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We've all dealt, at one time or another, with bloating. Not only can bloating make you look and feel much bigger than you actually are, it can also be incredibly uncomfortable, even painful.
Bloating can be caused by a number of things. Whether it is just because it is a certain time of month, you've eaten something that doesn't agree with you, or you are experiencing gas; suffering with bloating can get you down.
Luckily there are ways that you can combat the bloat, helping you achieve a flat stomach and avoid any discomfort. Simple changes to what you eat, either cutting out foods or including other ones, can really make a diet and leave you feeling bloat-free.
Cut out the caffeine
If you are experiencing bloating, or suffer from it regularly, it is a good idea to stop consuming caffeinated drinks or foods. Caffeine is a common trigger for bloating, so drinking coffee or tea when you have symptoms or regularly experience them can make the situation much worse.
Instead, try drinking herbal teas that are naturally caffeine free and are known to be good for the digestion. Peppermint, ginger or fennel teas are particularly good for the digestion and so could help to reduce or avoid bloating.
If you do try herbal teas, don't use sugar to sweeten them as this can also make bloating worse. Instead, add a spoonful of honey if you find they aren't sweet enough for you.
Eat more fibre
Fibre is vital for keeping your digestive system running smoothly. Not eating enough fibre can make you constipated and trigger bloating, which means it is a good idea to ensure that you are getting enough fibre throughout the day.
However, increasing the amount of fibre you eat without ensuring you are getting enough water can have the opposite effect, so it is important that you maintain your fluid intake alongside.
Try building up the amount of fibre you consume so you don't shock your system. Eating more bran and fruit is a really easy way to do this as they can be incorporated into your usual diet without too much fuss.
Cut down on chewing gum
Regularly chewing on gum may seem harmless, but it can actually lead to you swallowing air. This can lead to you feeling bloated, especially if you chew gum every day.
Try to cut down on the amount of gum you chew or get rid of it completely. If you find that it is hard to stop having chewing gum - sometimes habit can make it difficult to give it up - try sucking on a sugar free hard candy instead or snacking on fruit or popcorn.
Be careful of gassy vegetables
Certain vegetables or beans can be a bad idea when you feel bloated or if you regularly suffer from symptoms. Cruciferous vegetables - broccoli, cauliflower, brussels spouts and beans can actually result in higher amounts of gas being produced as they are being digested, which is a bad thing if you are already bloating.
If you eat large amounts of these, try cutting down by having other vegetables instead. You don't want to get rid of them all together because they are part of a healthy diet, just eat them in small amounts.