Let's talk about bloating... because it happens to all of us. And it kind of sucks, right? We can do a fair bit to avoid it but chances are it will still happen at some point... so then what? What can we do to help ease the discomfort?
Before we get into it though, I do want to make one thing clear. Bloating is not the same thing as being full. You're stomach is going to expand when you eat, that's perfectly normal and natural! I see women complain about their stomach "sticking out" when full but unless there is actual discomfort, it's probably nothing to worry about. We have this notion that our stomachs are supposed to be flat all the time because we see that in magazines or on tv (hello, people wear Spanx!) but in REALITY, it's normal for our stomach to appear larger when it is full. As long as you aren't over eating or eating foods that don't agree with your body... you're fine. Just embrace your body's natural process. While you're at it, embrace the fact that it's also normal for our weight to fluctuate through out the day and the month! A few pounds up means nothing, so don't beat yourself up about it ok?
Okay so, what can cause bloating? So many things! No wonder if happens to all of us... Hormones can cause bloating especially when we're menstruating, eating too much salt causes us to retain water which makes us feel bloated, over eating or eating too many refined oily foods (like french fries) as well as eating too quickly, increasing your fiber intake too quickly, low Vitamin B levels, not exercising regularly, food allergies or intolerances, carbonated beverages (yes, your La Croix could be the culprit!) and protein deficiency just to name a few.
To reduce bloating you want to cut back on salt, dairy products, onions, garlic, spicy food, beans, lentils, sugar, coffee, juice, soy, cruciferous vegetables and carbonated drinks. Now, I'm not saying not to ever eat those things (many of them are very good for us!) but if you find yourself already bloated (maybe you had a very large meal or you're menstruating) then doing these things will help reduce the bloat and the discomfort you're feeling.
On top of that, you want to drink more water! Lots of water. You can also eat chia seeds, lemons, diuretics like celery/beets/parsley/cucumbers, fermented foods/drinks (yogurt and kefir if you are ok with dairy otherwise find non dairy options) or a high quality probiotic, cooked vegetables (easier to digest than raw), potassium-rich foods like sweet potatoes and bananas, whole grains (just not too much at once because consuming a lot more fiber than you're used to can cause bloating) and herbs/roots like ginger, fenugreek and turmeric.
Hopefully this post helps you feel more prepared because I think it's very important that we all feel in control of our body's and equipped with the right tools to heal and support them.
Products to help with bloating: