6 ways to beat the January bloat
Take five deep breaths before eating
Have you ever noticed you lose your appetite when you’re stressed? A pioneering study conducted more than 60 years ago found that intestinal contractions increase when a person is feeling hostile, and decrease when a person is feeling helpless. Cultivate a relaxed, happy state of mind and your digestion is more likely to be easy and even.
Go for green
Not only are green vegetables chock-full of nutrients, they also contain a lot of fibre and water—both of which are essential for smooth digestion. There’s a reason why our mums told us to eat our broccoli…
Consider a pro-biotic
Pro-biotic supplements can help repopulate your gut with “good” bacteria, which aid proper digestion. In one randomized placebo-controlled trial, supplementation of the VSL#3 probiotic was found to significantly reduce flatulence after just four weeks.
Swap fizzy for flat
Fizzy drinks create a lot of pressure in cans and bottles, and your insides are no different: the carbonic acid fills your stomach with air, leaving you with the desire to belch. If you’re turning to soda pop for the flavour, try popping freshly cut fruit or mint in your water instead.
Sip ginger tea after a meal
Ginger has a long tradition of soothing gastrointestinal distress. In one placebo-controlled trial, participants who received supplements with ginger and artichoke extract enjoyed a significant reduction epigastric pain and bloating.
You don’t need to pop pills, though—a couple of slices of fresh ginger in warm water are enough to have an effect.
It’s best to avoid strenuous exercise after a big meal, but a gentle activity can encourage gastrointestinal motility, thus helping your food to move along. Now where are those walking shoes?