Bloating can cause discomfort for many women, whether it's associated with menstruation or as a result of something you ate or drank. Bloating, or distension, is when the stomach feels uncomfortably full and tight, and bulges a little. If you suspect your bloating may be associated with an underlying medical condition, consult a health professional immediately.
If you're hit with a bad case of the bloat, limit your intake of these gas-producing foods to see if it has a positive effect:
Foods with a high water content: These will help prevent constipation and assist your body to function efficiently. Make sure you drink plenty of water as well.
Foods high in fibre: These will help avoid constipation, which is a major cause of bloating. Eat plenty of fruit, veggies, nuts and seeds. Dried fruit like prunes will also help digestion.
Yoghurt: Natural yoghurt that contains "live cultures" and good bacteria are useful in helping aid digestion. Always check the label and look for a product without added sugars and flavours.
Herbal tea: Certain mints like peppermint and spearmint, as well as chamomile and lemongrass, can help relieve abdominal gas and bloating. Pop a few fresh leaves in hot water for a soothing drink, or even include them in your cooking.
Ginger: This spice is believed to relieve bloating and digestion, so incorporate a little into your dinner or sip on a ginger tea. Be careful not to overdo it though. Ginger can also be helpful for nausea, vomiting and motion sickness.
Bananas: This fruit helps digestion and should assist in getting your bowel functions back to normal. Potassium is believed to counteract the effects of sodium (which can be a cause of bloating), and essentially has a diutetic effect on the body.
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