How to beat the bloat!

1.       What causes stomach bloating in women?

Stomach bloating in women can be causes by a number of reasons. Sometimes we eat too fast and don’t chew our food properly or we talk while eating and engulf air. Other reasons include eating while in an emotional or stressed state where you digestive system doesn’t function properly due to your body thinking it is ‘under attack’ while stressed. Many women suffer from constipation and this can lead to bloating, pain or discomfort and flatulence or if we have an overgrowth of bacteria in our bowel causing excessive flatulence. Food intolerances can also causes stomach and bowel upsets and lead to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) which can ultimately lead to leaky gut syndrome.

2.       What foods and drink cause stomach bloating?

The biggest culprits that cause bloating is processed or refined carbohydrates such as sugar and everything that contains sugar e.g. biscuits, some crackers, chocolate, sweets, muesli bars, along with sugary dairy products such as sweetened or fruit yoghurt. High starchy or gluten containing foods such as pasta or bread is one many women struggle with.
Sugary carbonated drinks can cause gas to due carbonation and alcohol is damaging on our stomach lining so can also cause bloating over time. Too much caffeine is another culprit that some may find causes bloating.

3.       What foods should we eat that will help reduce and get rid of stomach bloating?

Best foods to eat overall would be fresh foods, such as vegetables and some fruits. Fresh produce contain enzymes which aid with digestion in particular paw paw, pineapple and kiwifruit. Having 1-2 serves of these fruits per day prior to breakfast can really help. Eating more fibre from fresh produce means less chance of constipation and ultimately a flatter stomach. Balancing our gut flora with probiotics (good bacteria) from plain yoghurt can ease bloating or IBS symptoms.

4.       Are there any herbal teas and other drinks that you recommend drinking to help ease a bloated stomach?

Best teas would be fennel or peppermint tea to help reduce bloating. MORE WATER! Many of us don’t drink enough water to help with proper digestion. Aloe vera juice is also very good at reducing bloating or a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar or lemon in warm water.
Alpine Tea is also very good to relieve constipation.

5.       Are there any supplements you recommend taking to help with stomach bloating?

Probiotics are very important if you have on going stomach bloating issues but is also great to ease symptoms straight away. Capsule form contains a higher bacterial count than yoghurt therefore more helpful to ease bloating straight away. Yoghurt is a good maintenance product. Try to find a probiotic with the anti inflammatory bacteria strain Lactobacillus Plantarum 299V, research shows this is the best strain to relieve an inflamed stomach/ bowel. Also a digestive aid tablet full of extra enzymes can help to help break down food too.

6.       Extra tips on this topic...

 Many women find that going sugar free or limiting the foods that contain sugar or gluten find an improvement in their bloating or IBS symptoms.

Your good bacteria love whole carbohydrates like vegetables, kumara, pumpkin, fruit, quinoa so add more of these to your diet instead of refined or processed foods. 

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