Monday, September 27, 2010

Feeling Bloated?

Don't you ever wonder why your belly gets so puffy? Bloating is a common and annoying symptom with many causes.

Many of the common reasons is that you could be retaining fluids especially right before that time of the month (for women), - or you have excess gas due to the food you ate, or you're constipated. Luckily, there are many ways to banish bloating. The following tricks are worth trying:
  • The bubbles in carbonated drinks (soda) will make your belly pooch out, so stick to plain water.
  • Potassium helps regulate the fluid balance in your body, so choose potassium-rich foods such as bananas, mangoes, cantaloupe, tomatoes, spinach, nuts and asparagus; - they contain amino acid called asparagine which acts as a diuretic to flush excess liquid out your body.
  • Avoid habits that cause you to swallow excess air, like chewing gum, straw drinking, smoking and talking while eating.
  • Eat freshly, chopped parsley, another natural diuretic to meals.
  • Avoid starches like bread and pasta that may cause you to retain water. Keep them off before bedtime to avoid waking up puffy.
  • "Good bacteria" such as yogurt can keep you bloat-free.
  • Some people have difficulty digesting artificial sweeteners which can cause gas and diarrhea. If you're one of them, opt for a bit of real sugar instead.
  • Fight constipation by walking for at least 15-20 minutes daily to keep food moving through your digestive tract. Working up a sweat also releases fluids.
  • If you tend to swell up before (or during) your period, be sure you're getting enough calcium (1,200mg/day) and magnesium (200-400mg/day) in your diet; both nutrients have been found to help relieve PMS symptoms such as bloating.
  • To help you expel gas, try massaging your abdomen in the direction of your GI tract: Press fingers near your right hip; slide towards the ribs, across and down near your colon in a circular motion. Sounds weird but it works! :).