Bloating is a common ailment and many people believe it is normal to experience it regularly. As someone who suffered from bloating for a long time, and now hardly ever experience it, I can tell you it’s definitely not normal and there are ways to live with a bloat-free, flat tummy every day!
What is bloating?
Bloating is any abnormal general swelling, or increase in diameter of the abdominal area generally caused from a build up of gas in your digestive tract. It promotes a feeling of fullness and tightness around the abdomen, which may cause abdominal pain and is sometimes accompanied by increased stomach growling. As with any type of symptoms, bloating is your body sending you a sign that something is not right.
What causes bloating?
There are countless causes for bloating, including allergies, hormonal imbalances, thyroid dysfunction, stress and more, though it usually stems from a problem with digestion. The root cause is inflammation and an overload of toxins in the body due to poor lifestyle and dietary habits which results in a backed up digestive tract.
The key to eliminating bloating is to help the good bacteria flourish and create a healthy, strong digestive system. Here are 5 of the best tips which I have personally used to successfully eliminate bloating:
Eliminate processed foods
There’s no way around this. If you truly want to beat belly bloating forever, you need to eliminate processed foods. These include packaged foods with added sugar, fats, salts, artificial sweeteners, dairy and sodas/carbonated drinks. These products are artificial and foreign to your body which means it doesn’t recognise them as a natural energy source. With the lack of living enzymes and fibre, they move slowly through the digestive tract while leaving their toxic residue along the way. This leads to impaired digestion and storing of toxins which in turn results in bloating, gas and indigestion. Also, consuming too much salt makes your body retain excess water which leads to you feeling bloated.
Replace these foods with juicy fruits such as melons, apples, pears, oranges, grapes, cucumbers, mangoes, tomatoes, or leafy greens such as kale, romaine, spinach, arugula, and vegetables of your choice. When your diet consists of 100% natural, whole plant foods you are nourishing your cells with nutrient rich enzymes and minerals whilst feeding your good bacteria with all of the healthy fibre in fruits and vegetables. All in all, this creates a healthy body and digestive system.
Eat light to heavy
What do I mean by this? Eating foods which are easier to digest first, followed by the heavier foods.
When food becomes trapped in your digestive system, it begins to back up like a traffic jam, resulting in fermentation, increased toxic load, and therefore impeded elimination, and eventually, weight gain.
For example, your first meal should be your lightest; a fresh juice, whole fruit or a smoothie. Your next meal should be a salad mixed with steamed vegetables, and at night, a raw salad followed by a veggie soup (this is also when you’d eat your animal proteins if you choose). The same rule applies to each individual meal. Always eat raw food before cooked food. Leave ample time (a few hours) between meals so they can digest properly before the next meal.
Eating in this manner allows your body to digest food efficiently and prevents congestion in the digestive tract which leads to bloating.
Practice food combining
The practice of food combining can significantly ease digestion and promote proper assimilation of nutrients. Quite similarly to eating light to heavy, when you eat a ton of different ingredients together that don’t absorb at similar rates, this causes congestion, fermentation and a slowing down of digestion. When eaten in appropriate combinations, foods digest better and this helps to prevent gas and bloating.
Learn all about food combining in my other post here.
Eat mono meals
Mono-mealing is the most traditional and natural way of eating on the planet. Mono-eating is simply the practice of eating one particular food for an entire meal in sufficient quantity to produce satiation until the next meal. For example, eating only watermelon, or mangoes in one sitting.
Eating mono meals is one of the best practices you can do for optimal digestion, absorption and assimilation of nutrients. Eating one food stimulates the perfect digestive response for that particular food and allows for complete digestion, preventing any bloating and helping you to achieve a flat tummy.
A common reason for bloating is your colon being backed up leading to improper elimination and constipation. Constipation is defined as having less bowel movements as you do meals. For example, if you have three meals per day, you should have three bowel movements per day. Constipation can be caused by many things including an unhealthy diet full of processed foods and not enough live foods full of nutrients and enzymes.
When waste and deposits are clogged up in your colon and unable to be eliminated, they will begin to rot. This creates a toxic overload and a breeding ground for billions of parasites and bacteria which results in bloating and gas.
Along with reducing or eliminating processed foods, dairy, gluten and animal products in your diet, it’s important to incorporate more living fruits and vegetables to help cleanse and regenerate your colon. In particular, foods like melons, paw paws, soaked dates, and green smoothies are fabulous for getting the bowel moving. Not enough hydration, physical activity and too much stress can also lead to constipation which results in bloating.
Fresh raw juice is a great option because it’s one of the purest sources of structured water (living water), which is different to regular water—H3O2 rather than H2O. Water from fruit and vegetables is the best quality water you can drink! The high water content of freshly made juice regulates digestion and hydrates your colon on a cellular level, encouraging healthy bowel movements. Incorporating the first four guidelines will also help to avoid constipation.
Practicing these guidelines regularly and making them a part of your lifestyle is key to achieving that flat, bloat-free tummy.