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7 science-backed ways to avoid bloating

Man holding sore stomach

Avoiding uncomfortable bloating is easier than you think. Check out our seven quick science-backed tips to help keep your tummy happy, naturally

1. Slow down when eating and don’t chat while you chew

This will help to reduce the amount of air you swallow, which reduces the number of little air bubbles in the gut.

2. De-stress

Feeling stressed can also lead to us inadvertently gulping air. Find ways to relax so that you can help stop this happening. Drinking chamomile tea is a great natural anti-anxiety aid (its active nutrients affect the same parts of our brains as anti-anxiety medications).

3. Ditch the chewing gum

Gum introduces unnecessary extra air into our intestines. Instead, suck one or two sugar-free mints after a meal to keep breath fresh, if you like. (Don’t have too many, as they contain sorbitol which can cause bloating in large quantities).

4. Swap fizzy drinks for non-carbonated

The bubbles in sparkling beverages can instantly lead to bloating, so stick to still water or herbal teas and other non-carbonated drinks.

5. Eat lentils, pulses and beans regularly

If you don’t eat these foods very often they can lead to bloating because they produce hydrogen and methane in our colon. But eating them regularly helps our systems adapt and lessens the gas.

6. Temporarily switch to soy or almond milk

If you’ve had a tummy bug and are finding that dairy causes bloating, you may be experiencing transitory milk sugar intolerance. Instead, swap to non-dairy (fortified) versions then re-introduce dairy slowly, over a few weeks, to reduce the risk of bloating.

7. Season with herbs, spices and lemon juice instead of salt

Cutting back to 3g or less of salt per day can help the body release excess stored water, in some cases allowing us to lose up to 1.5 litres in five days. This shows an often-visible reduction of bloating or swelling in the ankles and wrists.

For more on bloating read: Banish bloating 

First published: Jul 2017
Last updated: September 7, 2020

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