Bloating is the nice way of saying that you're full of intestinal gas and water retention. After we consume foods and drink, they break down inside the body and naturally gases and fluids are released from the foods.
After a few too many snack foods and fizzy drinks, we sometimes feel our jeans begin to get a little tighter and we start to feel quite uncomfortable. Quite bloated.
Intestinal bloating tends to be caused by gasses and feels painful and heavy in the lower abdomen area. Water retention is often mistaken for bloating, when in fact it's when fluids move into the tissue of our bodies. Sometimes our lymphatic system is unable to drain it all away, so it collects. Most commonly affected areas are the hands, feet and ankles, but it can occur anywhere.
Some foods such as dairy products, legumes and fruit are known for causing painful bloating. Similarly, there are foods which are great for preventing and reducing that bloated feeling.
Feeling full and heavy isn't nice off the bike - but it's worse on the bike. Therefore, it makes sense to stay away from foods that cause bloating, and munch on those that prevent it, before you head out. Here are some suggestions...
Cucumbers are mostly water, as are our bodies. However, they contain an antioxidant called quercetin which helps reduce swelling.
Similar to popping them on your eyes to reduce puffiness, cucumbers mimic the effects in our digestive system too, so they're great for reducing the effects of bloating.
The creamy texture of a banana may not be your first choice for reducing bloating, the but they are packed with body healthy vitamins and minerals.
Rich in potassium and fibre, bananas aid with digestion and reduce constipation. The potassium helps regulate sodium levels in the blood which can also prevent bloating from salty foods.
Other fruits such as also share similar properties: avocados, kiwis and oranges.
Asparagus is a great anti-bloating food. It helps promote your body to pass waste fluids which alleviate that water bloated feeling.
Containing both fibre and pro-biotic enzymes, asparagus promotes good bacteria growth in your gut. A healthy and happy digestive system prevents constipation and the build up of bloating gases and fluids.
Similar to asparagus for the pro-biotic benefits, yoghurt is packed full of them, and many would say a little tastier than the tall green stalks.
Pro-biotics do wonders for your digestive system by promoting good bacteria and keeping your digestive tract healthy.
Yoghurt is a great snack throughout the day, and when mixed with fruit and nuts, it can make for the ideal breakfast meal too.
Fennel is great for the body and versatile to consume. You can find fennel seeds in bread, sausages and you can even drink fennel tea.
Containing vital vitamins and mineral compounds, Fennel helps... erm... relax the gastric intestinal tract - so you can pass gas with more ease, deflating that bloated belly.
We know that Ginger is a great natural remedy for colds and bacterial illnesses, but it's also a brilliant aid for digestion.
It has natural anti-inflammatory properties and helps to relax the digestive muscles to relieve the pressure felt from bloating.
Mix some fresh ginger in your tea, or flavour your food to get that ginger boost in your diet.
Stock your cupboard and pantries with these natural digestive aids so you can have a healthy and happy gut.
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