One of the most common concerns I see online (or in public) is bloat. It seems that legit everyone is experiencing this or has fear around it. It is normal to feel bloat when increasing calories or eating something your body has never had; however, if you are bloated after every meal every day, that’s a red flag! These 10 tips to reduce bloating can be a possible solution for you!
Everyone has been experienced by pretty much everyone.
However, what exactly is bloating?
There can be other influences on how much you bloat, for how long, and so on. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it can influence other aspects of your health. It can have changes in your bowels, fatigue, brain fog, and inflammation.
However, I have some hacks for you to reduce your bloat that will change the game for you!
10 Things You Can Do Now to Reduce Bloating
You don’t have to do all of these. Some may work for you, while others may not. I recommend trying must, if not all, of them to see what reduces your bloat!
Chew Your Food
I am going to repeat this for those in the back, “CHEW YOUR FOOD”! This is so incredibly important as digestion starts in the mouth. I know you’ve probably read this tip over and over. But it is essential.
By chewing your food, your stomach can prepare for the food to come. This is also important for your pancreas and gallbladder to release enzymes to break down the food. In your saliva, you have the enzyme Amylase to start breaking down any carbohydrates.
The goal is to chew between 20-40 times per bite. Yes, you read that right, 20-40 times. I will not lie if you like to inhale your food (like the old Sara B), and your jaw may get sore. However, just like with any muscles, it’ll get stronger.
Your food should be like a liquid by the time you swallow. Even with smoothies, chew a bite to get the digestive system primed!
Save The Drinks for Before and After a Meal
By drinking liquids while you eat can hinder your digestion. The reason is that often we drink and eat; we don’t fully chew our food. This opens the door to chunks of food to go through without being chewed.
It also influences the pH of the stomach by reducing stomach acid when we need it. Our stomach is responsible for chemical (stomach acid) and mechanical (stomach contractions) breakdown. Therefore, if we reduce our stomach acid, then foods can go to the small intestines not fully broken down.
This puts more work on the small intestines to breakdown food rather than absorbing the nutrients. Aim to stop drinking 10-15-minutes before and 15-30-minutes after a meal. If you must take a drink, take small sips!
Depleted Digestive Enzymes
Multiple different things can cause this. However, if you don’t have enough, it can slow down digestion. It can also cause food not to be broken down as effectively. There are 3 key digestive enzymes:
- Amylase – Responsible for breaking down carbohydrates (i.e., pasta, GF bread, sweet potatoes)
- Proteolytic – Responsible for breaking down proteins (i.e., poultry, beef, eggs)
- Lipases – Responsible for breaking down fats (i.e., avocados, olive oil, coconut butter)
If one or more of these are depleted, it will hinder how they are used in the body. It can cause bloat by undigested food moving through the system. What can cause this is due to restricting a specific macronutrient.
Quick mini-story, but when I was younger, I demonized fats. This was throughout high school and some of college. What my body did in response is to reduce my lipase enzymes as I was barely eating fats. So when I started my body, I didn’t know what to do.
Too Much Fiber
When switching to the paleo diet, it can be easy to overdo it on the fiber. Especially the insoluble fiber as it is not broken down in the body. The purpose of insoluble fiber is to help your poop travel out of the body.
However, too much of anything can be detrimental. The goal is to consume 25-30g of fiber per day. If your plate is hefty on vegetables, fruits, nuts, and legumes, you maybe be overdoing it with the fiber.
Try to play around with your fiber intake to see what works for you. Soluble fibers tend to be easier to digest as it is absorbable in water. Source: Here
Chill with The Cruciferous Vegetables
Out of all of the vegetables, cruciferous veggies tend to cause lots of bloats. This is due to the high amounts of sulfur in them. Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, baby broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, etc.
This is also a high fodmap food, which can also be causing you bloating! There are somethings you can do to make them easier for digestion.
The first is always to cook them! You can cook them in so many different ways. I personally love roasting them or throwing them in an air fryer. This can help to reduce their goitrogenic effects, which can affect our thyroid.
The second is to play around with serving sizes. You may be great with 1/2 cup of broccoli, but you destroyed with 1 cup. It is a lot of playing around with your intake! Source: Here
Chugging Your Water
By drinking water way too fast can cause some bloating. This is due to the sudden volume increase in the stomach. But you also swallow lots of air as well.
It is better to sip your water or to digest smaller amounts. This is also very important for carbonated beverages as well! Adding some lemon or apple cider vinegar to your water can prime the body/help with digestion too!
Eating too Many Processed Foods
There are so many different concerns about processed foods. However, artificial sweeteners can cause lots of digestive issues. These types of sweeteners are very processed and non-nutritive. This essentially means we get no benefits from them.
Some common sweeteners are stevia, erythritol, sucrose, allulose, etc. Companies put these into your food to make them better tasting and addicting. They are often way sweeter than regular sugar.
Another concern with processed food is thickeners and binders. These also have no nutritional benefit and often trigger inflammation in the body. Since we aren’t meant to consume these types of food, our bodies struggle to digest them. I’d recommend reading ingredient labels and sticking to whole foods.
Switch the Raw Vegetables and Fruits for Cooked
Eating raw produce can be too overwhelming for the body. Cold foods can cause issues for some people. Roasting your vegetables and fruits helps to break them down a bit. They are often softeners and easier to chew.
I find the same goes for fruits, depending on your gut. Some fruits I love to roast are apples, pears, peaches, pineapple, and so on. I’ve got two delicious recipes on Instagram that make perfect snacks too.
Too Many Nut Based Foods
This is especially apparent in the paleo community. A lot of baked goods are made with nut flours. The same also goes for non-dairy cheeses, which often use cashews. Also, I mean, who isn’t in love with at least one type of nut butter?
Nuts, in general, are just harder to digest. This is often due to phytic acid, which can make it harder to digest. By buying sprouted nuts helps to remove the anti-nutrients. You can also do this at home by soaking and dehydrating for specific times. You can learn more here about it!
There is an Underlining Digestive Issue
More often times than there is some type of digestive dysbiosis or infection. Some common ones are:
- Leaky Gut
- H. Pylori
- Food Allergies/Sensitivities
- Autoimmune Disease
This is the only tip I require that you get some stool test done. Especially if you have other digestive symptoms with the bloating, this will solve your bloating rather than putting band-aids on it.
The types above can be great for the healing process, any die-off symptoms, etc. Many tests can be purchased from DirectLabs, but I recommend a practitioner go over them with you. This will ensure you get the right protocol to solve your infection.
I truly hope this helps you tame the beast that is your bloating. I’d love it if you’d share this with others who are also struggling. Thank youu so much for reading!
**This information is not meant as medical or nutritional advice. Always check with your qualified healthcare professional before incorporating new supplements or nutritional changes into your routine. A Primal Health Coach (PHC) is trained to evaluate nutritional needs and make recommendations for dietary changes and nutritional supplements. A PHC is unable to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease or medical condition. I cannot guarantee any specific result from recommendations as we are all bio-individually different. If you are under the care of a healthcare provider, it is important that you contact them and alert them to any changes in your lifestyle in regards to nutrition and supplements. A health coach may be a beneficial addition to more traditional care, and it may also alter your need for medication, so it is important you always keep your physician informed of changes in your nutritional program.