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Bloating 101: How To Beat A Bulging Belly

Bloating is a common, day-to-day battle that can leave you wondering what triggered your bulging belly. The answers may be hidden in what you’re eating. Start the fight against bloating today by identifying the common culprits, and what you can do to keep your belly flat and pain-free.

Nothing can sabotage a flat belly faster than bloating. In addition to the dreaded stomach bulge, this familiar ailment results in terrible discomfort. Bloating symptoms come from excess gas accumulating in the abdomen, particularly in the intestines. Intestinal bacteria produce gas when foods haven’t yet travelled through the small intestine. If gas particles aren’t released right away, the stomach expands like a balloon.

Although overeating is the most known cause for bloating, some people battle the bloat daily – even if they haven’t polished off an oversized meal. If this sounds like you, the triggers may not be how much you’re eating, but what you’re eating. Once you trace the root of your problem, you can employ some belly-rescuing cures to help you win the war against bloating and take back control of your body.

Common Bloating Culprits:

Sodium causes the body to retain fluid – a common cause of bloating. The American Heart Association suggests that only 1,500-2,300 milligrams of sodium should be consumed per day, but the average American takes in nearly 3,400 milligrams. Before you reach for the saltshaker, consider swapping your snacks for a healthier option. Rather than munching on a bag of potato chips, stick to fresh fruit and veggies. Avoid buying frozen dinners and processed foods, as they are often overloaded with salt.

Starches are carbohydrates that are sometimes difficult for the stomach to digest. Heavy starches such as bread, potatoes and pasta can cause water retention. Any food products made from flour, especially whole-wheat flour, form gas when broken down in the large intestine. Beware of eating these types of food before bedtime to avoid feeling inflated in the morning.

Adequate doses of the mineral calcium are vital to bone health and muscle function, but too much can leave you ballooning around the waist. One of the best sources of calcium is dairy, which can be hard on your digestive tract as it contains lactose, a difficult-to-digest sugar. Lactose intolerance is also a very common problem for many people. Modify and moderate your dairy intake or try switching to lactose-free products to deflate your tummy.

Artificial sweeteners are frequently found in many reduced-calorie foods, processed products and diet or decaffeinated drinks. They contain chemical compounds called sucralose, aspartame and cyclamate that the digestive tract cannot break down easily. Sweeteners, which can be up to 300 times sweeter than natural sugar, are known to increase appetite and result in overeating. Be on the lookout for artificial sweeteners, and when possible, steer clear of them.

Carbonated drinks, like soda, cause air bubbles to form and expand in your abdomen. When they burst, carbon dioxide particles are dispersed in the stomach. They fill up your belly and cause bloating.

There’s plenty you can do to prevent bloating, but sometimes it is unavoidable. For those times, there are simple cures you can recourse to alleviate bloating and aid digestion. These effective solutions will remedy a bloated belly and cleanse the body.

Powerful Bloating Cures

When your stomach feels like it’s about to pop, downing water may be the best quick fix. Good old H2O restores the sodium balance in the body and normalizes your digestive tract.

Be sure to keep hydrated. Drink the daily recommendation of 8 (8-oz) glasses of water to rid the body of harmful toxins.

Try taking 200 milligrams of magnesium daily to fight fluid retention and to expel gas. This crucial mineral eases constipation by relaxing the muscles in the intestinal walls. You can also find magnesium in green leafy vegetables such as spinach, legumes (beans and peas), nuts and seeds, whole grains and fish (such as halibut).

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