Over the last 20 years, I’ve changed my diet and lifestyle by elimination methods that included removing not only foods that were bad for me but also toxic people, places, and behaviors. My desire to live, write, and teach inspired a transformation from fat and sick to fit and healthy. Many of my illnesses were directly related to what I ate and to whom I spent my time with, the media I read and watched. So, fast-forward into the now, and I rarely get sick or experience bloating. Still, some foods (even super healthy) disagree with me. There are many factors, from specific genetic variations to enzymes in our stomachs. So, I think bloating and some stomach-related issues can be easily fixed with simple practices.
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What can cause bloating?
Typically food intolerance (different from a food allergy) can cause bloating. For example, my stomach and red beans are sworn, enemies. If I eat a spoon fool, I will live. Yet, after a cup, I would spend a few days with a bloated stomach. It could be that I don’t have an enzyme or some gene variation – I am not sure. Food allergy can cause bloating as well. Typically, a food allergy is an immune reaction to a specific food. Believe it or now (before I switched to a plant-based diet), I had a server allergy to black caviar. My dad had to rush me to the hospital after the dancing food.
So, we can say that food intolerances typically have something to do with the digestive system, while allergic reactions are related to the immune system.
If you have a food intolerance, you feel it soon after eating food that your stomach can’t tolerate. Bloating, stomach pain, diarrhea, migraine headaches are your typical symptoms. The severity correlates to the amount of wicked food you digested. You can experience discomfort for a few days.
Food intolerance and allergies overlap. Diagnosis is challenging. I’ve been looking into different tests, but the data is conflicting, and the price tags are high. So, the best tool is to track and eliminate foods that cause pain. It seems like a painful process. On the upside, many foods that cause bloating are generally not good for us.
Cut foods that cause bloating ASAP.
Many of us experience bloating after eating foods with high amounts of non-digestible ingredients. Of course, this is a no-brainer. Cut the crap out ASAP. Keep a log for a few weeks to jolt the food you ate and how it makes you feel.
To name a few offenders: sugar alcohols, and the sugars raffinose and fructose, additives, artificial sweeteners (xylitol, sorbitol, and mannitol), chewing gum, soda, and other carbonated beverages and non-food ingredients that you generally can’t pronounce. So, the first order is to cut the junk food, and you probably already know what it is. That’s an easy part. Next, I recommend eliminating dairy grains (wheat, oats, wheat germ, wheat bran, rice). And finally, cut the legumes: beans, lentils, peas, and baked beans. In other words, eat a mono-diet what a few weeks and slowly add healthy foods but keep the junk at bay. This part is not easy, especially if you have social and familial obligations. Yet, if your goal is to eliminate bloating for good, this is the cheapest and 100% guaranteed method to work.
There are some food intolerance blood and stool tests that you can try, but I can’t recommend any yet because 1) there is not enough data, 2) the price tag is high, and 3) I don’t have experience with it. The method above is money and risk-free. Of course, there are other factors like stress level or how you react to stress, when and how you eat.
7 Simple Ways to Reduce or Stop Bloating Fast
Not only will breathing help you ease the pressure on your abdominals and find the release from bloating, but it will also help relax your nervous system. First, focus on your inhales and exhales using nasal breathing. Next, you can put your palms on your abdomen and bring the quality of the smile, imaging the smile spreading through your belly. Repeat about 12 times.
2) Self Belly Massage
- Lie on your back and expose your belly
- Bring your hands palms down on your belly; hold your hands on the belly, and start by focusing your breathing (using nasal breathing)
- Warm your hands by rubbing them together for about 30 seconds
- You can also use a spritz of olive or sesame oil (add peppermint or lavender essential oils).
- Use the palm of your hand to massage your entire stomach in a clockwise direction several times.
- Then massage the centerline of your abdomen (from your sternum to your pubic bone).
- Press your fingers into your belly and continue with the massage (don’t forget to breathe).
- Next, continue massaging using gentle pressure and circles in a clockwise direction.
3) Belly Massage with a Ball
I learned about belly massage from Lauren Roxburgh. So, I recommend Exercise and Massage Ball from Lauren Roxburgh. However, you can use any soft belly roll ball.
- Place the ball against your bare skin
- Place the ball on the floor.
- Place the ball in the center of your tummy, lying down on top of it.
- Extend your legs behind you, bend your arms at the elbow, and massage your belly clockwise
- You can also roll up and down from your pubic bone towards your chest
- Roll a little more in an area that feels tight and bloated.
- Use your hands and feet to roll slowly.
4) Take a Bath to reduce bloating
Fill out the bathtub with hot to warm water and mix one cup of magnesium flakes or Epsom salt and soak for at least 20 minutes. Use a cold towel or ice on your head. Heat will help with bloating and will also help you to relax.
You can also use Heating Pad on your belly for instant bloating relief.
5) Fast and Stay Hydrated
Avoid eating if you can or eat very light foods like boiled potatoes or some other veggies like carrots, especially if you don’t know what caused you bloating or allergies. Instead, drink warm water and tea (black, peppermint, ginger, or hibiscus).
One thing that will help you instantly is to allow yourself to be sick. Ackwlngle that your body needs some time to heal and restore. Pain can be your best friend when used correctly. Your body is signaling your that something is not right. So, listen to it. And take action. But as you get sick, treat yourself with love and kindness. You’ll get better, and it will be time to start fresh!
If you can manage, try some yoga or walking. Also, check out the SOFLY Instant Tummy Fix Video.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. The entire contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Anna Sheinman. They are not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, and they are not intended as medical advice. Instead, they are intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from my own research and experience. I encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.