Health Crush Contributor
Some people can drink a gallon of soda and maintain a perfectly flat stomach. My digestive system, on the other hand, is extremely sensitive, and almost anything I eat or drink can cause some uncomfortable bloating.
So is it even possible to prevent bloating after eating or drinking?
If you’re among the 10% to 30% of the population that have trouble with bloating on a regular basis like me, don’t freak out. There are natural remedies for bloating that don’t involve taking any medication.
The do’s and don’ts to avoid belly bloating
Here are nine simple home remedies for bloating relief.
Keep in mind though, for best results, it’s more beneficial to start these healthy habits at least 24 hours before baring your belly.
Do eat pineapple, or drink its (unsweetened) juice
Pineapple is a naturally sweet and delicious alternative to other sugars that trigger bloating. It also contains bromelain, a digestive enzyme that can help with inflammation and is used as a supplement for poor digestion.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) notes that although there have been many studies focused on bromelain being good at combating inflammation and swelling, there has been little research done on the other uses of bromelain.
Don’t eat salty snacks
Ever notice that you feel puffier when you eat a lot of salty food?
Too much salt causes your body to retain water, according to the NIH.
The Food And Drug Administration recommends that healthy adults consume no more than 2,300 mg a day, which is equivalent to one teaspoon of salt. This is a natural way to prevent bloating after eating.
Do take your time eating
Chewing food well and eating slowly can also be helpful at combating bloating after a meal.
Not only does it slow you down and increase the satiation factor, it also lightens the workload for your stomach.
“Aside from the potential health benefits of better digestion, chewing properly helps you to really enjoy and taste your food,” says Dr. Joseph Mosquera, chief medical officer and founder of SuReceta.
Don’t chew gum
Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol that occurs naturally in fruits like pears, but it is also added to things like chewing gum.
Since sorbitol is absorbed more slowly in the small intestine, it can pass into your colon which is when things get really gassy.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to reduce the effects of this sugar alcohol other than to avoid it.
Don’t drink carbonated beverages
Bubbly beverages are bad news when it comes to bloating.
Consuming carbonated beverages tends to make you bloat as they release carbon dioxide gas in your digestive tract.
Do break a sweat
If you couldn’t help but indulge in some bloat-inducing foods or beverages, it’s understandable. So here’s another trick — break a sweat!
Exercise can help move excess gas through your body and is a great natural remedy for bloating.
Don’t drink alcohol
Alcohol contains carbon dioxide and fermentable carbohydrates, both of which are known to cause gas and bloating, according to a study published in the Gastroenterology & Hepatology Independent Peer Reviewed Journal.
That means chances are bubbly booze will make you especially bloated.
People have different tolerances, but research has shown that binge drinking any alcohol can cause most people to bloat.
And if you do regularly indulge, just be sure to keep a tab on how many cold ones you consume. Even moderate drinking, which is considered one drink for women a day and two for men, has been linked to chronic cases of bloating.
Add peppermint to your beverage of choice
If you are looking for a good option for combating gas that’s also energizing, peppermint oil has been proven to help alleviate bloating.
It’s especially beneficial for people who have sensitive stomachs, including irritable bowel syndrome sufferers.
Don’t do dairy (Yes, this sadly includes ice cream)
Consuming dairy when you are lactose intolerant will surely leave you gassy and bloated.
Studies have found that about 70% of African-Americans, 90% of Asian Americans, 53% of Mexican Americans, and 74% of Native Americans are lactose intolerant.
Lactose intolerance is also common in Native American, Arab, Jewish, Hispanic, Italian, and people of Greek descent.
When bloating may mean something more serious
If you try these proven methods and they don’t reduce your bloating, it’s important to pay close attention to what’s going on with your body. In most situations, occasional gas and abdominal discomfort does not require medical attention.
However, it’s important to be aware of more serious disorders that may cause bloating.
If you experience bloating along with abdominal pain, blood in the stools or dark, tarry looking stools, diarrhea, heartburn that is getting worse, vomiting, and/or weight loss, don’t hesitate to seek guidance from a doctor or other healthcare professional.