We know how much the gut and the skin are linked (for a refresher check out this and this). One specific issue I'm hearing from a lot of my patients lately is the frustrating, uncomfortable bloat. Excess gas in your belly can be caused by any number of triggers—from irritable foods (hello, beans) to microbiome imbalances. Luckily, there are plenty of good strategies to help mitigate the uncomfortable bloat. Here, a 4 tips to beat the bloat;
Up the fibre
Sometimes bloating is actually caused by constipation, so upping your fibre can kill two birds with one stone! Regardless of whether you’re constipated, fibre is crucial for improving your digestive health, and eating a varied diet that’s rich in fibre will usually make a real difference to your gut.
The beneficial microbes we want to encourage flourish in a higher fibre diet, so include lots of vegetables, fruits, pulses, and whole grains in your diet.
As with fermented foods, it’s important to take things slowly, as a sudden increase of fibre may temporarily cause stomach discomfort and diarrhoea. Some individuals with inflammatory bowel disease, or even severe IBS, can find too much fibre may worsen their symptoms – so work with your body, and find a level that works for you.
Take a high-quality probiotic supplement.
When it comes to keeping bloat at bay, maintaining a healthy microbiome is key. Bloating may be caused by an imbalance of good-to-bad bacteria in your gut, which means, if you have more of the "bad" gas-producing bacterial strains, it can lead to more trapped gas in your gut.
Research shows that taking probiotics on a regular basis can support a healthy microbial balance in the gut, which can prevent or alleviate bloating. I do suggest to work with your health care practitioner for the best probiotic to suit your needs as there are so many on the market and our microbiome is very unique.
Practice mindfulness in what and how you eat.
A little bit of mindfulness can go a long way when it comes to reducing bloat. So many of us are conditioned to speed through meals, eat while working, and not give mealtime its due consideration. Instead, try to be mindful during meals—it might help to start off with deep breaths, gratitude or whatever helps you be more present while you eat.
What's more, it's important to be mindful of how certain foods affect your body. If you're dealing with persistent bloat, I recommend keeping a food journal to help pinpoint the problem. This is an important step in developing food-gut intuition—your ability to tell which foods disagree with you and which ones lead to a happy gut. Download your FREE Food Diary here.
Keep your body moving.
How you fuel your body matters, but staying active is also key to reducing uncomfortable gas buildup. A short walk after a meal supports optimal digestion. That's because physically moving your body after a meal can help food travel more quickly through your system, which allows you to avoid that heavy, bloated feeling.
Your gut health will affect your skin health, so if you're suffering from an ongoing uncomfortable bloat; then it might be worthwhile speaking with your health care practitioner.