Feeling bloated? 5 tips to make your tummy flat for summer

Lying by the pool or at the beach can be stress­ful for those of us with sens­it­ive tum­mies! Irritable bowels prone to gas and bloat­ing don’t always love sum­mer foods that are not always as *ahem* healthy as they could be!

Here are 5 con­sid­er­a­tions to con­sider that may be caus­ing your bloat­ing: 

  1. Do I eat too many gas-producing veggies?

    Snacking on greens around the pool while healthy can be too much for those want­ing to reduce abdom­in­al bloat­ing. Gas-pro­du­cing veg­gies like broc­coli, cauli­flower, cab­bage (think coleslaw) pro­duce gas when they are diges­ted, and for those with sens­it­ive tum­mies think about not only mod­er­at­ing how many days/​week you are eat­ing them (not more than 2 – 3 days, and especIMG_1175ially not in a row) can reduce the amount of gas pro­duced by the bowel.

  2. What’s my relationship with beans?

    Hummus (a per­son­al favour­ite) is chick­pea dip essen­tially, and it is made of beans (gar­b­anzo to be pre­cise). When beans are diges­ted, we need a lot of the enzyme raffin­ose to break down the fibres in the beans. For some, this cre­ates a great deal of agony and a lot of gas pres­sure. Eating bean dips or hum­mus sev­er­al days in a row can upset the stom­ach. Bean or legume salads can also be a lovely way to get a cool lunch or side dish with din­ner

  3. Does my digestive tract move properly?

    Constipation can arise from dehyd­ra­tion and too little fibre intake, and is really com­mon in the sum­mer when drink­ing alco­hol by the pool and hav­ing bar­be­cues. Ask your­self if you’re truly drink­ing enough water, not for­get­ting that a drink that makes you lose water (cof­fee, tea, alco­hol) should have a glass of water to replace it. You may also have the oppos­ite prob­lem, and your bowels move too quickly. It may be worth assess­ing if #4 and 5 below could be caus­ing that issue for you.

  4. How does my body handle carbohydrates?

    Fructose is a sug­ar that is found in fruit, com­mer­cially made sug­ars like high fructose corn syr­up, and some veget­ables. For some people, the inab­il­ity to digest fructose causes the bowel to be flooded with water, cre­at­ing loose stools, bloat­ing, gas, and pain. You may be affected by this con­di­tion and bene­fit from assess­ment for fructose malab­sorp­tion and con­sump­tion of a diet called the FODMAP diet, that reduces the amount of diet­ary sug­ars that are con­sumed to reduce symp­toms of bloat­ing or cre­ation of gas.

  5. Could I be lactose, casein, or gluten intolerant?

    Lactose (the sug­ar in dairy) and case­in (the pro­tein in dairy) can be hard to digest for many adults. Symptoms of this con­di­tion include bloat­ing and gas most com­monly and typ­ic­ally only reduce when dairy products includ­ing cheese, milk, but­ter, and yogurt are removed from the diet for at least one month. Gluten intol­er­ance is becom­ing more and more com­mon with the increased amount of car­bo­hydrates avail­able to us and some con­cerns with the change in glu­ten struc­ture in North America (see Wheat Belly). You may be a per­son that has issues with both, which would be unfor­tu­nate, how­ever worth find­ing out if it is in the way of your hap­pi­ness!

Knowledge is power. Ask yourself if the 5 things above are getting in the way of your health and happiness!

Slainte!

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