A bloated stomach can be both painful and embarrassing. Nutritionist Kate Walker from Lifespark Nutrition shares her top tips to help you beat the bloat and have a flat stomach fast.
What causes a bloated stomach?
Women experience bloating for a number of reasons, including:
- Eating too fast
- Not chewing food properly
- Food intolerances
What food and drink should we avoid?
The biggest culprits are processed or refined carbohydrates that contain sugar. These include biscuits, some crackers, chocolate, sweets, muesli bars, along with sugary dairy products such as sweetened or fruit yoghurt.
Many women also struggle with high starch or gluten containing foods such as pasta and bread.
Some vegetables such as onions, broccoli and cabbage can cause bloating, so be aware what your tummy is telling you and avoid foods that cause gas.
Beverage wise, sugary carbonated drinks can cause gas, while alcohol can cause bloating over time. Too much caffeine can be another culprit for some women.
What foods reduce bloating?
Fresh vegetables and some fruits contain enzymes which help aid digestion - pawpaw, pineapple and kiwifruit are particularly good. Eating 1-2 serves of these fruits per day prior to breakfast can help reduce stomach bloating.
Try eating more fibre from fresh produce, as this means less chance of constipation and ultimately a flatter stomach. The good bacteria in your stomach also loves wholesome carbohydrates like kumara and pumpkin, as well as quinoa.
Balance your gut flora with probiotics (good bacteria) found in plain yoghurt, which will ease bloating or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) symptoms.
Many women find going sugar-free or limiting foods that contain sugar or gluten helps improve bloating or IBS symptoms.
What drinks will help ease a bloated stomach?
Drink more water! Many of us don’t drink enough to help with proper digestion.
The best teas to help reduce bloating are fennel or peppermint. If you struggle with constipation try a cup of Alpine tea.
Aloe vera juice is another beverage that helps reduce bloating. Or try adding a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar or lemon to a cup of warm water.
To contact Kate at Lifespark Nutrition, visit lifespark.co.nz or call 09 973 4806.
Image credits (from the top):Paul Suesse/ bauersyndication.com.au, David Hahn/ bauersyndication.com.au, and final two images by ACP Photographics Staff/ bauersyndication.com.au.