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4 natural ways to beat bloating

04 May 2020 in Health

Bloating is a common problem that occurs when too much gas builds up in your digestive tract, causing your tummy to feel swollen or tight.

If you have persistent bloating, you may wonder if there’s anything you can do to improve your symptoms. Most guidance tends to focus on taking medication, but you may find that other remedies help bring relief.

Here are 4 natural ways to ease bloating.

Drinking peppermint or chamomile tea

Some herbal teas, such as peppermint and chamomile, are thought to improve digestion and ease bloating.

There isn’t much evidence to support these claims, but you can still try drinking a peppermint or chamomile infusion if you have a bloated tummy.

If nothing else, these drinks will help to keep you hydrated.

Practicing yoga

Have you ever noticed that stress seems to make you feel bloated?

Being stressed can increase the amount of air you swallow, and this can make bloating worse.

However, studies show that yoga is an effective way to relieve stress and improve your mental wellbeing, while certain yoga poses are thought to help reduce bloating.

If you think stress may be contributing to your bloating, try yoga. It’s suitable for people of all ages, and you can join a local yoga class or find some videos online.

Adding more fibre to your diet

Bloating can be linked to constipation, a common medical condition that makes it harder to poo. If you have symptoms of bloating and constipation, you may find it helps to add more fibre to your diet.

Fibre is a plant-based carbohydrate typically found in fruit, vegetables and grains. It isn’t broken down in the small intestine and helps to move food through the digestive system, limiting the amount of time that waste products spend in the gut.

Fibre also feeds good bacteria that live in your large intestine.

You should aim for approximately 30g of fibre per day, but try to pace yourself because a sudden increase in fibre can create gas and make bloating worse.

Good sources of fibre include wholewheat cereals and pasta, porridge oats, wholemeal bread, pulses (beans and lentils), vegetables, and fresh or dried fruit.

You can also increase your fibre intake by:

  • swapping the meat in your meals with beans
  • leaving the skin on your potatoes
  • sprinkling seeds and nuts on your breakfast cereal
  • using fresh or dried fruit in salads or desserts
  • adding lentils or chickpeas to stews and curries

Taking more time with your meals

It may be tempting to rush a meal, especially when you’re hungry or short of time, but eating too quickly can make you swallow larger amounts of air. This air will then work its way down to the small intestine, contributing to bloating and indigestion.

You may also find it helps to avoid talking too much while eating - talking while you eat encourages you to swallow extra air.

Another way to improve your symptoms is to put your cutlery down between each mouthful and focus on chewing your food instead of moving on to the next bite.

If you’d like more guidance on managing these symptoms, read our article on how to beat bloating.

When should I go to the doctor for bloating?

If the natural remedies listed in this article don’t help to relieve your bloating and if the problem persists, you should see a doctor.


References:

Bloating & Wind | Crohn's & Colitis UK [Internet]. Crohnsandcolitis.org.uk. 2020 [cited 17 March 2020]. Available here.

[Internet]. Apa.org. 2020 [cited 17 March 2020]. Available here.

Yoga for Health [Internet]. NCCIH. 2020 [cited 17 March 2020]. Available here.

Gallant G. The health benefits of yoga [Internet]. Patient.info. 2020 [cited 17 March 2020]. Available here.

A guide to yoga - Your.MD [Internet]. Your.MD. 2020 [cited 17 March 2020]. Available here.

Beat the bloat [Internet]. nhs.uk. 2020 [cited 17 March 2020]. Available here.

Knott D. Trapped Wind (Gas & Bloating) Symptoms, causes and treatment [Internet]. Patient.info. 2020 [cited 17 March 2020]. Available here.

How to get more fibre into your diet [Internet]. nhs.uk. 2020 [cited 17 March 2020]. Available here.

[Internet]. 2020 [cited 17 March 2020]. Available here.

Harding D. Constipation | Causes, Symptoms and Treatment [Internet]. Patient.info. 2020 [cited 17 March 2020]. Available here.

[Internet]. 2020 [cited 17 March 2020]. Available here.

5 lifestyle tips for a healthy tummy [Internet]. nhs.uk. 2020 [cited 17 March 2020]. Available here.

A guide to yoga [Internet]. nhs.uk. 2020 [cited 17 March 2020]. Available here.

Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.

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