A flat stomach is something that many of us daren’t even dream of. It is easy to feel complacent about the bloated pouch that we hide underneath cleverly designed clothes. The truth is that a flat tummy does not simply look more attractive, it is a real sign of a healthy and well functioning body. Bloated tummies do not feel good, they are pretty uncomfortable. Thankfully there are a number of simple ways to reduce your experience of bloating this winter.
Drink More Water
Drinking around eight glasses of water each day helps to flush out your system, reducing water retention. It enables the kidneys to function effectively, and helps with detoxification of waste products that may have built up that could be causing the unsightly bloat.
Make sure that you drink plenty to aid all of the essential processes that happen unseen inside your body, and reduction of abdominal bloating will be a happy side effect.
Consider Trying Himalayan Rock Salt
Regular table salt causes excessive dehydration, as water is forced from cells to enable the body to excrete the sodium chloride. Many articles will tell you to cut down the salt that you ingest due to this causing water retention and bloating.
Thankfully, it can be avoided easily by changing over to Himalayan Rock salt that has actually been proven to regulate water levels. These delicious pink crystals also offer the added benefit of 84 minerals to your food, many of which are diets are sadly lacking in, even when we choose organically farmed fresh produce, due to the over farming of the soils in the last few decades.
Rushing through meals can cause air to be swallowed with food. This can become trapped in the gut and gas can form. This invariably leads to an uncomfortable bloated stomach, and noisy movement as it passes through your digestive tract.
Taking time to chew food properly ensures that food can be completely digested, and prevents buildup of bacteria as it passes through. Savouring your food can also result in realising that you are satisfied and can prevent overeating.
Consider a Low FODMAP Diet
For those that suffer with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) a low FODMAP diet could be the answer to reducing abdominal bloating. Symptoms of IBS include; severe bloating and abdominal pain after meals, gas and irregular bowel movements, including alternating constipation and diarrhoea.
The term FODMAPs stands for ‘Fermentable Oligo-, Di- and Mono-saccharides And Polyols’, in simpler terms, these are carbohydrates that ferment quickly and are not absorbed well during digestion. They include gluten, fructose (the sugar present in fruits), lactose (the sugar found in milk) and xylitol (an artificial sweetener).
FODMAPs are thought to increase the volume of liquid and gas in the small and large intestine, resulting in the IBS symptoms that we have discussed.
Restricting the amount of FODMAPs present in your diet can be a way to control the syndrome and reduce abdominal bloating. Keeping a strict food diary can allow you to pinpoint your specific triggers also that are unique to you.
Be Aware of Food Intolerances
Food intolerances can cause the same symptoms as IBS. If you suspect that you are intolerant to a specific food try to eliminate it and see if there is any improvement. Following a restricted diet, while gradually introducing trigger foods individually is a slow process, but very helpful in determining which foods to eliminate from your diet.
The side effects of many over the counter medications often include abdominal swelling. The contraceptive pill, antibiotics and aspirin in particular are ones to be aware of in particular.
Constipation can be another cause of abdominal bloating. If you find yourself straining while using the toilet, or passing fewer than one bowel movement each day then you are classified as suffering from constipation. Increase the soluble fibre in your diet by eating more vegetables, and prunes to encourage bowel movement. Once again we will highlight the importance of drinking plenty of water here, as water keeps stools soft and easier to pass.
Regular aerobic exercise is essential to keep the digestive and lymphatic systems moving efficiently, especially as the lymphatic needs to be moved manually unlike the circulatory system for instance. Raising the heart rate and moving your body can encourage the removal of toxins through sweat, and also stimulates the bowels.
The bowel is full of bacteria, that are categorised as both ‘good’ and ‘bad’. We need to maintain levels of the ‘good’ bacteria as keeps levels of the ‘bad’ kind down. Taking a probiotic supplement will keep your intestines brimming with the friendly type.
Proactive Steps for a Flatter Tummy
These are simple and effective tips that can be incorporated into your lifestyle. They will bring a myriad of benefits, and reduction in uncomfortable abdominal bloating is sure to be one of them. Enjoy your festive season without a tummy to rival Santa’s, and a healthy new year will be a gift to be thankful for.
Here a few products we would recommend this winter: