This time of year when everyone is eating more than usual, bloating can become a problem. Although our digestive system naturally produces gas when pulling all those calories out of our meals, sometimes the gas builds-up in the stomach, instead of being released through flatulence. That can create a very uncomfortable feeling. So, what causes bloating and what can you do to stop it? Here are 5 tips to reduce bloating.
1. Small portions help
Okay, eating small portions during the holidays is advice falling on deaf ears for sure. Everyone eats as much as they can, all at once this time of year. It is tradition, part of being an American. In fact, if you don’t feel bloated this time of year at least 3-5 times, your patriotism may be in question.
When we eat a lot at once the digestive system gets overloaded. This can create gas build-up and feelings of being bloated. As we all know by now, eating much, much smaller portions, more frequently throughout the day is the ideal routine to get into. Good luck with that.
2. No candy for you!
There are about a million reasons to simply not to eat candy or chew gum. Chewing gum makes you swallow more air than your body was designed for, and this can create bloating. In addition to that, sugar-free gum and candy contain incredibly high-amounts of artificial sweeteners. Your body has a hard time with all of that. The system simply becomes overloaded because artificial sweeteners are digested much more slowly than natural sugars. Just don’t chew gum or eat candy. That is the lesson here.
3. Take your time when eating
Every day is a busy day for most of us. Even without the holiday rush we tend to eat on the run. Not a good idea. Eating on the run makes us swallow more air. That air builds-up and helps make gas in the stomach. Simply take an extra 10 minutes to eat can make a big difference.
4. Chew more
This tip for reducing bloating is rarely mentioned. The first step in the digestive process is chewing. Chewing breaks down the food into smaller and more manageable units, both mechanically with the teeth and chemically with certain elements in our saliva. Most of us simply do not chew our food enough, and this can lead to poor digestion and bloating.
Food is to be enjoyed. That’s why those taste buds are there. Let them have fun. Chew more.
5. Steam your veggies
Our final tip for reducing bloating is to steam your veggies. Raw veggies are super nutritious, but take extra time to digest. As an alternative, try steaming your veggies. The heat helps break down the starches and natural sugars without killing all the good stuff. Plus, steamed veggies taste better.
See your Doctor
Everyone feels bloated from time to time. But if bloating occurs frequently it can become disruptive to one’s life, or may be a sign of an underlying medical issue. There are a variety of more serious medical conditions that are related to bloating. Best thing to do if you experience bloating frequently, is to go see your doctor. The doctor knows best.