Saturday, 8 December 2012

It's holiday season, want to look fab? BEAT THE BELLY BLOAT!

It's the holiday season , and we all want to look our best, However a bloated tummy can definitely leave us feeling unattractive and wanting to stay home!


If your stomach or tummy often feels bloated, it could be due to:
excess wind
swallowing air (from talking while eating etc)
food intolerance
irritable bowel syndrome
Try some of these tips, refering to bloating, not belly fat!

Raw foods -Steam your vegetables. If you eat them raw, they occupy more room in your intestines, which causes bloating. Eat only cooked vegetables and smaller portions of unsweetened dried fruit


Try probiotics -
Sometimes bloating can be caused by an imbalance of the bacteria in your intestines, probiotics supplements contain “good bacteria” that can promote regularity and minimize bloating.

Gassy foods –
If you’re not used to eating certain high fiber and gassy foods, they can cause bloating; your body could possibly adapt after eating them regularly. Gassy foods include: Beans, onions, cabbage, sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, pepper, legumes and citrus fruits. Make sure you still eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

Spicy foods -Don’t completely avoid these foods, just cut back if you want to decrease bloating for an occasion or an event. Spicy foods can stimulate the release of stomach acid, which could cause irritation in your stomach, which can lead to bloating. These include: Chili powder, hot sauces, onion, garlic, mustard, black pepper, horseradish, vinegar, tomato sauce, barbecue sauce and nutmeg.

Drink more water –Drinking lots of water will cause you to excrete more water, which in turn, reduces water retention. Drink around 2 liters a day.

Constipation -Everyone knows that constipation causes bloating. Ensure you exercise; even a 20-30 minute power walk four times a week can improve your bowel function. Eat a high fiber diet and drink plenty of fluids to prevent constipation.

Salt -Avoid adding extra salt, salt-based seasonings, and stay away from processed/packaged foods because they are extremely high in sodium. Sodium leads to water retention, which contributes to a feeling slugglish, a puffy appearance, and extra water weight; as well as contributing to medical conditions, such as high blood pressure.

Carbohydrates -Your muscles store excess carbohydrate as glycogen. Every gram of glycogen is stored with about 3 grams of water. But unless you’re running a marathon tomorrow, you don’t need all this extra fuel. If you decrease your carbohydrate intake temporarily, your body will resort to burning this stored glycogen for energy, which conveniently drains the associated excess stored water.

Smaller meals -Split your meals into 5-6 smaller ones and eat around every 2-3 hours. Eating a large portion until you are full will make your belly appear bloated.

Chew your food -Thoroughly chew your food to felicitate digestion. Eating quickly will cause you to swallow air, which leads to bloating. Don’t talk and eat at the same time, sit down to eat (sitting upright and not slumped over), stop chewing gum and chew with your mouth closed so that you’re not taking in excess air.

Chewing gum -
when you chew gum, you swallow air which causes pressure, bloating, and belly expansion.

Do not use a straw -As it will cause you to inhale excess air, which will make your belly appear bloated.

Other things to avoid-Dairy - Check for lactose intolerance.
Carbonated drinks - Where do you think those bubbles go?
Alcohol and fried foods.
Artificial sweeteners - Sugar alcohols cause gas.
Gluten - If you have gluten intolerance.

Try these-
Exercise - Helps to keep food moving though your digestive system.
Peppermint tea - Can help reduce gas.
Dandelion tea/supplements - A diuretic, it can help get rid of excess fluid.
Bananas and avocados - Are rich in potassium. Potassium helps to flush out excess sodium from your system, which helps reduce water retention.
Asparagus - A diuretic, which helps flush out the excess water, it can also make you urine smell a bit, but don’t worry about that.
Herbs that help to soothe the digestive tract and relieve gas are known as carminatives. Ginger is a particularly effective carminative, helping to alleviate gas, bloating and cramps

If your bloating problem persists, consult your doctor, they can rule out other underlying medical conditions such as, irritable bowl syndrome or food intolerance.


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