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Belly Bloating



Ever experienced a seemingly fluctuating tummy that's all flat in the morning when you wake up but becomes a food baby (you feel sluggish and tight within your clothes) by the time you turn in for the night? This is bloating.


What exactly is bloating? Beyond our belly, lies our intestines. This is where our body is digesting and absorbing nutrients before eliminating the waste. In this process, water is drawn in from outside the intestines. When too much air in the intestines mixes with too much of this water, we bloat, to the extent that it gets uncomfortable. 
While there are medical conditions that make us bloat, like irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease and lactose or gluten intolerance, simple acts in our daily life can also cause similar discomfort. 

Here's a list that makes us bloat: 

  • Swallowing air from eating too fast, drinking from a straw or taking carbonated drinks.
  • Eating too much or too greasy foods.
  • Eating foods that create gas in the intestines (wheat, dairy, beans and the likes).
  • Eating processed foods that are high in sodium (salt draws in water)
  • Constipation
  • Menses-related

And these foods, though healthy and beneficial, are loaded with fibre, and require a little more work to digest. They produce gas and draw in more water, hence the bloat.

  • Beans and lentils.
  • Wheat (pasta & bread).
  • Whole grains.
  • Raw, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussel sprouts, cabbage).
  • Garlic & onions

While the best way to prevent bloating is to track your symptoms with a food diary and abstain from the food triggers, there are some techniques that reduce bloating.

These include:
  • Chewing food well, having smaller but more frequent meals, drinking directly from a cup and not using a straw.
  • Sipping on warm drinks through the day to prevent constipation.
  • Core-strengthening exercises.
  • Sleep early, sleep longer. The restorative hours of the body are between 10pm and 2am. Maximising sleep then not only reduces queasiness and bloating, but also resets the balance of ghrelin (hunger hormone) and leptin (satiety hormone) to reduce cravings and unnecessary snacking.

Say bye-bye to bloated bellies!
Speak to your family Doctors or one of us at IYAC to help you tweak your lifestyle for belly-flat days.


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