Ordering that side of truffle fries with dinner last night seemed like the best idea I’ve had all week (I mean, treat yo’self right?), that is, until I got home and could barely move as my stomach expanded past that of an 8-months pregnant mom to-be. I didn’t look nearly as cute as those mom bloggers that post selfies of their pregnant bellies on IG, I assure you. There are few things that ruin the memory of a delicious meal more than the painful post-bloat that follows. Bloating may also be one of the worst side-effects of your period, IMO. As if that time of the month needed to be any more painful. Best case, it has you walking around for the rest of the day wondering if people can see your food-baby bump through your sun dress. Worst case, you’re forced to lay down like I did, clutching your stomach, trying to decide if those fries were worth the pain.
Speaking from personal experience, belly bloating is not only physically painful, but affects your body-image and confidence as well. I’m certain I get a full ab-workout from the effort required to suck in my bloated belly to ensure I can still fit into my pants without popping off the top button. Don’t even get me started on bikini season… The thought of being bloated at the beach makes me shudder.
There are tons of theories as to what actually causes bloating that you can check out here and here, but I would rather focus on how to prevent, and get rid of that faux-baby entirely. Read below for seven tips to getting your flat stomach back (for good!).
Were the fries worth it? Probably not. Foods that are high in sodium cause dehydration, which contributes to bloating. Examples of salty food include fries (in case you didn’t get that already), cured and processed meats (like sausages or store-bought burger patties), canned and frozen foods (like some tomato sauces), most processed snacks (those Tostito chips aren’t helping), and sauces like soy sauce (sushi’s best friend). If you’re planning on treating yourself, try to drink extra water to compensate, and hopefully flush the sodium from your system.
Well, well, well. As if I hadn’t just mentioned the importance of drinking water, here I am to do it again. As I mentioned previously, a major cause of bloating is dehydration. This is basically because when your body is dehydrated, it will hold on to what little water it has left, and store it in your stomach and intestines. Though it may seem counter-intuitive, drinking water will actually help flush this out, and reduce your bloating.
Certain foods are harder for your body to digest, so they end up sitting in your stomach for longer, and fermenting. Picture that, it’s not appealing. How do you know what kinds of foods are hard to digest, you might ask? The short, but important, list includes: Gluten (aka whole grains like bread), dairy (sorry, I know), broccoli, cauliflower, kale, brussel sprouts, beans, chickpeas and lentils.
My favourite way to ingest tummy-soothing herbs is through a cozy cup of tea. Fennel, ginger and peppermint are known to cure bloating and indigestion, and make for delicious teas. Have one after any meal, and it’ll help get you feeling back to normal in no time.
While there are some foods known to cause bloating, there are also foods known to ease bloating. Cucumbers are known to reduce swelling and discourage water retention, while kiwis and bananas help support healthy digestion. Try having any of these throughout the day to promote better digestion.
I cannot tell you exactly how long my mother has been begging me to start taking probiotics, but I can tell you it’s been years. Being the health-nut she is (where do you think I get it from?), she knew it was the answer to my many stomach and digestive issues. But being the typical teenage daughter I was, I refused to listen. Finally, as I really embarked on my journey to a Zenzy-certified healthy, well-thy life, I decided to give them a try. Turns out, she was right after all. Who would’ve thought?
In summary, probiotics help replace the bad bacteria in your gut that causes indigestion and bloating, with good bacteria. It’s pretty much as simple as that, but if you want to learn more, read on here. The key takeaway is that taking a probiotic every morning has made a noticeable difference in my day, and allowed me to enjoy truffle fries once more.
While here at Zenzy we always believe that problems should be tackled from the inside-out first and foremost, sometimes there are products that can make the symptoms disappear while we tackle the root of the issue. Saje’s Gutzy Soothing Belly Massage Blend is one of those products. An essential oil that you rub on your stomach, this little roller is a blissful ball of goodness that comforts and relieves even the worst stomach ache. Many a time have I applied this oil to my stomach after a particularly bad bout of bloating, only to feel comforted and less puffy only moments later. Plus, it smells just as relaxing as it feels. Bonus.
COVER IMAGE: Pinterest