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Gut health: This is why you keep bloating

July 25th, 2023 3 min read

Ah, bloating, the uncomfortable, seemingly never-ending sensation that leaves you feeling puffed up like a balloon. We’ve all experienced it at some point, and it’s far from enjoyable. But have you ever wondered why you keep bloating, despite your best efforts to avoid it? 

Well, here are some helpful, well-known, and deeply researched reasons why you could be bloating excessively, and some tips on how you could overcome this daunting yet uncomfortable feeling. 

Indulging in gas-inducing foods – Picture this. You savor a delicious meal loaded with onions, beans, sukuma, and a soda, only to find yourself bloated and gassy later. These gas-inducing foods are high in certain carbohydrates, which can ferment in your gut, producing excess gas. To tackle this issue, try minimizing your intake of gas-forming foods and opt for a balanced diet rich in fiber, lean proteins, and healthy fats.

Swallowing excess air – We don’t always realize it, but we often swallow air while eating or drinking. Chewing gum, drinking through straws, or talking while eating can all contribute to this problem. The trapped air accumulates in our digestive system, leading to bloating and discomfort. To prevent this, slow down your eating pace, avoid gum, and drink directly from a glass.

Eating too quickly – We’re accustomed to rushing through meals every now and then, if not more often than not. However, eating too quickly can lead to bloating. When we eat too fast, we tend to swallow more air, and our body doesn’t have enough time to signal when it’s full. The key here is to savor your food, chew slowly, and enjoy the experience. Not only will it help prevent bloating, but it will also promote better digestion.

Overdoing high-fiber foods – While fiber is crucial for a healthy digestive system, consuming excessive amounts of it can also cause bloating. High-fiber foods can be tough to break down, especially if your body isn’t used to them. Gradually introduce fiber-rich foods into your diet and drink plenty of water to aid digestion.

Stress and anxiety – The mind-gut connection is powerful, and stress and anxiety can wreak havoc on our digestive system. When we’re stressed, our body goes into “fight or flight” mode, diverting resources away from digestion. This can slow down the digestive process and lead to bloating. Practice stress-reduction techniques like meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises to alleviate bloating caused by stress.

Food intolerances and sensitivities – Food intolerances or sensitivities are more common than you might think. Lactose and gluten are two notorious culprits. If your body has trouble breaking down certain foods, it can lead to bloating, gas, and discomfort. Consider keeping a food diary to identify any potential triggers and consult a healthcare professional to get a proper diagnosis.

Dehydration – Surprisingly, not drinking enough water can contribute to bloating. When the body is dehydrated, it tends to retain water to prevent further fluid loss. This can result in a bloated feeling. Ensure you stay hydrated throughout the day to promote healthy digestion and reduce bloating.

Bloating might seem like an unavoidable nuisance, but armed with knowledge and a few lifestyle adjustments, you can take control of it. Be mindful of the foods you eat, your eating habits, and the impact of stress on your digestive system. Remember that everyone’s body is unique, and what causes bloating in one person may not affect another. By paying attention to your body’s cues and making necessary changes, you can bid farewell to bloating and embrace a more comfortable and vibrant life!

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