I’m sure you’ve experienced it. Half an hour after you’ve finished lunch (and it was a healthy one…yay you) you get the feeling that your stomach is blowing up like a balloon. You feel like you need to head to the bathroom to toot (aka fart) every few minutes just to relieve some pressure.
Gas & bloating, ugh, why does this keep happening?
There are a number of reasons why this can happen:
Fermentation of undigested food
Food not being completely broken down
A digestive disorder (celiac disease, lactose or fructose intolerance)
More bad bacteria in your digestive system than good
To Ditch the Gas and Bloating, Check Out These
6 Steps to Good Digestion
Step 1: Eat when you’re calm and relaxed.
Stress slows digestion down, so eating when you’re rushed and thinking about all the things you need to do isn’t going to help you get the nutrients from your food.
Schedule time in your day to eat so you don’t feel guilty about taking time for it. When you do sit down to eat, preferably not at your desk, take a few deep breaths and calm down before you start to enjoy your meal.
I get that there are times when it’s difficult to take time out to eat. When you know you’re going to have a day like that, it’s best to fuel up with nutritious shakes or smoothies. They are already partially digested from being blended, so you’re more likely to get nutrients out of them.
Step 2: Eat slowly. Chew your food until it’s mush.
Surprise! Your intestines don’t have teeth, so chewing properly is an important first step to digesting your food.
If you swallow before your food is mush, your system is going to have to work that much harder to process your food, and you’ll most likely have undigested food come out the other end.
The unchewed food can also be seen as a harmful invader in your body and can ferment in your intestines, which causes gas, bloating, IBS, allergies, indigestion, and constipation.
Chewing your food will take you longer to eat it, and yes, there is a benefit to this. It takes your brain 20 minutes to signal you’re full, so by taking your time it’s more likely you won’t overeat.
Step 3: Don’t drink large quantities of water while eating.
In order to break down and absorb the food you eat, your body needs the digestive enzymes and fluids it secretes.
If you drink a lot with your meal, you’re going to dilute these enzymes, making it harder for your body to get what it needs.
You should also limit caffeinated and carbonated drinks during your meal. Caffeine can start the stress response in your body, which slows digestion, and carbonation makes you feel full faster, which means you’re eating less quality food.
Eating excessive amounts of food puts a strain on your digestive system, and food can’t be properly broken down and absorbed.
Food in your stomach needs to be churned, so when you overeat, there’s no room left for it to move around, which can make you feel nauseous, tired, and bloated.
Step 5: Add in digestive enzymes.
Digestive enzymes help break down your food so the nutrients can be properly absorbed into your body. Breaking down your food also means that you don’t have partially digested food moving through your system (which can cause gas and bloating).
Step 6: Don’t eat right before bed.
Your body will be focused on digestion instead of doing its important regular night detoxing jobs. If you have a snack before bed, wait at least a half hour, and if you’ve eaten a full meal, wait at least two hours before going to bed.
If you have constipation, a digestive disorder or candida (overgrowth of bad bacteria in your intestinal system), the 6 Steps to Good Digestion are just the first steps.
I’m Cynthia Brace a health & mindset coach, holistic nutritionist, educator, speaker, workshop facilitator, reiki practitioner, book worm with naturally curly hair and a passion for all things health and wellness.