12 Tips to Reduce Bloating Fast
It’s amazing to me how I can feel like a svelte mama one day and a busted can of biscuits the next.
You see, I’ve suffered from digestive issues for years. I’m lactose intolerant and gluten sensitive. (Yay, me)
If I dare to indulge I’m sure to pay for it the next day with cramps, headaches, gassiness and, of course, bloating. Turning a once relatively flat stomach into what appears to be a four-month along food baby #yikes
What? No, I’m not pregnant, I’m just with sandwich…
Is bloating making your life miserable? You don’t have to suffer from bloating every day. You can fight it with natural remedies.
Learn about bloating and discover what you can do to reduce or eliminate it.
Try these strategies to reduce bloating in 24 hours
Move the food along
Indulgent junk foods are typical culprits for bloating. They’re generally low in fiber and hard to digest so they sit around in your colon causing gas and constipation. Get offensive foods OUT of your gut as quickly as possible.
I like to use Dr. Schulze Formula #1 for this. It’s an effective and safe herbal supplement that works quickly.
Go easy on your digestive system
For the next day or two after a heavy indulgent meal, eat very lightly with easy to digest foods such as low sugar fruits, freshly made vegetable juices, and smoothies.
Don’t add injury to insult by piling up more offensive and difficult to digest foods in your gut! Give your system a break.
You may even want to consider delaying your morning meal until a few hours later than usual in order to give your gut more time to digest and recover. Kimberly Snyder talks about this process in her book, The Beauty Detox Solution.
Drink lots of water
Water will help to push foods along and flush out your colon. Dehydration, on the other hand, leads to constipation and exacerbates bloating. Just be sure not to drink water with your meals which dilute your stomach’s digestive acids.
You may even want to do a 24-hour water fast in order to give your digestive system a break and chance to begin to heal and reset.
How to Prevent Bloating in the First Place
Determine the cause of your bloating
Experts suggest that food and beverage choices are typically to blame. However, they’re not the only culprits behind bloating. Medications and side effects from medications can also create bloating. In addition, some chronic health disorders can lead to bloating.
If you experience chronic, unexplained bloating, consult your naturopathic or functional medicine practitioner.
To better uncover the cause of your bloating, try keeping a food diary. List all of your meals, snacks, and drinks. Note whether or not you felt bloated afterward.
Keep track of your bowel movements as well (2 or more times per day is ideal and no less than once per day). Constipation can also cause or exacerbate symptoms of bloating.
Tips to Reduce Bloating
Beans contain a sugar, called an oligosaccharide, that the human body cannot break down fully because it doesn’t contain the right enzyme to do so. This can lead to gas and bloating.
If beans are causing bloating for you, soaking them properly before cooking can help. Then you may want to cook them longer to break them down and make them easier for your body to digest.
If these tips don’t help, consider reducing or eliminating beans altogether for a time (but not forever — beans are extremely healthy for your body!) or taking a digestive supplement before eating beans.
Consider your cruciferous vegetable intake
Do you eat a lot of broccoli and cauliflower? These are both part of the cruciferous vegetable category which contain sulfur that can cause bloating.
Like beans, cruciferous vegetables also have a specific type of sugar that makes them more difficult to digest. You may not have enough digestive enzymes to handle them. However, experts suggest taking digestive enzymes because these vegetables are important for a healthy diet.
Are you lactose intolerant?
Do you feel sick after eating a bowl of ice cream or a piece of cheese? You may have lactose intolerance which can cause uncomfortable bloating and gas.
Dairy contains lactose, a type of sugar, that not everyone can digest well. You may want to try q lactose digestive supplements to help. These supplements have lactase, which is an enzyme that breaks down the lactose.
Monitor your salt intake
Are you eating large amounts of salty or processed foods? Salt can lead to bloating, so it’s a good idea to watch how much you eat. Potato chips and processed food can have high amounts of salt. Read the nutrition label on the product to determine how much salt you’re consuming — it adds up fast!
When preparing meals at home, opt for sea salt or pink Himalayan salt and absolutely avoid refined table salt.
The body needs a certain level of salt to maintain fluid balance. However, it’s recommended that adults eat no more than 1 teaspoon or 2.4 grams of sodium per day.
Replace salt in your diet by eating naturally salty foods like celery, cucumber, and potassium both.
Check your fruits
Certain fruits can make you feel bloated and uncomfortable. Fruits have high levels of sugars that can be hard for some people to digest. Melons like cantaloupe and honeydew are particular culprits of bloating. You may want to watch your fruit intake and try different kinds that have lower sugar amounts.
Eat foods in the right combination
Eating food in the wrong order can also cause uncomfortable gas and bloating. This is because different types of food have different rates of digestion.
Proteins and carbs digest more slowly while fruits pass through our digestive system more quickly and break down faster. Vegetables, on the other hand, aid digestion due to their fiber and enzyme content.
This means that if you eat proteins and carbs first followed by fruits, the fruit will then sit on top of the protein or carbs in your digestive tract and begin to ferment. (Cue the bloating and gas!)
In her book, The Beauty Detox Solution, Kimberly Snyder recommends eating fruits first followed by proteins or carbs. Vegetables should be eaten with proteins and carbs to help move them along your digestive system.
Ginger can help you reduce bloating and heal your digestive system. You can add ginger in several ways to your diet. Chew on ginger candies or dried pieces. Drink ginger teas. Add ginger to your cooking.
Peppermint can also reduce bloating and make you feel better. Peppermint is a popular herb for several stomach issues. Try adding the herb to your food or drink teas made from it.
Are you drinking a soda with every meal? Sodas, even natural, fizzy drinks, can cause bloating. The carbonation is to blame, but you can eliminate it and reduce bloating.
Why you keep getting bloated
Being able to reduce bloating quickly is great but if you continue to get bloated again and again, maybe even no matter what you eat, there may be a bigger underlying issue.
You have food sensitivities. As already mentioned, dairy can be a big culprit of bloating and digestive issues. Others include any highly processed food, meat, grains, sugar, and gluten. All of these foods can irritate the gut lining and be difficult to digest.
Gluten in particular causes damage to the intestinal lining by weakening the tight junctions of the gut. Think of it as the mortar of a brick building. Gluten proteins can erode the “mortar” causing gut permeability or leaky gut.
You’re not producing enough digestive enzymes. The older we become the less efficient we are at producing our own digestive enzymes. Without a high level of them, digestion slows.
To increase enzymes, be sure to eat plenty of fresh plant foods daily along with adequate water intake to push fibrous foods along. In addition, take an enzyme supplement before meals to aid your digestive system.
You have chronic stress. Stress can disrupt normal digestion either by slowing it down and causing constipation or by speeding it up so that by the time food gets to the large intestine it hasn’t been properly digested and can cause gas and bloating.
Our mental health is closely related to our gut health due to the gut-brain axis. What affects one area will affect the other. Try stress reduction techniques such as meditation, journaling, EFT, yoga, and grounding.
Your colon is inflamed. An inflamed colon, from whatever cause — food sensitivities, parasites, infections — will hamper normal digestion and lead to various unpleasant symptoms. To uncover the causes, see your naturopathic or functional health practitioner.
Your gut bacteria is imbalanced. When the balance of our health gut bacteria is off, symptoms such as gas, constipation, diarrhea, and painful bloating can occur as our bodies are struggling to digest foods properly.
For more information on how to rebalance and reset your gut, see article here.
Bloating doesn’t have to rule your life and make you feel sick! Take control. Find the culprits that are causing your bloating and eliminate them.
Hi! I’m Liane, mindset coach and holistic nutritionist in training. I have a passion for all things natural, healthy and holistic. My aim is to inspire you on your healthy living journey by sharing simple, everyday holistic habits that can transform your well-being and life.