9 easy tips to get rid of bloating and get a flat tummy according to experts

We’ve all experienced the bane of life that is, bloat. You wake up with a happy, relatively flat stomach, and go to bed with a heavy rotund belly.

We’ve all experienced the bane of life that is, bloat. You wake up with a happy, relatively flat stomach, and go to bed with a heavy rotund belly.

Bloat is never fun. It tends to occur due to excess gas production or other disturbances in the digestive system and can leave us feeling seriously uncomfortable. Whilst there can be more serious causes to bloating, there are there are also simple ways to stay on top of it and banish that ‘full’ feeling for good…

Play detective

Hannah Braye, Nutritional therapist at Bio-Kult explains that sensitivities to certain foods can be a big driver for digestive symptoms such as bloating.

“Keep a diary of what you eat and symptoms you experience to see if there are any patterns. Alternatively, consider an elimination diet; remove commonly aggravating foods, such as gluten, wheat and dairy for a short period of time, and then re-introduce them one at a time”, she says.

Banish bad bacteria

“A common cause of bloating is an imbalance of gut bacteria,” reveals Hannah.

“Pathogenic (bad) bacteria in the gut produce more gas than the beneficial sort, which can increase symptoms of bloating.”

As well as this, increasing your intake of naturally antimicrobial foods such as raw garlic, onions, oregano, clove, turmeric and coconut oil can help to reduce unbeneficial organisms in the gut.

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Rebalance and restore

Provide your gut bacteria with additional support by taking a good quality live bacteria supplement. We love Bio-Kult Advanced Multi-Strain Formula, but you can also provide support through various fermented foods such as saukeraut, kimchi, plain probiotic yoghurt, miso kefir and kombucha.

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Soak pulses and legumes

We all know the effects of beans but as pulses and lentils are so full of nutrients and fibre, it would be a shame to totally avoid them.

“Soak them in cold water overnight or for a few hours before cooking to make them easier to digest,” explains Hannah. “This also deactivates compounds called phytates, meaning we absorb more nutrients.”

Watch the gum

Whilst it’s great at keeping your breath fresh, chewing gum can lead to excess air being swallowed, which in turn can lead to bloating.

Stop stress

It’s the cause of so many ailments, but prolonged stress can wreak havoc on our digestive system as it’s linked to the brain via the vagus nerve –one of the cranial nerves connecting the brain to the body.

“When we are stressed we produce less stomach acid and digestive enzymes, and our gut bacteria can be negatively affected, increasing the risk of bloating”, says Hannah who recommends taking time out for yourself and ensuring a good night’s sleep.

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Eat mindfully

Hannah explains that digestion starts in the brain as we take time to prepare our food, process its smell and texture and anticipate eating.

“This helps to get our digestive juices going. Cooking from scratch and taking time to enjoy your meal, undistracted by computers or television will increase gastric juices and aid digestion, as will chewing your food well”, she says.

Exercise

Woman & Home’s Health Editor Lucy Gornall explains that movement in general, from a walk outside to a gym session, will help to release some of the gas and move things along.

Watch the salt and sweeteners

Both sodium and sweeteners – in particular sorbitol – can trigger bloating, explains Lucy. “Plus, a lot of high salt, processed foods lack any sort of fibre, which helps to keep things moving,” she adds.

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