Gas and bloating are normal symptoms that most people experience. In fact, the average person passes gas about a dozen times a day. It’s part of your body’s natural way of digesting the food you eat, and proof that you have bacteria in your gut. Which means gas is a good thing!
But too much gas or bloating may be a sign that your gut bacteria is out of balance. And it’s simply not pleasant. That uncomfortable feeling of your pants being too tight, your belly protruding, or the embarrassment of accidentally ‘letting one slip’ are all reasons to keep your bacteria balanced.
Follow these 5 tips to get your digestive tract back on track and keep gas in check.
1. Fill up on gut-friendly foods.
Research is showing that including foods in your diet geared toward supporting the growth of good bacteria in your gut can improve your digestive well-being. Fish, lean meats, yogurt, kefir, bananas, fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, and even honey, are all good choices for your gut.
2. Exercise regularly – and after you eat.
Physical activity offers so many benefits to your mind, body – and bloating. Regular exercise strengthens your abdominal wall, and movement in general can also stimulate the passage of gas through your digestive tract. On the flip side, too little exercise can lead to constipation, which can lead to bloating. Instead of sitting or lying down after a big meal, walk for 10 to 15 minutes to help your food digest.
3. Eat slowly.
You may be starving, but inhaling your food fast will make you to gulp down more air, which can cause gas. Furthermore, eating slowly helps you digest better. Taking the time to chew your food not only lets you enjoy it more, it can also help alleviate bloating. The slower you eat, the more time your body has to relay to your brain that you’re feeling full, which will prevent you from overeating and feeling stuffed and bloated (and packing on more calories).
4. Drink water with meals.
We all know we’re supposed to drink lots of water, but it’s also important to know when, and how to drink it. Drinking water during or after a meal can help break down food in your stomach, which makes for smoother digestion and less gas. Just be sure to drink in smaller sips rather than large gulps so you don’t intake more air or dilute stomach acids needed for digestion.
5. Add probiotics to your diet.
Probiotics help maintain a balance of beneficial bacteria, or intestinal flora, in your gut – and that can lead to feeling more comfortable in your belly with fewer digestive symptoms like gas, bloating and abdominal cramps.
Learn more about how probiotics can help your gut health