Bloating occurs when your digestive system produces excessive gas. It can be uncomfortable or even downright painful. Some people describe bloating as feeling overly full, swollen, or tight through the abdomen.
Today you'll learn eight simple ways to prevent and decrease bloating that also help to improve your bone health. And you’ll get a bone-building exercise that doubles as a bloating reducer.
1. Chewing Thoroughly Prevents Bloat
Bloating is caused by gas in the gastrointestinal tract. The first place to look for a solution is the first step of the digestive process- chewing.
Thoroughly chewing your food helps to prevent bloating in two ways. First, it makes you eat slower. That keeps you from gulping down too much air when you swallow the food. Secondly, it means that the food you swallow is more pulverized and liquid.
That reduces the amount of air trapped in chunks of food. It also ensures that your food gets digested more completely. Incomplete digestion causes gas build-up.
Chew your food thoroughly to prevent swallowing air and to ensure you will digest better. That will help prevent gas build-up and bloating.
2. Fennel Seeds Reduce Bloating
Fennel is a green and white culinary herb and medicinal plant. Its crunchy bulb and feathery stalk have a licorice-like flavor. That flavor is even more potent in the plant's seeds.
A teaspoon of fennel seeds can offer much-needed relief from bloating. You can chew them as a crunchy after-meal digestive aid, or brew them into a tasty tea.
A study published in the International Journal of Molecular Medicine found that compounds in fennel seeds can improve postmenopausal bone health. That may be related to fennel seeds' ability to reduce inflammation.1
Fennel seeds reduce bloating. You can chew one teaspoon after meals, or brew them into a tea.
3. Fermented Foods Assist Digestion
Fennel isn't the only food that can help you avoid a painful or distended belly. Fermented foods are excellent for preventing and reducing bloating. That's because they contain beneficial bacteria called probiotics.
Foods like kefir, miso, sauerkraut, and plain yogurt are created through a process of fermentation driven by bacteria. Those bacteria are probiotics, which have a variety of benefits to the digestive system and overall health.
Studies have shown that inadequate gut bacteria can increase the risk of getting the flu, certain cancers, and gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea.2,3
Additionally, research has found that probiotics have a direct positive impact on bone health. The benefits that probiotics provide to the digestive system translate into protection against bone loss.4
Regularly eating fermented foods (like kefir, miso, sauerkraut, and plain yogurt) provides probiotic bacteria that improve gastrointestinal and bone health.
4. Ginger Reduces Bloating
Ginger is another great way to reduce bloating. This slightly spicy root is both a common ingredient and a traditional natural medicine. It has been used for hundreds of years to aid digestion, eliminate nausea, and to ward off colds and the flu.5
Ginger has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant abilities, thanks to its primary active compound gingerol. Its digestive benefits are well established. Studies have found that ginger helps the body to more swiftly clear stomach contents.6
Ginger can be simply sliced and boiled in water to make a ginger tea that's comforting, tasty, and completely bone-health friendly. In fact, ginger's inflammation-fighting properties protect your bones.7
Ginger has many medicinal properties, including anti-inflammatory and antioxidant abilities. It also aids digestion and prevents bloating. You can brew it in hot water to make ginger tea.
5. Mint Tea Calms The Digestive System
A cozy mug of mint tea can help gas to escape your gut, reducing bloating and discomfort. Similar to the effect of ginger, studies have found that mint helps the food you eat to move through your digestive system more efficiently.8
Mint is also a source of the Foundation Supplements copper, manganese, calcium, folate, Vitamins B6 and B2, and Vitamin C. It's also rich in antioxidants, whether used in sweet or savory dishes, or for some freshly brewed tea.
Mint helps the body to more efficiently move food through the stomach, aiding digestion and preventing bloating.
6. Separate Fruit From Your Meal
Some people find that eating fruit along with other types of food causes bloating. That's because fruit is digested more quickly than more complex foods. This is especially true when it comes to animal proteins, which take a particularly long time to digest.
If you regularly experience bloating, try removing fruits from your meal. They're an important part of your bone-healthy diet of course, so be sure to still eat them, just at a different time. That separation of fruit from other food groups can help clear up indigestion that can lead to bloating.
Fruit digests more quickly than other foods, which can cause uneven digestion and bloating. Try separating fruit from your meals can help you avoid painful bloating.
7. Hydration Aids Digestion
Drink a glass of water 30 minutes before each meal. Your body needs water to produce the hydrochloric acid that breaks down food and to release enzymes that aid digestion.
Drinking water 30 minutes before a meal ensures that you won't have a stomach full of water when you start your meal. That would dilute the acids that are essential for fully digesting your food. Undigested foods cause gas buildup that leads to bloating.
Research has shown that dehydration of bone causes loss of elasticity, making them more prone to fracture, and that hydration impacts the mechanical properties of bone. So drinking water is necessary for both digestion and bone health.9
Drink a glass of water 30 minutes before a meal. This will provide your body with the water it needs for digestion without diluting the acid in your stomach while you're eating.
8. Physical Activity Reduces Bloating
A study conducted by the Digestive System Research Unit at University Hospital Vall D'Hebron in Spain found that exercise reduces gas retention that causes bloating.
Researchers divided participants into two groups: a resting group and an exercise group. They measured the gas retention and abdominal girth of each group over 15-minute intervals. The exercise group did intermittent pedaling for five minutes with three-minute rest intervals while the resting group remained sedentary.10
They found that during rest a significant proportion of gas was retained in the gut, but that retention was significantly reduced during exercise.
Savers already know that exercise is essential for building stronger bones. That's because the pressure weight-bearing exercise exerts on your bones stimulates the growth of new bone mass.
Studies have found that exercise significantly reduces bloating.
The Sumo Squat: An Exercise Move To Reduce Bloating And Build Your Bones
The Sumo Squat reduces gas retention and bloating. It's also an excellent weight-bearing exercise that stimulates bone growth. Whether you experience bloating or not, try incorporating this move into your regular workout routine.
- Stand in a wide stance, with toes pointed out and arms by your side.
- Squat all the way down while folding your arms forward so your hands meet just below your chin.
- As you go back up and straighten your legs, let your arms drop by your sides.
- Repeat 10 times or as many times as you comfortably can.
The Sumo Squat is featured in our 30-minute ‘Beginner Hip & Femur' workout class which you get on-demand access to when you join SaveTrainer along with more than 100 workout classes.
What This Means To You
Bloating is unsightly and uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are many ways to avoid it. Exercise is an excellent method for Savers, since its also an essential part of reversing and preventing osteoporosis.
The Save Institute created SaveTrainer to ensure that you have everything you need to successfully follow a workout routine that will improve your bone health. SaveTrainer features on-demand videos from professional trainers and a fully customizable workout planner that helps you get exactly what you need in the way that works best for you.
Less bloating is just one of the many benefits of exercise. Fight belly bulge, improve digestion, and build your bones by keeping up your levels of physical activity.