If you tighten your pants and feel heaviness, it’s time to take dietary measures to end bloating.
Bloating is the feeling of bloating, heaviness, or fullness in the abdomen, as if you are tightening your pants. Abdominal swelling or distension can be due to several causes: very varied digestive alterations, emotional, muscular or fluid retention … However, many times the solution is to make some simple changes in habits. We tell you what to do according to the cause that causes abdominal swelling.
BLOATING: CAUSES AND SYMPTOMS
The symptoms of bloating can be different: we may feel that the abdomen is swollen and hard with a feeling of slow and heavy digestion, gas and even pain. In general, it is not a serious problem, but it can be very uncomfortable. Symptoms vary depending on the cause of abdominal bloating.
- Fluid retention: If the swelling is caused by excessive fluid retention, we can also have dark circles, our ankles can swell and we will feel heavy legs.
- Poor digestion: Abdominal bloating or bloating caused by digestive problems and gas buildup should be approached differently. There are different situations that can favor distention of the abdomen and gas, such as: drastic changes in diet, hypochlorhydria (deficit of hydrochloric acid in the stomach), reflux or heartburn, intestinal dysbiosis, food intolerances, constipation, diarrhea or inflammatory bowel diseases.
- A drastic change in diet: When, for whatever reason, a change in diet has been made, it can favor the accumulation of gas (with or without pain) in the intestines. It may happen that, by increasing fiber consumption, if the microbiota is not used to it, more gases are generated. Dietary changes should be made gradually so that the intestinal bacteria adapt.
ABDOMINAL DISTENSION: SOLUTION IF THE CAUSE IS RETENTION
- Less sodium. In this case it is important to reduce the consumption of refined and ultra-processed salt, since they usually contain high doses of sodium, in addition to harmful fats.
- Avoid sugars. It is also advisable to avoid added sugars, sweets, refined flours, etc., because they hinder the elimination of liquids.
- Water and diuresis. If you don’t drink enough water, the body activates mechanisms to retain fluid. Therefore, although it seems paradoxical, drinking more can reduce swelling by retention.
- Minerals. It is important that the liquid is accompanied by minerals, especially potassium. For this we will introduce in our day-to-day vegetables with diuretic action such as radishes, turnips, cucumber and celery.
- Infusions. Another tool that we have at our disposal are renal depurative infusions with nettle, horsetail and dandelion, which is also hepatic depurative.
- Activity and rest. We will also benefit from maintaining an active life and, at the end of the day, we can lie on our backs with our legs elevated above our head.
ABDOMINAL DISTENSION: SOLUTION IF THE CAUSE IS POOR DIGESTION
Depending on the cause of digestive problems (reflux, intolerances, intestinal dysbiosis…) The treatment will be different, so it is important that a professional makes a diagnosis. If there are intolerances, bacterial overgrowth or inflammatory bowel diseases, you have to go to a doctor and a nutrition professional to adapt the diet.
- Apple cider vinegar. In the event that you suffer from hypochlorhydria due to a bacterial infection, stress or excess in the consumption of antacid medications, it may be helpful to add unpasteurized apple cider vinegar in meals, as it improves digestive capacity and metabolism, and brings bacteria to our intestine.
- Hot water and oil. If there is constipation and gas, it is important to drink hot water on an empty stomach, and during the day, take a tablespoon of virgin coconut oil daily.
- Porridge. If they feel good, you can take them with applesauce and cinnamon to combat constipation.
- Kuzu with umeboshi. It is the best remedy when bloating is accompanied by diarrhea. Take the mixture two or three times a day until normal intestinal transit is restored.
BLOATING: SOLUTION IF THE CAUSE IS A CHANGE IN DIET
- Elimination. See if there is any food that you can relate more or less to your bloating and accumulation of gas to assess if you remove it from your diet for a while. It is common for cabbages, leeks, garlic, onions and legumes to feel bad if you are not used to it or suffer a specific intolerance. Notice if you feel the same discomfort eating a few broccoli florets or if you also eat the fibrous part of the trunk, which is more difficult to digest. Cooked onions are also digested better than raw onions.
- Hummus. Try taking legumes in the form of hummus (puree), although you should eat it with something crunchy to salivate it and chew it well. Hummus is prepared with cumin (a plant that prevents the formation of gases) and lemon juice, which improves the acidity of the stomach.
- Chewing more. In all cases where there is excess gas and abdominal swelling, it is indicated to chew the food a lot and take it slowly. To favor the leisurely pace, we can get used to releasing the cutlery between bites.
- Digestive infusion. Taking a small glass of well-concentrated infusion after meals is an easy remedy to improve bloating. Prepare your infusion with green or star anise, chopped dried licorice, ginger, lemon verbena, dried mint leaves or Ceylon cinnamon.
- Hot and bitter. According to traditional Chinese medicine, starting meals with something hot and bitter promotes digestive function. Bitter foods contain substances that stimulate digestion, especially from high-fat foods
ABDOMINAL BLOATING: THE SOLUTION THROUGH SELF-MASSAGE
Abdominal massage, which you can do yourself, not only serves to reduce bloating, but also improves intestinal transit, prevents constipation and fluid retention.
- Breathe. Lie on your back on a mat or carpet and bend your legs to place the soles of your feet on the floor. Breathe deeply and consciously for one minute. Rub your hands to warm them up and put them on your abdomen, one above the navel and the other below. Take a few more seconds.
- Massage in circles. Stroke the belly with both hands making circles from left to right for two or three minutes. Now, make a slight pressure with the fingertips of both hands on the right side of your abdomen, near the appendix, and then press up with the tips up, continue above the navel and go down the left side. Repeat the movement for at least two minutes.