Is it just us, or does bloating always seem to pop up at incredibly inconvenient times? Like when you want to go out dancing or wear a cute high-waisted figure-hugging skirt?
And it’s not just the bulging belly that puts a downer on things – bloating can also be really uncomfortable and, at times, painful.
So if you suffer from random bouts of bloating, here are some tips to prevent them in the future.
#1 Give up gum
The next time you need to freshen your breath, opt for a mint instead of chewing gum. It might sound strange, but when you chew gum, you’re also swallowing air, which can make the stomach expand.
#2 Avoid artificial sweeteners
Trying to kick your sugar habit? That’s great, but steer clear of artificial sweeteners – they’re known to cause bloating. According to Sheila Zhou, expert Scientist at USANA, the chemical compounds in artificial sweeteners are linked to digestive complaints. Stick to more natural sweeteners, like honey.
#3 Sip on tummy-soothing teas
Herbal teas, in particular peppermint and ginger, are good at relaxing the digestive system, easing discomfort and helping air to pass through quicker. We love the goji berry and rosehip blend from La Mav®’s Age Defence Organic Beauty Tea ($35, Floraandfauna.com.au).
Weleda’s Nursing Tea ($18.95, Adore Beauty) is also a great choice. It’s formulated with anti-spasmodic ingredients including anise, fennel, caraway, fenugreek and lemon verbena leaves to relieve cramps and stomach pain.
#4 Take your time
Guilty of scoffing food down before the plate even hits the table? If you’re always eating in a rush, try slowing things down a bit. Taking your time to eat will reduce the amount of air you swallow and give your body more time to digest properly.
#5 Go bananas
Foods that are high in salt can lead to bloating, so it’s a good idea to up your intake of potassium-rich foods (like bananas) to combat the effects. Potassium helps to balance and circulate body fluids, and encourages nutrients to move throughout your body after a meal. Not a fan of bananas? Potatoes, spinach, citrus fruits and asparagus are also high in potassium.
#6 Get a massage (or DIY)
Massaging the abdominal area can help to relax your muscles, support the intestines and stimulate bowel activity. So the next time your belly feels like it’s about to burst, give it a rub – or ask your partner to treat you to a massage. Just maybe do it at home to avoid strange looks…
Why not try indulging in a fragrant massage oil like the Bodecare Detox Massage Oil ($28.95, Bodecare) while you’re at it?
#7 Squeeze in a stroll
If things aren’t moving, YOU may need to get moving! Even just going for a ten-minute walk can kick-start the digestive process and reduce stomach discomfort. For those of you with a desk job, sitting at a computer all day doesn’t help, so aim for a quick stroll during your lunch break.
#8 Take a probiotic
Probiotics refer to the good bacteria in our digestive system. These strains of healthy bacteria have been shown to relieve symptoms of uncomfortable digestion and keep our bellies flat. We recommend the Swisse Ultibiotic Daily Digestive Probiotic or Kynd’s Collagen + Probiotic for a daily probiotic supplement.
#9 Try apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has long been labelled an effective remedy for most health concerns; from lowering blood sugar levels to keeping breakout-prone skin clear. But its most powerful benefit of all comes in the form of relieving indigestion and upset stomachs. Unlock this by mixing one to two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with water before each meal.
Do you ever get bloated? Have you ever tried any of the above tips?