How To Beat Belly Bloat
So you've been working on your gut health and feeling great, when all of a sudden, *BOOM* it hits you - belly bloat!
I'm no stranger to feeling bloated either, it can be really uncomfortable and frustrating if it happens all the time. While there can be other underlying issues, working on optimal digestion usually helps alleviate most causes of bloating. Here are some ways to help get bloating under control.
First, make sure to chew your food really well. There are enzymes in our saliva (salivary amylase) specifically designed to help with the breakdown of starches. This breakdown of starch is not reproduced anywhere else in your digestive tract so when you don’t chew your food all the way, these starches may make it into the gut only partially digested and then they have a party with our gut bugs... hello bloating!
Hydrochloric acid (HCL) is needed to break down food, and our stomachs should be super ACIDIC (think battery acid). Increasing your production of HCL in your stomach is a great way to prevent bloating because partially digested food is such a common cause of bloating. You can even increase your HCL production by drinking warm lemon water before meals.
Have you ever started salivating and getting super hungry while looking at food pictures on Instagram? That's because the sight, smell, and anticipation of food all trigger the brain to tell your digestive system to start releasing enzymes and gastric juices to prepare for an incoming meal.
This signal from the brain to the digestive system does not work very well when we are stressed, and that is why it is really important to relax before meals and stay relaxed while eating.
Try taking a couple of mindful deep belly breaths before your meals, and do not eat while distracted or working in front of the TV or computer.
Sometimes our stomach needs a little help acidifying and making digestive enzymes, so supplemental digestive enzymes before meals can be a game changer for some people. I really like the ones by Enzymetica called Digestive Spectrum.
And finally, sometimes we just need a little something to beat our belly bloat in the moment - this is where ginger root comes in. Pick up a bottle of ginger root capsules from your local health food store and keep them on hand. You can also take a capsule post meal to prevent belly bloat or even make a cup of ginger tea to help relax your mind and body.