Easy Ways to Live Well: Steph McGovern discusses bloating

“Gut health is incredibly important for our overall well-being,” stated Ashleigh Tosh. “If it’s not being taken care of then it can have a negative effect on your everyday life.” A healthy gut absorbs vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat, so are you eating foods that will help or hinder your gut health?

Tosh said people should “include plenty of fibre” in their diet, as it “helps to move food through the digestive tract”.

By moving the food along the digestive tract, waste is eliminated regularly so that the intestines are “clean”.

Tosh added: “Fibre can be found in foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains, so make sure to incorporate these foods into your diet.”

Another gut-friendly option to incorporate into your diet is fermented foods.

“Fermented foods are rich in probiotics, which promote healthy gut bacteria and support digestion,” Tosh explained.

Examples of fermented foods include:

  • Kimchi
  • Yoghurt
  • Kefir.

In addition to knowing which foods to add to your diet, it’s also helpful to know what to stay away from if you would rather not bloat often.

“Alcohol and caffeine can both cause irritation to the stomach lining and impede nutrient absorption, which can lead to digestive issues like bloating,” Tosh stated.

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“They can also interfere with the balance of beneficial bacteria, resulting in inflammation that may lead to IBS-like symptoms.”

Tosh also shares three recommendations to help beat the bloat (or prevent it from occurring in the first place).

“It is important to stay hydrated with water or unsweetened beverages such as herbal teas throughout the day,” said Tosh.

“Proper hydration ensures elimination of waste and helps to ensure that good bacteria levels remain at their highest.

“If you struggle with drinking enough water, add some fresh lemon or lime juice to your glass for extra flavour and an added dose of vitamins and minerals.”

Another top tip is to “get enough rest each night” so that the body can repair itself.

Good quality sleep of around eight hours per night is said to help “regulate digestion and the absorption of nutrients from the food we eat”.

Tosh is also a fan of exercising regularly when trying to prevent bloating.

“Exercise helps improve gut health by promoting good circulation of blood,” said Tosh.

She added better circulation increases the absorption of important nutrients, water and essential vitamins, thereby reducing inflammation and regulating hormones.

Seven ways to beat the bloat:

  1. Include fibre in your diet
  2. Eat fermented foods
  3. Limit alcohol and caffeine
  4. Stay hydrated
  5. Get plenty of sleep
  6. Exercise regularly
  7. Manage stress levels.

Nutrition expert Ashleigh Tosh works on behalf of Prepped Pots powered by Prepped Pots powered by MuscleFood.com.

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