5 Expert Tips to Banish Bloat & Achieve a Happy, Healthy Gut
Experiencing bloat during the holiday season is not uncommon, given all the feasts, treats, and indulgences. Though we try to embrace mindful eating, overindulgence happens. To help banish bloat and sluggish feeling post-meal, we’ve tapped nutrition expert, Dr. Michael Hartman, for tips on reducing intestinal discomfort and feeling bloated:
Know your triggers
We often find ourselves at the mercy of other people’s menus between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. That often means being in the dark about ingredients. Knowing your triggers can help eliminate bloat and ease your discomfort. Whether it’s dairy, gluten, or some other food, being aware of food intolerances and other triggers is important so you can avoid or limit them in order to prevent digestive issues like bloating. Don’t feel bad about asking your host what’s in their food. The last thing they want is for you to feel unwell.
Make simple food swaps to banish bloat
There’s no doubt that the foods we eat are a contributing factor to bloat. If you’re trying to build a healthy relationship with food, there are simple healthy holiday food swaps you can make. For instance, if dairy-filled cheese balls and crackers are a typical appetizer at your holiday dinner table, try mixing it up this year with hummus, pita, and fresh veggies. Instead of buttery mashed potatoes, switch to a sweet potato alternative. And, rather than going for a rice dish that’s high in starch, reach for legumes that are rich in potassium – a mineral that helps flush out excess bloat-causing sodium.
Eat more leafy greens
Vegetables like spinach, kale, bok choy, asparagus, and chard have a high-water content and are also low in calories and packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber that work well to reduce bloating.
Cut back on alcohol consumption
You might be tempted to pour yourself another drink after your holiday meal, but that won’t help your swollen stomach. Alcohol is an inflammatory substance that can slow digestion and increase water retention making you feel lethargic. It can also lead to swelling in the body, which can result in gas, discomfort, and bloating. So, instead of mulled wine and spiked eggnog, opt for the non-alcoholic cider!
Drink your water
Another main culprit of bloating is dehydration and improper fluid balance in and around our cells. It may sound cliché, but getting your daily dose of water is crucial for keeping bloat at bay. For a little nutritional insurance, drink 10-12 cups of water throughout the day.
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