Bloating is something I feel everyone deals with. It happens when we eat too much, too little, eating something our stomachs don`t agree with, etc. I personally have had my very fair share of dealing with uncomfortable bloat and I know I am not alone and that is why I am sharing some wonderful things that have significantly helped me beat the BLOAT!
Now before I go into this- I am no professional and I am simply just sharing personal experiences and what I have gained from them.
Okay, that being said, straight to the point! Below you will find 5 things that I have found contribute to bloat, AS WELL as tips to fixing/ helping with it! Our bodies our way more inflamed than most people think due to our diets and health practices (or lack of) and reducing bloat helps reduce inflammation!
NUMBER 1: FOOD ALLERGIES/INTOLERANCE
This one seems pretty much like common sense. Of course people are allergic to all sorts of things. However, a lot of people do not realize that even as an adult you can gain an allergy to food or be dealing with an allergy unknowingly. Common symptoms of food allergies can start with (you guessed it) bloating and swelling. I have had Celiac disease since the age 11 and recently found that (age 19) dairy was making me extremely uncomfortable and the bloat I suffer from if I consume them is unreal and extremely painful. SO- listen to your body people!
If you find yourself dealing with weird symptoms you are not use to, I suggest writing down when you start to feel bad and what you ate that day. Write down foods that make you feel really good and foods that make you feel heavy, overly full, fatigued, etc. If you notice a pattern in a specific food, try slowly consuming less of it or quit cold turkey! Note the results and listen to what you`re body is telling you. If it makes you feel better- go for it. Just make sure if you do this, you still find a way to get the nutrients else where!
NUMBER 2: CARRAGEENAN
Carra WHAT? Lol, I know. This is a VERY common ingredient used in our foods that no one even knows about. I, however, am obsessed with knowing the ingredients in my food and this little sucker kept appearing in so many of my foods that I found were increasingly causing me to bloat. Carrageenan is a food additive derived from seaweed and used as a emulsifier and thickener in so many of our foods. I discovered this by following my tip from #1 and writing down foods and then finding the common ingredient, and what was it? Carrageenan. It is in Starbucks coconut milk, vegan cheeses, regular cheese, ice cream, yogurts, SO many foods! I did some extensive research on this and learned way too much but hey, I feel a ton better ever since I cut down on my intake.
This link here does a little more in depth explanation: Is Carrageenan Safe? This has actually been found to be a leading cause of bloat across America and I highly suggest looking into it if you cannot find why you are having stomach issues. I also suggest cutting back on the intake and seeing how you feel!
NUMBER 3: COFFEE + HYDRATION
Homegirl/boy we all love our lattes and trust me when I say coffee makes me feel some type of way. BUT coffee sadly does not love our bodies back! Coffee is highly acidic to our bodies and acidity is not what we want. It is also something our bodies begin to heavily rely on if consumed in a large moderation daily. The high levels of acidity and dependence can lead us to feeling dehydrated and groggy, and contrary to popular belief dehydration can, yes, cause bloating. Your body tries to level itself out by retaining as much water possible (water retention) just the same as if you have too much salt in your body. Basically it makes you feel puffy if you have too much.
For this, I suggest just limiting your intake! I use to be able to down 2-3 cups daily but now I try to only do 2-3 cups weekly and I have definitely felt the difference. Not only does my body feel less puffy but I also have way, way better energy levels. Try drinking tea, hot water with lemon or a liter of water before or in place of drinking coffee! Tea has a ton of health benefits (omg), lemon water is great on an empty stomach to help “wake up” and hydrate your organs and a liter of water allows you to get in some hydration before drinking an acidic drink.
NUMBER 4: SALT/ SODIUM
Bringing me to my next point.. salt. Sodium is yet another thing that really makes us retain water and make us super puffy. I personally am a total salt/ crazy hot sauce lover so this is something I have to sacrifice sometimes if I am not feeling too great, but it seriously works to cut back on it. (My testimony= I can down a full size bag of Takis in one day and the next day I seriously wake up SO swollen, even my face is noticeably puffed up…) Things like hot sauce and spicy chips can relate to this form of bloating.
LUCKILY, this only takes a day or a few days to go down and it is simple to recover from. If you do find yourself downing a whole bottle of hot sauce 😉 just try reducing the amount of added salts, sauces, dressings, popcorn and instead replace flavors with low sodium things like ground spices. aaaaand HYDRATE!
NUMBER 5: SLOW/ POOR DIGESTION
If you have read any of my previous blogs, you know that I eat a ton of fiber and stress about how more people should! A slow or poor digestive system can leave you feeling heavy, large and built up when you do not need to be and this CAN be helped! A ton of people lack fiber in their diet and fiber directly contributes to the flow of your digestive system.
This again is an easy fix! Just start incorporating more fiber into your diet. I have tons of recipes with fiber rich foods and more to come as well. My go-to fiber rich foods include dates, chia seeds and dark leafy greens with tons of veggies. If you are not a fan of chia seeds you can try incorporating them into your everyday foods like My Chia Seed Jam !
Major TIP-> Another one of my favorite digestive system boosters is Coconut Oil. A tablespoon of coconut oil on an empty stomach or incorporated into things such as a smoothie, seriously works wonders. I would definitely start off with a smaller amount if you do not typically consume coconut oil and then gradually increase to one or a few tablespoons. This is probably the easiest way to just flush out your system and make you feel slim and not puffy. (whoop whoop!)
So there you have it! A few tips and tricks to helping you get your inflammation under control and hopefully this did a little educating as well. Let me know you`re own ways to beating the bloat and if we have any similar strategies! 🙂