How to help reduce bloating quickly

Published December 4, 2014

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Are there moments when you have to undo the top button of your jeans after a meal and you feel uncomfortable for hours afterwards? Abdominal bloating could be to blame and may be caused by something you ate or drank. Here are some ways to help reduce bloating quickly so you can look and feel at your best:

  1. Try peppermint tea – Peppermint has a calming effect and helps relax the muscles that allow painful gas to pass, thereby helping to relieve bloating and discomfort.1
  2. Drink water – It sounds counterintuitive, but drinking water, which you might think would lead to further bloating, will do the opposite;
    drinking water supports normal digestive function and helps alleviate water retention and abdominal bloating. Ensure it’s natural and not carbonated water, which can contribute to the discomfort.
  3. Check your mints and chewing gum – If you chew gum or eat mints after meals to freshen your breath, it may actually be the cause of your bloating or at least worsen your symptoms. Mints and chewing gum often contain sugar‐substitutes such as mannitol, sorbitol or xylitol, which are difficult for the body to digest and can lead to bloating in some people.2 In addition, the action of chewing gum can cause you to swallow excessive amounts of air, which can also result in discomfort around the mid‐section.2
  4. Get moving – Although you may feel like having a siesta after a large meal, you can ease bloating discomfort by moving. Going for a 10‐15 minute walk may help improve a sluggish digestive system and speed the transit of food and gas through the digestive tract.
  5. Consider digestive enzymes – Taking digestive enzymes, especially after heavy meals, can aid the digestive process by assisting in the breakdown of food. Digestive enzymes help with the digestion of all food groups, for example, amylase helps breaks down carbohydrates, protease helps break down protein and lipase helps break down fats.
  6. Consume pineapple or papaya – Digestive enzymes are also found in some foods. Papaya (paw paw) contains an enzyme known as ‘papain’, and pineapple contains an enzyme known as “bromelain”, which may aid the digestion of protein. These could be eaten following protein‐rich meals.
  7. Have gingerGinger is traditionally used in Western herbal medicine to aid digestion and relieve dyspepsia. Consume fresh ginger tea or take a ginger supplement to help ease digestive discomfort.
  8. Massage your abdomen – Massaging your stomach can help get things moving and may help remedy symptoms of tightness, pressure, cramping and bloating.3 Lie down on your back and rub in a circular motion in a clockwise direction, starting on the lower right hand side, for around 10 minutes until symptoms subside.

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