Gas, bloating, belching- YIKES! Although these are normal parts of our digestion and bodily processes, too much can be uncomfortable and embarrassing! In a recent article, we touched on a few important principles related to excess gas production, however did you know that your daily nutrition and lifestyle habits also play a strong role in these digestive processes?
Belching: Belching, burping, yuck! Most commonly, swallowing too much air is the main reason why we have to belch. Eating or drinking very quickly is typically known to trap extra air. Additionally, chewing gum and sucking on hard candy are culprits. The fix: Focus on eating slowly and mindfully, and chewing your food thoroughly so your digestive enzymes have time to start processing the food before it hits your stomach. Avoiding carbonated beverages, gum, and hard candies can also help. Plus, most gum and hard candies have artificial sweeteners in them, which can also contribute to bloating.
Gas: Gas can form from undigested food fermenting in the intestine, constipation, or taking certain medications. The most common gas-forming foods include cabbage, onions, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, beans, peas, lentils, fatty/greasy foods, and other fibrous foods. You don’t want to completely eliminate all of these foods from your diet, as most of them have a ton of added nutritional benefits and can help keep you satiated during the day! Plus, you may notice that you are able to tolerate a small serving of these fibrous foods, such as half a cup of broccoli as opposed to a full cup. The fix: My best advice for managing gas is by staying regular with your bowel movements! This requires constant hydration throughout the day. Drink slowly and steadily throughout the day, and you can add some lemon or ginger to your water for additional digestive benefits. A daily probiotic can also help introduce healthy bacteria and optimize your digestion. In cases of IBS, trying the low-FODMAP diet may be an ideal fix.
Bloating: The same foods that cause gas can also cause bloating, but you may also want to avoid chewing gum, sucking on hard candies, or drinking carbonated beverages like soda. The fix: Ginger is an anti-inflammatory and can help you de-bloat; try sipping on warm ginger tea or adding some fresh ginger to your dinner meal. Exercise also helps motility and can push gas through the digestive tract, leading to less bloat.