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Illustration by Kennedy Ogden.

Bloating: 6 simple tips to beat it for good

It’s agitating, uncomfortable and has been ingrained in us that it’s something we all just have to accept. Bloating. 

It seems to always happen at the most inconvenient of times, especially when we feel we did everything “right” that day, such as eating healthy or getting some exercise in. Like most health issues, bloating typically has a root cause. And no, it's not just because your stomach knows that you picked out your tightest outfit to wear to dinner tonight. 

Here are some tips to fix both short term and chronic bloating for good:

Drink peppermint or ginger tea daily

Peppermint and Ginger are both lovely herbs when used for easing discomfort in our stomachs and GI tract. Both herbs aid in digestion and can help settle the stomach in times of pain or bloating. Incorporate these teas into a relaxing night routine, or drink them whenever you feel a flare up coming on to avoid an uncomfortable gut. 

Ditch the guilty workout 

When you’re bloated, it can be easy to feel hard on yourself and think you need to work out to fix the problem. Most of the time though, this does more harm than good. Vigorous exercise,  such as running or lifting, can cause a sensitive stomach to get more inflamed. Instead of punishing yourself with a grueling workout, try taking a long walk or trying these relaxing yoga poses  for a quick bloating fix. These poses have the ability to stimulate GI muscle contraction and help move digestion along. 

Create a deep breathing routine 

Show your stomach some love by taking a few minutes each morning to simply breathe with your stomach while keeping your chest still. Recent studies show that having a practice of deep breathing can improve concentration, reduce stress hormones, decrease muscle tension and much more. Incorporating a daily routine of deep breathing stimulates the body by creating a gentle massage-like action, which is felt by our stomach and intestines. 

Test for food sensitivities

If you find yourself feeling a bit like a balloon after some meals, you’re probably sensitive to something you’ve eaten. Foods like dairy and cruciferous vegetables are usually to blame for this, but you’ll want to know exactly which ingredient your stomach isn’t agreeing with. You can order an at-home food sensitivity test for this, or slowly start cutting out foods until you find the culprit. 

Increase water intake 

Water retention in our bodies can easily be mistaken for bloating. When we don’t drink enough H2O as we should, our bodies start to retain more water for later use. It might seem ironic, but to get rid of this problem, you need to drink water more regularly. The key is to be drinking lots of water throughout the day, which will help reduce fluid buildup and allow your digestive system to keep things flowing. 

Check your sleep habits

While one night of bad sleep shouldn’t wreck your stomach, making it a habit will. Not getting enough z’s can cause your body to release the stress hormone cortisol, which sends our digestive system into a state of stress as well. If you find yourself feeling extra bloated for seemingly no reason, check your sleep habits and you might see an improvement in other areas as well. 


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