, milk and delicious taste-enhancing sauces? Well, foods that reduce bloating are as close to nature as possible. These include cooked healthy green leafy vegetables, safe digestible grains like quinoa a buckwheat, moderate amounts of protein sources from meats and fish, and healthy “good” fats (non man-made) such as extra virgin coconut and olive oils and organic butter. You will be surprised how many great and original meals you can cook with these!
Antioxidant rich berries are one of the best sweet foods that reduce bloating that are a smart alternative to sugar- filled deserts.
Pill options, strips and medicines may be tempting as short term methods to reduce bloating. Long term relief however, is best left to dietary changes. By minimizing your intake of foods that cause abdominal bloating whether by gas or fluid retention, and increasing your intake of foods that reduce bloating, you are making an investment in your future health by staving off the problem before it arises. Dietary changes can help you see results in as little as a week or two.