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Apr 27, 2012

Bloating Causes and Cures

A: There could be many reasons why you feel bloated and so it’s difficult to give you specific advice. I’d start by making sure that you’re not frequently constipated as this is one of the most common causes of bloating and discomfort. If constipation is a problem, gradually increase the amount of fibre-rich foods you eat such as fruit, veg, wholegrain cereals and bread, wholewheat pasta, brown rice and beans. These high-fibre foods also have the added benefit of preventing hunger from kicking in, which is important if you want to lose weight. And always drink up to eight glasses of water a day, as a lack of fluid can make constipation worse, especially if you’re eating lots of fibre.

Some foods are also known to cause bloating so you might want to eat fewer of these. Typical culprits include beans, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, sprouts, onions and garlic – however, remember these are good sources of fibre and you should eat five portions of fruit and veg a day.

Swallowing too much air can also give you a bloated tummy and surprisingly, there are several habits that can result in this. Simple things such as talking while eating, using a straw or sports bottle, chewing gum, eating when you’re on the move, drinking from a water fountain and eating when you’re upset are all common culprits so try and eliminate as many of these things as possible.
You may also find it helpful to cut out fizzy drinks, including sparkling water. Many slimmers fill up on these types of drinks, but the gas they contain simply ends up in your stomach. It’s also worthwhile avoiding too many ‘diet’, ‘sugar-free’ or ‘low-carb’ products that contain sorbitol, mannitol or maltitol. These sweeteners, which are used in place of sugar, have a laxative effect which can leave you feeling uncomfortable and full of wind.

Finally you could try drinking chamomile or peppermint tea. It might not be your usual cuppa but drinks like these are good for the digestive system and can help to ease that bloaty feeling.