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Why Bloating Can Strike After Meals & How to Find Relief

Why Bloating Can Strike After Meals & How to Find Relief

After indulging in a delicious meal, there's nothing more unpleasant than feeling bloated, stuffed, and gassy. The discomfort accompanying these symptoms can put a damper on even the most enjoyable dining experiences.

While for many of us, this feeling can be short-lived, for others, it can be frequent and frustrating, particularly when the underlying cause is unknown. But fear not; understanding the reasons behind bloating can help you take proactive steps to identify and prevent your triggers, plus tried and tested methods for effective relief.

But First Off…What Exactly Is Bloating? 

Put simply, bloating is a buildup of intestinal gas in the digestive system, causing you that swollen, puffy, and uncomfortable feeling in your belly. During digestion, the millions of bacteria residing in your gut help to break down food and create gas as a by-product.

If you're experiencing bloating, it's very likely you'll also be experiencing the need to pass wind (or flatulence for technical sake). See, when there is too much gas built up, the body tries to reduce the intestinal pressure by releasing it - and yes, you guessed right - this means farts.

So What Can You Do To Avoid Bloating & Gas?

As frustrating as it may be, the good news is that bloating and gas can be remedied by paying close attention to what you eat and adopting a few healthy habits. Here’s our step-by-step guide to bid farewell to uncomfortable belly bloat and the painful symptoms that come with it.

Step 1: Identify and Avoid Food Intolerances

Certain individuals may be intolerant to specific foods, such as lactose or gluten. Eating foods that cause gastric upset and irritation can lead to digestive distress. That’s why it’s important to pinpoint your triggers so you can do your best to avoid them. Keeping a food diary and listening to your body is a proactive and helpful way to achieve this.

Step 2: Be Aware of Gas-Causing Foods

Eating foods that are difficult to break down, such as larger portions, rich and fatty meals, or excess salt and carbohydrates, places more burden on your digestive system. Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage and cauliflower also fall into this category as they contain a difficult-to-digest carbohydrate called raffinose. These foods remain undigested until the bacteria in your gut ferment them, causing bloating and gas.

Where possible, steam your vegetables, limit processed foods, and opt for smaller, more frequent meals rather than large, heavy ones. This can prevent overwhelming the digestive system and excess gas production.

Step 3: Slow-Down & Reduce Swallowing 'Gas'

One of the most overlooked reasons for bloating and gas is the ingestion of air while eating or drinking. Chewing gum, drinking carbonated beverages, and consuming food too quickly can introduce excess air into the digestive system.

Have you ever inhaled your food and wondered why do I feel so bloated all of a sudden? We've all been there. Try to slow down, be present, and savour each bite. Plus, chewing your food properly means less work for your gut bacteria (and less gas).

Step 4: Avoid Gas-Causing Constipation

Bloating and excess gas buildup can also be caused by constipation. The longer your stool stays in your colon, the more time bacteria have to ferment what's there. Slowed or delayed digestive function can be caused by a diet lacking fibre or adequate hydration, combined with stress and/or daily exercise. Together, these factors can lead to constipation and bloating.

Step 5: Consider Digestive Herbs

It might not always be practical (or enjoyable) to completely avoid indulgent meals or occasions, especially during the festive season. And truthfully, enjoying these foods in moderation is what life is really about! So, if your digestion needs a helping hand, consider a blend of digestive herbs such as Digest Ease. Look for blends that contain bitter herbs like gentian root or dandelion root. Their bitter properties supercharge the digestive process by stimulating stomach acid and enzymes to help break down your food, while aromatic herbs like ginger and peppermint prevent and alleviate excess gas. 

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