Many desire a flat stomach but it’s really easy to feel complacent with the appearance of a puffy abdomen too often hid underneath oversized jumpers this time of year. But a flat stomach isn’t only good for wearing high-waisted jeans or tighter shirts; it’s also an indicator of a healthy, well-functioning gut. Luckily, there are a few ways you could reduce the discomfort of bloating and other gut issues this winter. Read on for 5 Tips To Ease Bloating This Xmas!
1. Reduce Bloating by Conscious Eating
When thinking about improving your gut health it’s worth looking at what you’re eating and how you’re eating it. You may know that consuming plenty of fibre is beneficial to your bowel because the insoluble strands add mass to your stool – helping it to pass quickly through your bowels – while soluble strands improve form and consistency (yep, insightful!)
To help with bloating, food experts recommend assessing your current eating ‘style’ and then changing it so that it’s more mindful. Simply focusing on chewing slowly and carefully, with you mouth closed, eating away from any distractions like excessive conversation, TV or your phone can all work wonders to improve your digestive health. Chewing breaks food down as small as it’s supposed to be, ready for the digestive system. Not being able to do so often results in flatulence, tummy pain and bloating. A trick: eat with your non-dominant hand!
2. Minimise Constipation
Movement encourages a healthy gastrointestinal tract by encouraging food to move along its passage. Therefore, exercise will benefit those who suffer regularly with constipation. Regular physical activity also helps soothe the effects of bloating and other gut-related symptoms such as IBS by lessening strain at evacuation time. Healthcare experts say calming and gentle exercises like Pilates, Yoga and walking are among the more congenial kinds.
3. Stress Management
Stress has been linked to digestive problems such as bloating, abdominal pain, constipation and even diarrhoea through slowing down the entire digestive process. When you’re emotionally stressed, the body is flooded with noradrenaline, cortisol and adrenaline hormones excreted in fight-or-flight responses and when you do neither their effects are prolonged.
Consequently, stress can worsen digestive conditions especially if you’ve had a very heavy, fatty, or large feast. To relieve gut disturbances and ease symptoms, try to have your meals in a relaxed environment.
Magnesium is a mineral essential to healthy bodily functioning. Known as a natural ‘tranquiliser’, it helps to relax your muscles and nerves that support fighting constipation. How? Well the mineral raises the amount of water in your intestines and creates a surge in movement so decomposed food matter is able to travel through the bowels easily, aiding digestion. Increase your magnesium intake by adding nuts, fish, wholegrain and dark leafy greens to your diet, as they’re rich in this mineral. If you find eating these hard, then it may be worth investing in a natural-based food supplement.
5. Boost good gut bacteria daily
The gut is the gateway to a well-functioning body because it controls not just the processing of food, but the absorption of minerals too. It’s also where infections and other toxins are fought so it’s important to stay conscious of your digestive condition as well as maintain good gut health so your body stays in top condition in terms of wellness.