None of us likes the feeling of a bloated tummy! Unfortunately, most women, especially those experiencing severe PMS, are familiar with an unpleasant feeling of having a bloated stomach. It feels like you have a balloon in your stomach that’s weighing you down. Bloating can be a nightmare for many.
Most of the time bloating is a result of improper eating habits. Certain people are more susceptible to it due to hormonal imbalance (like with PCOS) or due to weak digestion, but it is preventable if one follows some eating guidelines.
What Causes Bloating?
The most common causes of stomach bloating are listed below:
- Certain foods which produce gas
- Travelling – No movement
- A change in your diet or not eating for too long
- Certain medications such as antacids, aspirin and opioid painkillers
- Lactose intolerance
- Multivitamin and iron supplements
- Any underlying medical condition like IBS, gastritis, cancer, or premenstrual syndrome
- Drink a cup of hot water first thing in the morning. When we wake up in the morning, our digestive fire is naturally low. Hot water gives this Agni a jumpstart, both preparing it for food and stimulating the bowels. Take this remedy on board every day; not only when you’re feeling bloated or gassy.
- Eat only when you are actually.
- Allow your previous meal to get digested before eating the next meal.
- While eating, chew well and don’t talk while chewing. Do not eat and talk at the same time.
- Avoid eating fruits after a meal. It will be gas forming and cause bloating. Instead, eat them before meals.
- Use digestion stimulating spices when making your food. Try black pepper, asafetida, ginger, and cumin.
- Regularly take probiotics, especially if you are on antibiotics.
- Pay attention how your body reacts to dairy and wheat/flour products. If you feel bloated after consuming them, you might have to reduce its intake or remove them completely from your diet.
- Avoid drinking anything cold while eating.
- Avoid drinking anything 30 min after the meal. It will dilute digestive juices and will make it harder to digest the food.
- Reduce your salt intake.
- Get Aromatherapy. Bloating is more likely to appear if you are anxious, stressed, or worried. It is all due to Vata imbalance. Any Vata balancing essential oil will help. Try peppermint, orange, rose, cinnamon, and basil.
- Avoid gas-producing foods: Potatoes, Cabbage, cauliflower, peas, broccoli, Brussels sprouts. Ladyfinger, beans, radish etc. are the foods most likely to produce gas. If you’re having issues, try cutting them out of your diet, and then reintroducing them one at a time.
Remedies to Reduce Bloating:
- Chew a slice of ginger with lime juice or lemon 20-30 minutes before a meal
- Chew on a few fennel seeds or sip a hot fennel and mint tea. A traditional dose of fennel tea is about two to three cups daily to reduce bloating
- Five minutes of deep abdominal breathing also helps to reduce bloating. Lay on your left side and breathe deeply
- Go for a brisk walk for 30 minutes when you feel bloated. It helps to increase blood circulation since your heart will be beating faster and release gas
- Do a child’s pose, wind-relieving pose also known as supta vajrasana, it is digestion-stimulating gas-relieving asana
- Avoid drinking and smoking
Abdominal bloating is not of much concern in most of the cases. But in few cases, stomach bloating can have severe side effects on your health and can even be a symptom of a more serious underlying medical condition. So if you often experience stomach bloating do check with your Health Practitioner to know about the root cause.