Bloating is when your stomach feels swollen after eating. It is caused by excessive production of gas or certain disturbances in the movement in the muscles of the digestive system. Not only it makes your stomach look bigger than it actually is, bloating can often cause pain and discomfort.
While the terms water retention and bloating are often used interchangeably, these are two different things. Simply explained, bloating involves excessive amounts of gas or solids in the digestive system.
There are various factors which may contribute to your bloating. The good news is that most of them are common and easy to fix naturally. Here are the top 7 habits that are hurting your gut:
Carbonation is the soda in air being swallowed in the belly. If digestion is already having a difficult time, the air is going to get trapped and cause bloating.
The solution: Avoid sugary drinks, carbonated drinks, and sodas. Drink plenty of water instead, as well as green juices and herbal tea.
If you aren’t drinking enough water, the body will hold on to water you drink and cause that heavy feeling.
The solution: Drink 8-10 glasses of water daily, more if you are active. Drink throughout the day, instead of drinking two or three glasses at once after not drinking for an extended period of time. Carrying a water bottle does help a lot.
- Not Eating Enough Fiber
When you are lacking fiber in your diet, things will move more slowly through the digestive tract, making it more difficult for the air to escape.
The solution: Eat plenty of fiber-rich foods, such as whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, greens, and veggies.
- Artificial Sweeteners
Artificially sweetened foods and drinks contain sugar alcohol which causes bloating in most people. More importantly, the consumption of artificial sweeteners causes inflammation in the gut, leading to digestive issues galore.
The solution: Avoid processed foods and stick to foods in the natural state. For sweeteners, opt for coconut sugar, honey, and maple syrup.
- Lack of Probiotics
Many people consume fermented foods with their meals, which improves digestion and reduces the symptoms of digestive discomfort and bloating.
The solution: Take daily probiotics supplements and eat probiotic-rich foods like kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut, and kombucha.
- Excess Sodium Intake
Eating too many foods which come out of a box or bag contributes to people eating TON of table salt.
The solution: Avoid eating more than 1,500 – 2,000 mg of sodium daily. Eliminate processed foods and don’t over-salt your meals.
- Digestive Disorders
Constant bloating may indicate a more serious issue going on in the gut. If you feel like you are eating healthy, but still experiencing bloating, you might be dealing with problems like SIBO or IBS.
The solution: Consult your doctor and get tested for any of these problems so that you can address them on time.