There is no doubt that some of the foods we eat and the ‘way’ we eat can cause bloating in our stomachs resulting in swelling, gas and flatulence. Yes we may find our bellies are more rounded at night and flatter in the morning when we get up as food transits through the digestive tract. But there is more to it than that.
As we get older and age, our system makes fewer enzymes, bile and stomach acid to deal with larger quantities of food, fizzy drinks especially so if our diet is high in fat, wheat and animal protein.
It is the waste gases from the bad bacteria that causes bloating which results from inflammation.
Firstly, here are some
TIPS FOR AVOIDING THE BLOAT
- Take time to chew your food thoroughly before swallowing as this breaks down the food and activates the enzymes (gulping down food introduces air into the digestive system.
- Avoid drinking large amounts of ice cold water with meals as too much dilutes the stomach acid and reduces the effectiveness of the enzymes and decreases bile.
- Eat smaller meals more often. This helps to control blood sugar and reduces hunger pangs.
- Going for a walk after a larger meal helps to get things moving on a physical and digestive level.
FOODS TO MODERATE ON OR AVOID FOR A FLAT TUMMY
- Fried foods – fats are harder to break down so linger in the stomach for longer.
- Eating fruit at the end of a meal – piled on top, fruit ferments and can cause gas and bloating.
- Red meat – you don’t have to eliminate completely but reduce the consumption and portion size. Animal protein lingers longer in the gut and takes longer to break down.
- Wheat – Reduce the inflammation by eliminating wheat altogether or reduce foods containing white flour.
- Sugar – goes without saying , but I still enjoy the occasional sugary treat!
FOODS TO CONSUME FOR A FLATTER TUMMY!
- Chia seeds. These are high in fibre and omega 3, excellent for digestion as they increase transit time. You feel fuller for longer and so end up eating less. I sprinkle it on my cereals, in soups and smoothies. Do soak chia seeds in water first as they will slow down digestion by removing water from the digestive tract.
- Pineapple. Pineapple activates and increases enzyme activity so it helps in breaking down complex food molecules. I find it is a good thing to eat first thing in the morning.
- Salmon, trout and cod. Fairly high in omega 3 which reduces inflammation and promotes healthy balance of gut bacteria.
- Spinach. It’s high in anti oxidants and fibre. Advantageous to eat when tossed in olive oil.
By consuming enzyme-rich food, high in fibre and omega 3, you will hopefully :
- feel less bloated.
- reduce the risk of bowel and digestive problems and bowel cancer.
- decrease the chance of getting an auto-immune disorder.