Our Nutritionist Picks Out the Top 10 Reasons for Bloating
In this blog, our Nutritionist Katie Lane looks at the main reasons for bloating, why bloating occurs, and how to alleviate bloating. Whilst there may be several reasons for bloating, Katie has picked out the top 10 reasons of why it can occur.
Chewing with your mouth open:
Also talking when you are eating and drinking through a straw. An open mouth draws in air, increasing the risk of bloating and burping.
Too little stomach acid:
The symptoms of too little stomach acid and too much are similar. Typically, they include belching, burping, bloating and a feeling of undigested food sitting in the stomach for hours. Food sensitivities and stress play a role, by depleting acid output. Some people find relief using diluted apple cider vinegar. Begin with 1tsp of ACV with 2 tbsp of water and gradually increase the amount of vinegar up to 1-2 tbsp with water.
"Some people with lactose intolerance can tolerate lactose-free milk or eat dairy products when they take a lactase enzyme supplement."
Inadequate digestive enzymes:
Many people have enzyme deficiencies making them unable to adequately digest specific foods or food groups. Lactose intolerance and gluten intolerance are the most common types. Some people with lactose intolerance can tolerate lactose-free milk or eat dairy products when they take a lactase enzyme supplement.
People with celiac disease cannot fully digest gliadin, a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, spelt and kamut, but they can eat gluten free grains including buckwheat, quinoa, rice, gluten free oats, amaranth, teff, millet and sorghum. Take a digestive enzyme supplement that includes an enzyme to break down fats, proteins and carbohydrates.
Too many raw vegetables:
Broccoli, kale, spinach, cabbage and cauliflower all contain an indigestible sugar called raffinose and by consuming any of these vegetables raw (even blended in a smoothie) can cause bloating. Cooking, steaming or fermenting these vegetables help to break down the raffinose sugar so they are more digestible.
Bile is a substance secreted by the liver. Bile salts emulsify fat from our food increasing the surface area so that the lipase enzyme can digest fats and absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K more efficiently. Gas, bloating and diarrhoea are common clinical symptoms of bile insufficiency. Foods and herbs that stimulate bile production are called cholagogues and include celery, radishes, dandelion and artichoke. Bitter foods such as rocket, watercress, endive, cauliflower, radicchio, ginger and peppermint, also help to stimulate bile production. Make a tea from dandelion, ginger and/or peppermint.
Imbalance of gut flora:
Bloating and gas can be due to a deficiency of good bacteria in the bowel. It’s also known that the friendly Lactobacillus acidophilus helps to alleviate the bloating caused by lactose malabsorption. Take a multi-strain microbiotic to replenish the good bacteria in your gut.
Constipation can contribute to abdominal pain and bloating. Prevent constipation by consuming a fibre-rich diet, drinking lots of fluids and taking regular exercise. Even a 20-30minute brisk walk four times a week can improve your bowel function.
Too much chewing gum:
Chewing gum is a notorious gas maker and cause of bloating. Gum may be the culprit of your bloating so cut it out completely!
"If you are constantly eating food in the fight in flight mode than over time symptoms of poor digestion will occur, for example bloating."
Are you stressed?
Our digestive system does not function properly in a stressful state called the sympathetic nervous system or fight and flight mode; it works best in the parasympathetic nervous system state (rest and digest). If you are constantly eating food in the fight in flight mode than over time symptoms of poor digestion will occur, for example bloating.
Eating in a rush:
Gobbling your food means you’ll probably gobble down loads of air, too. Try to take at least 20min to eat your food, chew slowly and most of all relax and enjoy your food.