Holistic nutritionist with My Edible Advice, Jennifer Trecartin, B.Sc., R.H.N., explains that bloating can be caused by a number of factors:
As you can see, you can feel bloated for a variety of reasons. Fortunately this uncomfortable symptom can often be improved with a few simple changes, but if bloating is a chronic issue, Trecartin advises consulting your doctor to rule out more serious conditions, such as Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and celiac disease. If the problem isn't a more serious issue and you're simply feeling a bit on the bloated side, Trecartin has some great food and beverage suggestions to help you out:
Fermented cabbage, otherwise known as sauerkraut, is rich in probiotics that support a healthy intestinal tract.
Herbal teas with clove, peppermint, camomile and fennel have anti-inflammatory and gut-soothing properties to help relieve bloating.
Papayas are rich in an enzyme called papain, which aids in digestion. Cube up this tasty fruit, and enjoy it as a refreshing snack or light dessert. And don't forget the seeds — they're good for you too!
This gluten-free grain has been used for centuries to soothe digestion ailments, including bloating. Plus it's rich in magnesium, a mineral needed to combat cramping. Whip it up as a tasty side dish, or use it as a base instead of your usual pasta or rice.
This fresh and unique-tasting vinegar helps to increase stomach acid, which aids in digestion.
Hydration is extremely important when attempting to improve your health and eliminate bloating, so aim to consume eight to 10 glasses of water a day.
Bloating is a form of inflammation in the intestines, and ginger can help alleviate it. Try drinking a ginger tea, or add a tablespoon or two of shredded ginger to your evening stir-fry.
Although what you eat is important, when attempting to eliminate symptoms of bloating, what you avoid eating can be equally important. At her practice, Trecartin has found that some of the most common foods that lead to bloating include gluten, dairy, corn and bell peppers. To find out if food intolerance is contributing to your bloating, Trecartin recommends getting tested or following an elimination diet plan. But if it's just "that time of the month" or your body is having a tough day, a few nutritious foods can go a long way.
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