Years ago, I used to get bloated all the time, and as the day went on, my pants got tighter and tighter. When I used to teach, I would hold a book or papers in front of my stomach when I stood up in front of my class. I’m not sure if the students knew why I did that, but it was to hide my bloated belly.
It got so bad that I couldn’t really suck it in effectively, and was very uncomfortable. But now I don’t get bloated unless I eat a food I’m sensitive to, and there are ways you can help with your bloating too.
Lemon Juice in Warm Water
Drinking a glass of warm water with a half of a lemon squeezed in it first thing in the morning helps with digestion and also with bloating. Lemons are detoxifying as they promote urination, which flushes out toxins.
Speaking of water, as I mentioned in a previous post, it’s important to drink enough water every day, but not to drink with meals. Water dilutes the digestive enzymes, so whether it’s plain water, lemon water or another beverage, remember to just sip a little if you must, rather than washing your food down with a big glass of liquids.
Chew Your Food Really Well
Digestion begins in your mouth with digestive enzymes in your saliva. Your parents probably told you to slow down and chew your food well when you were younger, and they were right. Sometimes, if you’re really hungry or have limited time to eat, you might chew a few times and then swallow. Well, the only chance you have to chew your food is when it’s in your mouth. Your stomach doesn’t have teeth!
Take the time to chew until the food becomes a paste. How many times depends on the kind of food it is. You obviously don’t have to chew watermelon as much as you do meat, but you could be chewing up to 30 times before swallowing.
Are You Sensitive?
I'm lactose intolerant and sensitive to cow’s milk. I found this out after eliminating it from my diet for three weeks, and then reintroducing it. I used to drink sugary lattes all the time, and didn’t think I could live without them. Well, after not drinking them or having other dairy products, such as the artificially-sweetened yogurt I used to eat every day, for the three weeks, I had one again (and a small one at that). I could hardly finish the whole thing. I then proceeded to get extremely tired and bloated.
I’ve since switched to a milk alternative, almond milk, and no longer have that problem.
Sometimes we know what we’re sensitive to, and often it’s our favourite foods. But keeping a food log in which you write down what you eat for five to seven days, along with information such as your mood and any symptoms you notice such as fatigue, headaches, bloating, irritability, rashes, joint pain, etc. will be a good guide. You won’t always get immediate reactions, which is why this log will help you connect the dots.
Plant-Based Digestive Enzymes
If you’re still having a problem with bloating, try taking a plant-based digestive enzyme with your meals. You still have to chew properly and not drink with meals (other than a sip to take your enzyme), but you should notice a difference. They will help you break down your food into digestible components. There are many different brands out there, but the New Roots brand is one I like.
These are just a few tips that should help you keep your bloating at bay. I will give you more in a future post.