Let's talk about something uncomfortable and often times embarrassing: gas and bloating.
Bloating and gas are usually tied to what and how we eat. 1 in 10 americans say they experience bloating regularly, even when they haven’t had a big meal - so that means it’s related to a food that your body is not agreeing with.
Just to put you guys at ease - having a perfectly flat stomach all the time isn't normal, nor is it possible. After you eat and drink, food and liquids take up space inside your stomach and intestines, and that means some expansion. So all those pictures you see of women with toned abs or a six pack is definitely not after a meal.
It’s also important to identify what foods specifically affect you, and you may not even realize you are intolerant to it. Once you recognize them, A few simple swaps can make all the difference.
Here are a some foods that we as Americans we eat most days, and what you can have instead to swap it out.
If you feel gassy, bloated, or have cramps after a cheese, milk, yogurt, or any other diary you may be lactose intolerant, which means your body lacks the necessary enzymes to break down lactose (the sugar found in dairy products). That can cause gas to form in your intestines which triggers bloating.
This may by a surprise to hear, but 75% of the world’s population is lactose intolerant. And most people don't even realize that their body isn’t breaking down the dairy. The way to figure out if you are lactose intolerant, is if you eliminate it for a week, and retinroduce it, and you see symptoms come back, you’re body is sensitive to it.
Some alternatives are almond, coconut, rice, hemp, cashew, or organic soy milk.
For those of you are thinking, but cheese, how do I not eat cheese? To that, I say, I get it. However, there are a few really good cheese alternatives - Daiya and Miyoko’s.
There is a lot of controversy about wheat and gluten (the protein found in wheat.) It’s an ingredient that’s in bread, pastas, baked goods, and many packaged foods. People often ask me why wheat is bad for us. And my answer to that is, it’s not. Its whats been done to it, is what’s causing the bloating and other negative reactions in our bodies. Wheat has been cross bred and genetically modified, and sprayed with pesticides and toxins, our bodies are no loner recognizing it as real food, therefore it is rejecting it. When our bodies reject foods, it manifests itself in symptoms and sometimes diseases. Its our body’s way of protecting us, telling us something isn't working for us. It’s really important to tune in and listen to what your body is telling you. Gluten causes major digestive issues like bloating, gas, and diarrhea for many people (esp people with Celiac Disease or gluten sensitivity.) In addition, gluten has known to cause brain fog and lethargy as well.
All in all, the modern wheat in America is considered to be inflammatory and should be consumed sparingly. The reason I specify America is because, Europe and other countries have much stricter regulations on their food, and a lot of people report that they don't feel the affects as much when they have gluten products like bread and pasta when they travel to other countries.
Try using gluten-free alternatives like oats, rice, buckwheat, almond flour, coconut flour, quinoa, and tapioca flour. Many grocery stores now sell gluten-free flour, so you can make your own bread and desserts. Be aware of packed products that are labeled “gluten-free”, as they are often loaded with sugar and processed junk. Also if you really just want bread, EZikele bread is bread. Its made from organic, non GMO wheat and other healthy grains, so for a lot of people, it’s often not a problem.
Diet Drinks and Diet foods
Diet drinks have been known to be the culprit of a range of digestive issues, including: bloating, gas, and diarrhea. The artificial “sugar” does not metabolize in our bodies because it does not recognize it as real food. Therefore, is stays in our large intestine and our gut bacteria feeds on it. This is what causes our stomach to expand.
Steer clear of the diet drinks, they are by no means helping you lose weight. In fact, a recent study showed that people who drank diet coke actually weighed more than people who drank regular coke. Opt for drinks that have honey, maple syrup, or coconut palm sugar. Of course the best option is always to make your own beverage using natural sweeteners or to opt for water or herbal teas.
The term “beer belly” is something we have all heard of. It refers to both belly fat and bloating caused by drinking beer since it is carbonated and mostly fermented from gluten products like barley and wheat. Plus, those commercial beers have intregredints like MSG, Caramel coloring, artificial colors, BPA - which are aLL neurotoxins.
Red or white wine are better options as well as hard alcohol on the rocks with lime. Also, it you are a wine lover like me, look for oganic wines. It’s made without pesticides, added sugars, and sulfites. Wine is good for you ONLY if its a clean wine. Co-worker wine story. And of course water with lemon/lime is really the best option. If you’re going to have hard alcohol, I you do vodka or tequila, or clear rum. Ask for seltzer water and lots of lime. And for every 1 drink of alcohol, have 1 glass of water. You’ll drink less by default and it will help flush out your system.
Frozen dinners and Packaged Processed Food
Frozen dinner, canned soups, and processed foods are very high in sodium, which causes water retention, leading to unpleasant bloating. Often labeled as low fat and low calorie options, salad dressing, condiments, and sauces are usually loaded with sodium.
To ward off the bloating, look for items that have around 750-800 milligrams of sodium per serving. Better yet, make your own healthy, delicious soups and meals. Use oil, lemon, or balsamic vinegar as dressing. If you do end up eating a lot of sodium, especially if you're on vacation or at social events drinking about 10-12 cups of water to help you flush it out.
We live very busy lifestyles, however making a commitment to prep for just and hour or 2 a week, can dramatically change your body, your health, and your bank account. Buying clean, healthy ingredients, even if they are organic will AWLAYS be more cost effective.
Other foods that are great for reducing belly bloating:
Cucumbers People use cucumbers to reduce puffiness under their eyes—and you can eat them to do the same thing for your belly. Also, very anti inflammatory, so great for helping with weight loss
Bananas - Foods rich in potassium—like bananas, plus avocados, kiwis, oranges, and pistachios—prevent water retention by regulating sodium levels in your body and can thus reduce salt-induced bloating. Bananas also have soluble fiber, which can relieve or prevent constipation.
Asparagus - Asparagus is an anti-bloating superfood. Sure, it makes your urine smell, but it also makes you pee, period—helping you flush all that excess water, thus relieving any discomfort and bloat.
Ginger - Add bloating to the list—ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory and an all-star digestive aid. It soothes the digestive system and relaxes the muscles of the digestive tract, which can relieve bloating.
Dark leafy greens - like kale, spinach, and lettuce, do no such thing. They're all super-low-cal, loaded with fiber, and help ease water retention.
Berries - Berries are full of fiber and antioxidants, plus they're low-cal. Great for weight loss and detoxing.
Herbs - these are great detoxing heavy metals and excess bloat. They are easy to add to your salad, sandwiches, soups, and dips.
Bloating is usually just a temporary symptom that can be warded off by modifying diet and portion sizes. However, sometimes feeling bloated consistently can be a sign of a serious health condition.
Signs of a digestive issue is frequent constipation, bloating, gas, heartburn, or nausea. There are embarrassing, so we don't really talk about it and overtime we start to think that this is normal.
So if you’re having bowel movements only 2-3x, have diarrhea after eating something or have skin conditions like acne, eczema, or rose, these can be big signs of improper digestion. Although they are very common, they aren’t necessarily healthy. Poor digestion contributes to decreased vitamin and mineral absorption, which can interfere with weight loss.
If you are experiencing these symptoms regularly and by that I mean monthly or weekly, you really may want to dive deeper into that. Those symptoms are not normal and you don’t have to feel that awful, they are very uncomfortable but very fixable.
Ideally, You can be pooping 1-2x a day. Our bodies are designed to have have clear glowing skin, and vibrant energy and sharp thinking ALL THE TIME, not some of the times. All of this can be achieved throughout optimal digestion.
Once your digestion is fixed, everything falls into place - your weight, your skin, energy levels, moods. Ayurvedic medicine, which is an ancient indian medicine says that our body’ health is dependent on our digestive system, and now western medicine has finally caught up and science has proven that it is actually true.
If you think are doing every thing you can to heal your digestive symptoms or lose weight, but still aren't getting lasting results, set up a free 15 minute consultation today!