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NEW ARTICLE! BUDDHISM BASICS ANYONE CAN BENEFIT FROM
NEW ARTICLE! BUDDHISM BASICS ANYONE CAN BENEFIT FROM

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Be Well

9 WAYS to Beat Bloat

9 Ways to Beat Bloat
@jensallure
There’s very little that’s worse for low self esteem than not feeling your best, and not fitting into your favorite ass-hugging jeans the way you want to. It’s also frustrating when bloat occurs after eating almost ANYTHING. Smoothie? Bloating and gas. Salad? Bloating and gas. Pizza? Boating and gas. Tacos? Bloating and gas. Not eating can’t possibly be the only remedy for avoiding the bloat monster on date night or beach day. We won’t stand for that.
There are many reasons that people suffer from bloat. For women, it can be hormonal – we tend to retain more water in our luteal phase just before our period, so it’s important to avoid caffeine and extra sodium, and drink diuretic herbal teas like nettle and red raspberry leaf. But other factors can trigger bloat, like a common parasitic infestation (gross, I know, but it happens), an imbalance of good vs. bad gut bacteria (think: SIBO, bacterial overgrowth, etc.) or ulcers, constipation, and food sensitivities.
At Amé, we are all about living your best, most nourished life, and none of that revolves around withholding food or any sort of restrictive diet where we feel we aren’t getting enough of what we need. There are ways to get ahead of and treat bloat, and we are outlining them here. Spoiler alert: Eat food when you’re hungry.

Digestive enzymes

A lot of times, we aren’t absorbing all of the nutrients properly from our food, and this can result in bloating and gas. And the idea of it is simply horrifying, especially for those with the privilege of health-conscious shopping. Imagining all of those expensive organic groceries and supplements passing on through without absorbing into our systems … say it ain’t so!
Luckily, digestive enzymes can help break down fats, proteins, and carbohydrates so that our bodies can assimilate all those nutrients, absorbing what we need and smoothly passing through what we don’t. Smooth, proper digestion will also help prevent bloating and gas so that we can get on with our lives, and slip into that body-skimming silk slip we’ve been dying to wear all spring.

Peppermint

Both peppermint tea and essential oil are amazing for upset stomachs and bloating. Studies show that peppermint relaxes the gut, which can relieve intestinal spasms that contribute to gas pains and bloat. This can be taken as a tea, or in an oil capsule form.

Hydrate properly

Don’t wait ‘til it’s mealtime to chug water. It can dampen your digestive fire and make digestion slower, causing gas and — you guessed it —bloating. Make sure to drink water at least 30 minutes before a meal and at least 30 minutes after. If you can wait an hour, even better. Staying hydrated throughout the day will also prevent constipation, which can relieve some bloating, and prevent gas and an impacted gut.

Be aware of alternative sweeteners and sugar alcohols

It’s easy to think we are doing ourselves a favor every time we reach for something deemed sugar-free. However, it’s important we look for products with natural sugars, like honey or stevia, rather than packaged products that may contain sugar alcohols, like sorbitol. Sugar alcohols can cause a variety of symptoms, including nausea and bloating. In the end, it’s not better for you.

Probiotics

If you’re not already taking some sort of probiotic supplement and are someone with digestive issues like bloating and gas, get on it! Probiotics can help us digest and absorb nutrients from our food, as well as battle harmful bacteria in the gut to prevent overgrowth. That means less bloating, constipation, and gas.

Ginger

Ginger isn’t just for classic tummy aches. Ginger tea, juice, powder, and the whole root are all excellent for treating a long, long laundry list of gastrointestinal disorders, as well as being anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, antioxidant, anti-tumor, and anti-ulcer. It’s a spicy little miracle herb.

Avoid swallowing air 

This sounds a little funny, but can be one of the main culprits of a bloated belly! Try not to talk while eating, and if you can help it, avoid scrolling, reading, or watching TV. Focus on chewing your food with your mouth closed, not consuming carbonated beverages like beer and soda or even sparkling water, and just give your body time to think about eating and savoring the nourishment you’ve provided yourself. After all, digestion starts in the mouth with our saliva enzymes, and breaking things down completely with our teeth can help too. Don’t be in a hurry — slow down, and you’ll notice you may need to eat less, as well.

Chew on some fennel seeds

Delightfully crunchy and licorice-scented, fennel seeds are known to aid in proper digestion, and break up fats, carbs, and proteins in a way that prevents the formation of gas. It’s also known as a natural breath freshener after meals, creating a sweet smell.

Cook your beans with Kombu

Kombu contains enzymes that help break down the hard-to-digest properties in beans known as raffinose sugars — and also known for their ability to produce gas. Soaking and cooking beans with a bit of kombu in the pot is simple, and a great natural hack to make your protein-dense plant-based foods less obnoxious for you.
Of course, bloat happens. We can’t freak out every time, or starve our bodies into submission — it’s not weight gain from fat, after all. We have to remember to be kind to ourselves, and reach for natural, whole, healthy foods when available. The 80-20 rule is alive and well here at Amé. Is there any other way to live?