Home Remedies for bloating
Everyone’s experienced it: after a festive holiday dinner or a particularly indulgent night of snacking, your stomach swells and you feel pain or cramping in your belly. Bloating is a buildup of gas in your stomach or intestines. It can be caused by many factors, including overeating, eating fatty or gas-producing foods, drinking carbonated beverages, or stress and anxiety. Severe or chronic bloating may be a sign of a gastrointestinal infection, or may be related to medical conditions such as celiac disease or irritable bowel syndrome. Bloating is often relieved simply by passing gas or a bowel movement. If relief isn’t forthcoming, however, try one of these home remedies to win the battle of the bulging belly.
Magnesium can help soothe a troubled digestive system by expelling gas and relieving constipation by relaxing muscles in the walls of the intestines. This mineral is present in foods such as dark leafy greens, nuts, and beans. Or, you can take a magnesium supplement, 200 milligrams a day.
You’ve probably heard of probiotics and the “good bacteria” they contain that can aid in digestive health. Look for probiotic supplements (in capsule or powder form), or add probiotic-containing foods such as kefir or yogurt to your diet.
Potassium can make you feel less bloated by helping to circulate fluids in the body. Dietary sources of potassium include sweet potatoes, beans, and bananas. Be careful with bananas, however—too many can lead to constipation.
Drink 1 cup of dandelion tea daily to relieve water retention in your body and aid in the breakdown of fatty foods.
High-fiber foods move quickly through your digestive tract, and can ease constipation and bloating. Foods rich in fiber include whole grains, beans, fruits such as raspberries and pears, and vegetables such as celery, carrots, and broccoli. To keep your digestive system in check, increase your fiber intake gradually, as suddenly increasing dietary fiber may actually worsen your bloating. And, as always, drink plenty of water to keep things moving.
THERE’S AIR IN THERE
Swallowing air can lead to gas in your digestive system—which in turn can lead to bloating. If you have frequent bloating, try cutting back on these “airy” habits:
- Chewing gum or sucking on hard candy
- Drinking carbonated beverages such as soda
- Drinking through a straw By making a few lifestyle changes, you can improve your digestion and ease the discomfort of bloating.