You have probably experienced it: after eating, your stomach is unpleasantly bloated and you simply feel just “full”. The medical term for bloating is “meteorism” by the way. This is caused by excessive digestive gases in the large intestine and stomach or by swallowing air when breathing, talking or eating. In principle, a hard, swollen stomach is harmless but it can be painful and it simply disrupts your day. We explain how you can avoid bloating and an unpleasant feeling of fullness and feel better in general.
Tip 1: Know what foods cause bloating
A frequent cause of bloating is eating too fast, as too much air is swallowed at the same time. So take enough time when eating and don’t eat while you are on the move or at your desk. There are also certain foods that can cause bloating. These include cabbage, onions, garlic, peppers and kohlrabi. But pulses, such as beans, lentils and peas can also play a part. Take care with dairy products, such as full-fat milk, cream and Camembert cheese if you have a tendency to experience bloating. Other food and drink, such as freshly baked bread, wholegrain bread, baked goods containing yeast, unripe fruit, coffee, fruit juice and carbonated drinks, may also be culprits. The best thing to do is to simply see what you can tolerate and what you may need to cut back on.
Tip 2: Consume sugar and sugar substitutes in moderation
Do you have a sweet tooth? If you want to avoid bloating, watch out in particular for sugar and sugar substitutes, such as fructose, xylitol, maltitol, mannitol or sorbitol in your food. These sugar substitutes are typically found in “light” products, soft drinks, sweets and ready-made meals. Sugary foods or even those containing sugar substitutes can knock your digestive system off balance, resulting in a feeling of bloatedness. Tip: Sugar is sometimes “hidden” in very unexpected foods. So even sausages, fruit yoghurt, shop-bought salad dressings, muesli and all kinds of ready-made meals contain large amounts of sugar.
Tip 3: Get any food intolerances checked out
A chat with your doctor is recommended if you constantly suffer from bloating and after eating certain meals. They can determine if you possibly have a food intolerance. If you have a gluten, fructose or lactose intolerance, the intestine cannot digest or break down certain nutritional components properly. Bloating is one of the typical symptoms. If you are diagnosed with an intolerance, your doctor or nutritionist will discuss your eating habits with you. There are frequently alternatives that you can eat in order to avoid bloating.
Tip 4: Keep moving
Spending all day in front of the computer and evenings on the couch – our daily routine contains less and less exercise. This laziness can frequently also make the digestive system very lethargic. It slows down the movement of food and at some stage makes the bloating unpleasantly noticeable. The moral of the story, therefore, is: stay active! Go for a walk in the fresh air, climb the stairs, do a mini-workout at home. Your stomach will thank you for it!
Tip 5: Reduce stress
It is not a myth that stress can actually upset your stomach. If you feel stressed and under pressure, because of work, for example, this can lead to bloating. This is because, in such situations, our body releases cortisol, which slows down digestion. Sugar molecules enter the intestine, and when they decompose, the bacteria produce gases. In addition, we almost always eat faster when we are under pressure. As a result, air enters the stomach. So, remain calm if you want to avoid bloating. Try some relaxation exercises from time to time and look for help if you constantly find yourself mentally stressed.
If you are unsure about what is causing your bloating, ask your doctor, there could be other reasons for it.
Listen to your stomach!
Your Dole Team