How to Relieve Bloating With Food

Four Methods:Eating the Right FoodsChanging the Way You EatTreating the Underlying CausesUnderstanding Bloating

Bloating is common problem that happens to everyone from time to time. This may make you uncomfortable because your clothes feel too tight, you may not want to go out in public, and it may be hard to get through your daily activities. One of the best ways is through knowing the right foods to eat. If you often have bloating issues, you can help it naturally is eating foods that can help prevent and relieve bloating and avoiding foods that make bloating worse.

Method 1
Eating the Right Foods

  1. 1
    Eat foods to reduce bloating. There are certain foods that can help you relieve or prevent bloating. These are typically foods that contain nutrients that reduce swelling and help digestion. If you have issues with bloating, add these foods into your diet more every day in any way you can, such as in recipes or as a snack. These foods include:
    • Cucumbers, which help prevent swelling[1]
    • Potassium rich foods, such as bananas, avocadoes, oranges, pistachios, and kiwis, which help reduce bloating caused by salt-related water retention[2]
    • Papaya, which contains papain, a substance that helps break down proteins in your intestinal tract to aid in digestion[3]
    • Asparagus, which helps flush your system to reduce bloating[4]
    • Pineapple, which contains bromelain, a substance that help reduce inflammation and treat indigestion[5]
    • Probiotics, found in Greek and other yogurts as well as over the counter supplements, which help with digestion and gas reduction[6]
  2. 2
    Cook your fruits and vegetables. Raw fruits and vegetables often cause gas and bloating. However, raw vegetables and fruits typically provide the best nutrients, whereas cooking them can destroy some nutrients. To find a happy medium, try sautéing, steaming, or baking your vegetables and fruits instead of boiling them.
    • Just make sure you don’t cook them too long, so you can avoid cooking too many nutrients out of them.
  3. 3
    Incorporate herbs into your diet. There are some herbs that can help reduce gas and indigestion, which can lead to bloating. These herbs include ginger, cardamon, cinnamon, fennel seeds, dill, basil, oregano, sage, tarragon, peppermint, and rosemary.
    • You can use these herbs normally in any meal, or you can try finding new recipes that incorporate them.
    • You can also make an herbal tea from them by steeping one teaspoon of dried herb or three tablespoons of fresh herbs in one cup of boiled water for five minutes. [7][8][9][10]
    • Avoid overly hot or spicy herbs, such as cayenne or black pepper, nutmeg, cloves, mustard, or horseradish. These herbs can increase stomach acid, which can cause extra gas, stomach irritation, and bloating.
  4. 4
    Avoid problem foods. There are some foods that are known to consistently cause bloating issues for many people. These foods should be avoided if you want to prevent bloating or if you are already bloated. If you really enjoy these foods, eat them in small amounts to cut down on the chance of bloating. These problem foods include:
    • Greens, such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, and lettuce
    • Certain vegetables, such as turnips, broccoli, onions, and cauliflower
    • Fruits, such as pears, peaches, and apples
    • Legumes, such as various beans and lentils
    • Whole grain bread[11]
  5. 5
    Drink lots of water. Large amounts of water can help flush out your system, which can help lower your gas level and keep bloating down. It also help you digest your food better, which will also make your stomach feel better.
    • This can also help with constipation, which often causes bloating.[12]
  6. 6
    Avoid certain beverages. There are certain drinks that can cause bloating and stomach discomfort. These can make your stomach upset, cause bloating, or make your bloating worse. Avoid acidic beverages such as alcohol, coffee, black or green tea, and fruit juices.
    • Beverages of extreme temperature, either cold or hot, should also be avoided to help avoid bloating. [13]

Method 2
Changing the Way You Eat

  1. 1
    Eat less food at one time. Overeating is a major cause of bloating. To avoid this, cut back on how much you eat in one sitting. Start by cutting back by about 10% of the food on your plate per meal and keep cutting back by about 10% every week until you get to a point where you are no longer bloated.
    • You should see a reduction in bloating by the second week if this is the cause of your issues. [14]
  2. 2
    Reduce excess air consumption. The intake of excess air can cause bloating. To avoid this, don’t chew gum or drink carbonated drinks. Carbonated drinks have carbon dioxide, which adds air to your system. Chewing gum increases your likelihood of swallowing air.
    • If you like carbonated drinks, try to cut down on how many you have a day to reduce bloating.[15]
  3. 3
    Eat slower. Eating too quickly can cause multiple issues that can contribute to bloating. Eating too fast can make you swallow more air and can cause issues with digestion. Both of these problems cause bloating.
    • When you eat, slow down and chew each mouthful 20 to 30 times.
    • Chewing your food well is part of the digestion process. Your saliva actually contains enzymes that help digest food even before you swallow.[16]
  4. 4
    Keep a food diary. To help determine what foods are causing you issues with bloating, you should keep a food diary. Keep track of everything you eat and drink over the course of a week. Write down any time you have issues with bloating.
    • If you find a particular combination causes bloating, try each food or beverage separately later in the week to determine which is the issue.
    • For example, if you eat a bean and cheese burrito and feel bloated for three hours afterward, there are two major foods that could cause you to bloat. Later in the week, eat beans by themselves and cheese by itself to see which makes you bloated.

Method 3
Treating the Underlying Causes

  1. 1
    Take digestive enzymes. You may be bloating because of an enzyme deficiency. If you cannot avoid foods that cause bloating or don’t want to, you can take digestive enzymes to help your body digest foods better. This is most helpful bloating is caused by improper digestion, overeating, and lactose intolerance. Look for products with some of each of the following:
    • Proteases, which break down proteins
    • Lipases, which break down fats
    • Carbohydrases (such as amylase), which break down carbohydrates
    • Lactase, which breaks down the sugar (lactose) in dairy products
    • Individual digestive enzymes, such as papain and bromelain
    • If you are not sure which enzyme you are deficient in, buy a combination of enzymes or ask your doctor.
    • Look for a Seal of Approval from either the Natural Products Association (NPA) or the US Pharmacopoiea (USP).[17]
  2. 2
    Relieve constipation. Constipation is a common cause of bloating. If you suffer from temporary or occasional constipation, you can take fiber supplements. However, this often causes gas, so take the supplement in smaller doses throughout the day and drink plenty of water with them to reduce the chance of gas.
    • Probiotics are also good for constipation because they help replenish gut bacteria. Watch out for increased bloating during the first few weeks.
  3. 3
    Use over the counter remedies. There are many over the counter remedies that can help you relieve bloating. Always follow manufacturer’s instructions found on the label of these medications. These medications include:
    • Beano, which is used for gas
    • Lactaid and Dairy Ease, which are used for bloating from any intolerance to lactose
    • Pepto Bismol, which can be used to ease digestion related gas and bloating
    • Products containing simethicone, such as Gas-X and Mylanta, can help relieve your gas, which will help the bloating subside.[18] You can also try activated charcoal to help with gas.[19]
  4. 4
    Avoid holding gas back. Trapped air or gas can cause bloating. Although it may be strange to do, do not hold back any sort of gas release, including passing gas or belching. Holding them in can cause bloating and stomach issues to get worse.
    • If you are in a public, excuse yourself and go to the restroom or outside. There, you can belch or pass gas without being rude.[20]
    • You can also help pass held in gas by maintaining good posture, which helps the gas pass as naturally as possible.

Method 4
Understanding Bloating

  1. 1
    Recognize the symptoms of bloating. Bloating is caused by gas build up in the stomach and intestines. This blockage leads to many different symptoms. You may notice visible swelling or puffiness in the abdomen. You may also experience abdominal pain, which can range from mild to intense or dull to sharp.
    • Often, passing gas or having a bowel movement will relieve some of this pain.[21]
  2. 2
    Determine the causes of bloating. There are many things that can cause bloating. It can be from swallowing too much air and other gases, smoking, constipation, lactose intolerance, or overeating. Many of these can typically be helped without medical intervention. If you aren’t sure about the cause of your bloating, ask your doctor.
    • There are also many more serious conditions that can cause bloating. These include Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Celiac Disease, and Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO). Other rarer conditions may also cause bloating.
    • IBS, GERD, SIBO, and the rarer serious conditions have to be diagnosed and treated by a doctor. If you have severe symptoms, talk to your doctor, because these medical conditions may get worse by avoiding treatment.
    • Your doctor may give you medication for these conditions, which will vary depending on the conditions and its severity. Always follow your doctor’s orders about any prescription medication.[22][23]
  3. 3
    Visit your physician. Bloating should relieve itself after a day or so with the proper food or medical treatment. It may also relieve itself on its own if it is not a severe case of bloating. However, there are some situations that require medical attention. If your symptoms do not improve within two weeks of medical treatment, See your doctor immediately if you:
    • Experience pain so bad you cannot go through your daily activities or if it persists for days
    • Have excessive diarrhea
    • Pass bloody stools, or have a significant change in the frequency or color of your stools
    • Experience unintended weight loss
    • Have chest pain[24]

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