x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Diet and well-being can help you beat the bloat

Here are top foods that can help ease the discomfort of bloating.

Papayas contain potassium, which counteracts the bloating effects of sodium.
Papayas contain potassium, which counteracts the bloating effects of sodium.

Bloating is the digestive bane of most of our waistlines. Not only is it uncomfortable but it also makes us feel heavy, irritable and lethargic. And it's an indication that all is not well with our digestion. If not corrected, bloating can lead to weight gain, food intolerances and further digestive discomfort.

Eating the wrong food is not the only culprit, though; our emotional state affects our digestion, too. Even when we have been eating food that is healthy and suits our body, if we are stressed, anxious, nervous or upset, our digestive system is no longer able to digest food properly.

Here are the top foods that can help ease the discomfort of bloating

Ginger

A prime cause of bloating is improper digestion and ginger is excellent for improving this. Drink fresh ginger tea, include in cooking or chew on a 1cm piece of raw ginger before a meal.

Cinnamon, coriander and cumin

These spices all help to increase your digestive fire, reducing the risk of bloating. Add them to your cooking.

Avocado, banana and papaya

Potassium counteracts the bloating effects of sodium, so eating these foods that are rich in this mineral can be very helpful.

Pistachios, hazelnuts, sunflower and sesame seeds

Vitamin B6 helps to regulate water levels in the body, preventing fluid accumulation, which can lead to abdominal bloating.

Chia and flaxseeds

These seeds are full of essential nutrients but they are also fibre-rich, which improves the way your digestion functions. They also improve elimination, helping your stomach to feel lighter. High-fibre vegetables and beans can sometimes create more gas in the short run, but these seeds don't tend to have the same effect, making them a good choice to begin increasing your fibre.

How to eat is just as important as what to eat when it comes to bloating, so incorporate these tips into your day

Don't skip meals

Ignoring your body if you feel hungry is a prime cause of bloating, as it weakens your digestion.

Eat slowly and chew your food

The digestive process begins in earnest in the mouth; remember that your stomach doesn't have teeth.

No raw food after 4pm

If you suffer with bloating then chances are your digestion is too weak to process raw food in the evening, when your digestion begins to slow down naturally.

Eat fruit only on an empty stomach

It digests very quickly so if there is other food in your stomach, the fruit sits there and ferments while everything else is trying to be broken down; this creates toxicity, gas and bloating. This includes drinking fruit juices with your meals.

Meditate

Most importantly we need to reduce stress and take steps to relax both body and mind. Deep breathing and meditation have been found to be very effective and worth a try for the promise of a calmer mind and a lighter stomach.

What to avoid

• Carbonated drinks and chewing gum

• Wheat

• Dairy products

• Iced anything (chilled drinks and ice cream)

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