Bloating can get the best of us and it can be frustrating to deal with. There can be two types of bloat – water retention bloat and/or bloat from digestive issues. Here are some tips to help you beat the bloat!
1) Drink lemon cucumber water first thing in the morning
Lemon and cucumber are alkalizing and can help with digestion. Having a large glass first thing after you wake up can help detox your body, give you energy for the day and prevent bloating.
2) Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar contains probiotics, enzymes and acetic acid, which can help kill off ‘bad’ bacteria. Having a shot of apple cider vinegar can aid digestion and boost your immune system.
3) Digestive enzymes
Taking a digestive enzyme supplement can help if you are someone with a weaker system. They can especially help if you are having foods that are harder to digest, like a lot of protein. Since they help breakdown the food more, your body can absorb the nutrients easier and you may feel more energized after your meals.
4) Drink pure aloe Vera
Pure aloe vera can help reduce inflammation and heal the inner lining of the digestive tract. It also contains healthy bacteria that can help with digestion. Make sure to drink the pure unsweetened kind for maximum benefits!
Probiotics are important for a healthy gut and boosting the immune system. Certain things can kill off the probiotics in your body, including eating too much sugar, having too much stress or certain chemicals and medications. To ensure that you have a healthy amount of probiotics, you can take a supplement or consume foods with probiotics. My favourite way to get probiotics is to eat coconut yogurt or have fermented food or drinks like sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha.
6) Drink water consistently
Drinking water consistently throughout the day can ensure that your body functions optimally. Our bodies are smart and created to help us survive, so if we withhold water for long periods of time, it may actually lead to more water retention because our body doesn’t know when it will be hydrated next. Keep your water intake consistent, instead of gulping down huge amounts at once.
7) Practice self-care + manage stress
Too much stress (mental or physical) can lead to water retention in the body. Remember to set aside time to take care of yourself and rest. Look at the different areas of your life and see where you can decrease your stress levels. Maybe it can be changing your mindset or changing your habits. It may not be easy, but can be worth it for your body in the long run!
8) Watch fibre intake
The recommended daily fibre intake for women is 25g and for men, 38g. It’s important to get enough fibre to help your digestion system run smoothly, but careful not to overload on fibre either because that can also lead to bloating and digestive issues. Each person is different and depending on your digestive system, some people may be able to handle more fibre than others. Experiment with your body and pay attention to how you react with your fibre intake.
9) Pay attention to sodium intake
It’s important to get enough sodium to regulate our fluid balance and help our muscles and nerves function. However, having too much sodium can lead to water retention bloat and other health issues. The recommended daily sodium intake is around 2,300mg. Someone who lives in a hot climate and sweats a lot or who is an intense athlete may need more sodium, someone who lives in a colder climate or isn’t very active may need less. It’s best to keep your sodium intake consistent. If you have a higher sodium meal one day, you may experience water retention. Don’t worry too much, keep drinking water and after a few days of getting back to your regular routine your body will get rid of the excess water.
10) Be aware that carbs hang onto water
Every gram of glycogen hangs onto about 3 grams of water. This does not mean that carbs are bad, because it is essential to consume carbs. However, being aware of this means that if you just had a higher carb meal your body may hang onto more water. No need to freak out, just continue to drink lots of water and after you get back to your regular routine your body will balance out.
11) Sweat it out
Getting a good sweat session can help your body get rid of excess water. Go smash out a sweaty workout, go to a sauna or take a hot Epsom salt bath to sweat it out!
12) Drink tea
Different teas can help with your digestion – some good options are ginger tea, peppermint tea, chamomile tea, dandelion tea or green tea.
13) Find out about food sensitivities and intolerances
Sometimes we can have foods sensitivities without knowing it. Pay attention to how your body reacts after eating certain foods. You can also seek help from a naturopath or other professional to test for sensitivities if you think you have any. Being aware of these sensitivities or intolerances can help you make better food choices for your body and prevent digestive issues.
14) Be aware of food combinations
Different foods digest at different rates. Carbs digest the quickest; proteins take longer than carbs to digest and fats take the longest to digest. If you are someone with a weaker digestive system, combining fast digesting foods with slower digesting foods can lead to a traffic jam in your digestive system and cause bloating. For example, it’s best not to combine a lot of carbs with a lot of fats in one meal or meals close together as that can lead to bloating. This isn’t a strict rule and can depend on the strength of your digestive system.
Certain stretches can help with your digestive system and ease the bloat. Whenever I feel extremely bloated and uncomfortable, my go-to stretch is the child’s pose. I find that this helps elevate some of the pain and gas from my stomach. Click here for some different stretches to help with digestion and bloating.
16) Get Quality Sleep
Not enough sleep can lead to raised cortisol levels and increased stress on your body. Too much stress can lead to water retention as previously mentioned. Do your best to keep a consistent sleep schedule. Click here for some tips to help you get better sleep.