5 Ways to Reduce Belly Bloat

Do you wake in the morning and your stomach is pretty flat and as the day goes on your waistband feels tighter and by the time you go to bed at night you look like you're 6 months pregnant? If you answered yes, then you are experiencing bloating.

Bloating is often caused by eating too fast, eating high amounts of fatty foods or poor digestion. Here are my top 5 tips to help you banish the bloat:

Reduce the sodium in your diet as it could be causing water retention. 80% of the sodium in our diet comes from packaged, refined, processed and fast foods so if these make up a high percentage of your diet you need to start looking at bringing in more whole foods.

Increase the water in your diet, this will help flush the sodium out through your urine reducing the water retention. Remember that if you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated so you need to increase your water intake. (Half your body weight in ounces) Set an alarm on your phone if you really keep forgetting!

Eat smaller, more frequent meals and take more time over your meals, eat slower and remember to chew. Undigested food gets into your stomach and intestines and if not broken down properly will sit and ferment causing bloating and gas. Put your knife and fork down between bites and chew until the food is a paste – remember your stomach doesn’t have teeth!

Include foods that aid your digestion such as ginger and if after eating you are experiencing some digestive discomfort have some ginger or peppermint tea. One of my favourite tea blends for this is called ‘Eaters Digest’ by Traditional Medicinals, I always have some on hand just in case!
Another way to help your digestion is to include fermented foods in your diet, but not all fermented foods are created equally. Choosing the right foods will make all the difference in the benefits you receive. The trouble with the majority of commercial fermented foods is that they have been pasteurized, are much higher in sugar and have been heated at high heat causing the beneficial probiotic bacteria to be killed off therefore losing the health benefits.

Here are some traditional fermented foods to consider:
Sauerkraut
Kimchi
Raw kefir
Raw apple cider vinegar
Kombucha
Miso

If you want to try making your own fermented sauerkraut, check out the recipe below and if after making this your bloating is still showing up on a regular basis, make an appointment with your friendly nutritionist to get to the root of the problem.

Traditional Sauerkraut
Yield: 1 quart (32oz) Mason Jar
Days to Culture: 5 Days-3 Weeks

1 Cabbage, thinly sliced
1-2 Tbsp Full spectrum Sea Salt

Place chopped cabbage in a mixing bowl.
Add sea salt and massage together well.
Add any other desired ingredients (variations below) and massage until juices are abundant. The thinner the slice the easier this is.
Mix well and pack kraut into the mason jar. Firmly pack until approximately an inch of liquid (brine) is covering the kraut.
Use a weight such as a sterilized stone to keep down the kraut down so the brine is creating a seal

Substitute your favourite vegetables, herbs and spices such as cauliflower, broccoli, beets, carrots, cauliflower, radishes, dill & garlic, ginger & turmeric or garlic & onions.