Christmas dinner can feel like a minefield if you suffer from bloating—here's how to avoid that uncomfortable after-dinner feeling. 

Never liked Brussels sprouts? We’ve found another good reason for leaving them on the side of your plate this Christmas—they make you feel bloated. And they’re only one of many culprits, which include broccoli, cauliflower, lentils and kidney beans. Even apples, pears, milk, onions and wheat are in the frame.

Obviously you can’t cut everything out of your diet, so how to ditch the distended stomach and embarrassing wind that comes with all that excess gas? 

 

DO

  • Stay regular. Eat soluble fibre, such as porridge, at breakfast.
  • Eat slowly. Sit down to enjoy meals and chew food thoroughly to avoid swallowing air.
  • Exercise. Thirty minutes of moderate activity every day will help food move through your digestive tract.
  • Manage stress. Yes, stress and worry can affect our digestive system, and there’s usually plenty of that going around during the busy festive season.
  • Watch what you drink. Both alcohol and caffeine can relax the muscle between the oesophagus and the stomach, which can let in air. Booze also causes spasms in the small intestine that can lead to bloating. Carbonated drinks are in the sin bin too—they can make you swallow air.
     

DON'T

  • Chew gum. If you suffer from bloating, be warned that chewing gum will cause you to swallow air that then moves through the entire digestive tract.
  • Eat dairy products containing lactose. Lactose is the naturally occurring sugar found at high levels in milk, butter and ice cream.
    People who are lactose intolerant lack sufficient enzymes to digest this sugar. The result? It ends up in the large intestine where it causes gas and bloating.
    If symptoms clear within 48 hours after eliminating lactose, then that’s likely to be the cause.
  • Eat too many raw veg. Avoid notorious gas-producers such as broccoli and sprouts. Peel off skins whenever possible and steam vegetables.
  • Snack all day. You need to give your body a break so that it can digest food. Ideally, you should leave at least two hours between snacks and meals.

Related Posts