Tricks to Stop Belly Bloating

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

Have you been groaning about your belly bloating? It’s the same story every time: you start eating healthy again after a weekend of questionable food choices and BOOM! the bloat begins. Every Monday doesn’t have to start with unbuttoned pants. Here are a few tips to decrease your bloat and get your week moving along in the right direction.

Spit out your gum

Many people chew gum as a crutch to stop cravings and cure boredom. Yet, what most people don’t realize is that with every new unwrapped piece, bloating ensues. This is because when we chew gum all day, we swallow air and trap bloat-causing air bubbles in our stomachs. Gum also contains sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners like sorbitol and xylitol, which are a known cause of belly bloat. When such sweeteners are ingested, the bacteria in the large intestine ferments, causing gas. Moreover, these substances cause the body to retain water. If you can’t give up gum, try an organic type of gum that uses stevia instead of aspartame to reduce your risk for retention.

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

Compress your belly with cilantro

Although its taste can be rather controversial, cilantro can actually help alleviate bloat. This is because the leafy, green herb provides both fiber and a unique mixture of oils, like linalool and geranyl acetate, which work together to relax our digestive muscles. These oils also sooth an overactive gut and causes our stomachs to de-bloat. Even if cilantro leaves a bad taste in your mouth, come beach season, its anti-bloating properties sure won’t!

+ Plus potassium – minus bloat

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

Sodium and potassium are the two electrolytes responsible for maintaining the water balance in our bodies. Sodium holds onto water and potassium flushes excess water out (which helps to achieve a flatter, bloat-free belly.) The American diet provides an excess amount of sodium, which results in an excessive amount of water retention–AKA bloat. The good news is certain fruits and veggies, like bananas, papayas, spinach, potatoes, and avocados, are naturally high in potassium, so eating them can help bring our body water levels back to equilibrium. Be sure to get your potassium from real foods, as opposed to supplements, as potassium supplements have been linked to health risks like interfering with regular heart rhythm.

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