So you’ve cut out most processed food, maybe even dairy and gluten but why does the bloated feeling still keeps coming back? I struggled with serious bloat throughout my 20’s and I started to notice it and how it impacted my life. Waking up with a flat stomach only to have a belly of a pregnant woman later in the day wasn't much fun. I hated restrictive dress pants because I knew they would be extremely painful once the bloat appeared, especially when sitting in an office chair for hours. Feelings of self-consciousness were real, bloated and big, I avoided tops that clung to my stomach otherwise I would have to walk around trying to suck in the uncomfortable bloat.
It can take more than just eliminated problematic foods before digestion can return back to a normal healthy process. It might have taken years to get to this unbalanced state so reversing those pesky symptoms overnight is unlikely.
Bloated stomach remedies
Here are three quick ideas to get you started, these are general enough to be of use to anyone. But please note that someone exhibiting the exact same symptoms as you might be dealing with a completely different imbalance which is why working with a trusted practitioner is key.
Eat in a relaxed state
I wrote about it in this blog post (how we eat) but eating in a relaxed state is key for optimal digestion. Inhaling our food with no time to taste or chew is a sure fire way to get indigestion and bloating. Digestion starts with us smelling and tasting our food, letting saliva mix with it while we chew thoroughly without rushing or doing another activity at the same time. Take deep breaths and enjoy your meal.
Apple Cider Vinegar
I’m throwing out a pretty general statement but most people are lacking in stomach acid. This is a pretty common way to end up with bloat, having enough digestive acid kicks of many reactions further in the GI tract, like the release of bile and enzymes that help digest your food, undigested food can ferment in the gut and create painful gas and bloating. Drinking a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a bit of water before meals can stimulate the release of acid in the stomach. It’s also great for providing relief if bloat or an unhappy stomach has already struck. This is the Bragg ACV I always buy, but there are plenty of other good options out there.
Drink water away from meals. Gulping down a big glass of water with meals can dilute your stomach acid, and as I said above, low stomach acid can lead to indigestion and bloating. Staying hydrated is key for digestion but not with meals, sip on pure clean water throughout the day, between meals. For more information on water for digestion, check out this post. (water for digestion)
Bonus: Avoid trigger foods
If bloating persists keep a food journal about what you ate and after which meals you felt bloated, had stomach cramps or indigestion. Also, keep note of quantities and frequency. I don’t have issues with eating gluten but if I’m on holiday and had pasta and bread several days in a row painful bloat can strike. I also know eating more than a small quantity of nuts, beans and lentils can also affect me. Find out what the trigger foods are for you and see if frequency or quantity make a difference, or you might need to avoid those foods altogether.