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Get Good Guts

GET GOOD GUTS
ORGANS THAT WILL LOVE THIS DAY: BELLY!
ALSO, PANCREAS; LIVER; BRAIN.
YOU MAY FEEL BENEFITS TO: ABDOMINAL DISCOMFORT; SLUGGISHNESS; MENTAL ALERTNESS; SUGAR CRAVINGS.

You’re feeling virtuous, you’ve been exercising, you have kept an eye on what you’re eating, but wham! Your belly has blown up as if pumped with helium, and it just isn’t fair!

No one likes a bulgy tummy that they feel they don’t deserve…

FIND FRIENDLY FOODS

There are certain foods that are more likely to blow you up than others, so it’s worth avoiding them initially to give yourself a head start in beating the bloat.

For instance, a disastrous lunch if you’re prone to bloating is a sandwich with a fizzy drink or coffee. Bread is a well-known inflator of otherwise blameless abdomens, especially the fairly low-quality stuff that is typically used in takeaway sandwiches. Fizzy drinks distend the stomach wall, and they almost always contain either heaps of sugar (roughly 9 tsps in a 330ml can of a typical cola-type drink), which promotes inflammation1 , or preservatives or additives, many of which include citrates, which are mainly produced through fermentation.2 Even sparkling water can be problematic, as the carbon dioxide may cause receptor cells in the stomach to release ghrelin (the hunger hormone).3

Actually, drinking anything with a meal increases the likelihood of a weaker digestive response, and more bloating and sluggishness. See how you feel if you don’t drink anything for 30 minutes either side of your meals. You may be pleasantly surprised at the difference to the bloat factor!

For a less troublesome lunch, try soup with oatcakes or rice cakes, or a baked potato, or some roasted veg with hummus.

FRUITY FACTS

Finishing your lunch with a healthy piece of fruit or fruit yoghurt may seem like a virtuous choice, but for many people it’s the reason their guts bubble and boil all afternoon. Have fruit on its own for breakfast, or as a snack around 3 pm when your lunch has been and gone.

FLATTEN THE FERMENTATION

There are a few other simple rules that you can follow to minimise the amount of internal inflation you experience.

    • Chew each mouthful very thoroughly – try to give each mouthful at least 20 chews. This may feel tortuous at first; but, if you bolt your food, it is more likely to turn gassy lower down, so it’s worth a little jaw action to reduce the risk.
    • Make sure that your mealtimes are relaxing – eating on the run or typing with one hand whilst cramming in a sandwich with the other promotes poor digestion and more abdominal mayhem.
    • Eat cooked and warm foods – Try these in preference to cold and raw foods, as they are easier to digest and less likely to blow you up. Have vegetable soup rather than a cold salad, for example.
    • Finally, sit up – Many people hunch over their food and then experience reflux and burping. Shoulders back and head high, and you’ll find your food has a smoother ride through your digestive tract.
FEED YOUR FLORA

You will have heard of your gut microbiota – the mix of microbes that inhabit your gut. Making sure that your gut is a place where friendly gut bacteria like to hang out will bring you better digestion, less bloating, better mood, happier hormone balance, and many other benefits.

One way to achieve this is by regularly eating foods such as sauerkraut or kimchi, which have been fermented with friendly bacteria, or drinking fermented beverages such as kefir or kombucha. Not everyone, however, can stomach them – especially if already prone to digestive mayhem.

For a gentler digestion-supporting fermented fix, try 1 tsp Molkosan Fruit mixed into some water, twice daily. Vegetarian and deliciously tart, flavoured with aronia fruit and pomegranate, it is an excellent way to nourish a bloat-prone gut.

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