Want to know how to reduce bloating? If you're feeling sluggish and uncomfortable there are some simple tricks you can try to beat your bloated belly!
You've just eaten a big meal and now you're feeling bloated, experiencing stomach pain and wondering how to reduce bloating and quickly get yourself back to feeling your best. We've all been there.
Perhaps you've overindulged in a fancy dinner or had a big weekend of festivities and now you're in need of some cures to reduce the bloat?
Or perhaps there's a more long-term reason for your bloating - is it that time of month? Or do you suffer from constipation (opens in new tab) or a food intolerance or allergy you're unaware of?
While there are many causes of bloated stomach (opens in new tab), it's not always clear how to stop that overly full feeling in its tracks! If you need a solution that works and a natural one at that, we have 13 ways to stop bloating that actually work. So you can kiss goodbye to that inflated belly without the ridiculous exercise regime!
Fed up of letting that sluggish, uncomfortable feeling take over your day? Read on!
How to reduce bloating
According to the latest study (opens in new tab) from Texas A&M University, mangoes are better at relieving digestive problems, such as bloating, than many high-fibre foods.
The fruit, which contains both fibre and nutrients called polyphenols, is said to treat constipation as well as gut inflammation more effectively than fibre alone.
While fibre supplements and over-the-counter remedies such as laxatives can effectively treat constipation, they do not help with the bloating effect that comes with it, according to the study.
But after participants consumed 300 grams of mango daily, the equivalent of one fruit, in just a four-week period, they found their bloating was much easier to manage.
The study also claims that the fruit can actually help to improve bacteria in the gut, therefore can help with how to reduce bloating.
Garlic can really help when it comes to stopping bloating. Studies have shown that garlic helps stimulate digestion and really reduces that bloating feeling.
If you also struggle with gas, garlic is also an antiviral and antifungal food, meaning it can help the body break down food easier. Nutritionist Cassandra Barns also believes it can help improve digestion. She told the Mail Online that it's strong anti-bacterial and antifungal properties can help monitor the amount of bad bacteria in the gut, and can help with yeast overgrowth in the gut. So next time you're cooking, that little bit of extra garlic could make a big difference!
3. Rocket and watercress
The bitter taste of rocket and watercress might be off putting at first, but it can actually help reduce bloating. According to Cassandra, the sharp taste can stimulate the digestive juices and bile flow. Bile is essential for helping the liver get rid of toxins, while it also helps the body digest fats and absorb vitamins.
4. Apple cider vinegar
According to Live Strong, just one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with 8-12 ounces of water can help with bloating. Poor digestion, burping, nausea and heartburn are often associated with low stomach acid. Drinking it before eating can help prevent bloating as it kick starts digestion and make it easier to handle a meal, keeping your stomach acid levels balanced. However, do not do this if you're already on medication as it could interfere with your current prescription.
Have you ever considered trying an abdominal massage when you've been feeling bloated as a form of bloating and gas relief? Make sure you're lying down and don't do anything that feels uncomfortable. Slow, deep breathing will also help whilst you're massaging.
Brian Huwe and Mary Beth Ladenheim, acupuncturists in Virgina, suggest a simple self-massage routine; 'Lie comfortably on your back. Place one hand (right hand for women, left hand for men) above your belly button. Place your other hand on top of the first hand. Then move your hands together in a circle around your navel. Do this 100 times. Then reverse the direction of the circle and repeat 100 more times.'
6. Avoid stress
Not always easy to achieve, but as stress is a major cause of bloating it can be beneficial to find tips to combat stress and burnout (opens in new tab) if you constantly battle bloating. Yoga can be a great stress reliever and the best part is, you can try it for free at home using a YouTube tutorial.
If you're not sure about yoga, why not try some gentle walking? According to a study (opens in new tab) conducted by Heriot-Watt University in the UK, taking a walk through green spaces could shift your brain into a calmer 'meditative' state - great for reducing the bloating. So grab the dog and go!
7. Mint tea
If fizzy drinks are one of the main causes of bloated tummies, then mint tea might just be one of the saviours of a bloated belly! Peppermint tea contains menthol oil, which is said to relieve spasms in muscle tissue. Peppermint tea could be a great way cure for a bloated stomach because it relaxes your muscles, allowing you to release any pent up gas - bloating and gas relief in one.
Try adding it to your post-dinner evening routine to see if it makes a difference to your tummy!
If you think that the reason that causes your bloating is constipation, then slowly introducing more fibre to your diet is important. It's also an essential part of your diet to stave off conditions like diverticulitis (opens in new tab).
We don't mean going and filling up on bread and cereal, either. Apples, bananas, oranges and strawberries all have around 3 to 4 grams of fibre, plus carrots, beetroot and broccoli are all fibre-rich too without making bloating even worse. Time to tuck in if you're looking for how to reduce bloating.
9. Drink more water
Some bloating can be caused by fluid retention - which occurs when your body holds onto fluids in your soft tissue, joints and body cavities - and, although it sounds contradictory, drinking more water can actually combat this! As you drink more water, your body releases fluids, which could lead to less bloating, especially if you suffer bloating after eating.
Not sure if you're drinking enough water (opens in new tab)? According to the NHS we should be aiming for eight glasses of 200ml a day.
10. Don't skip breakfast
If you're unsure of how to reduce bloating then it can be tempting to skip meals and try to eat as little as possible, but this doesn't actually help the feeling. Eating little and often will mean you don't get full too quickly and start to feel sluggish or begin to bloat. It's important to start the day with a fibre and vitamin-rich breakfast, especially if you feel constipated. Anything with wholegrain is a great option for breakfast, whilst porridge will keep you fuller for longer, meaning you don't go crazy at lunchtime!
Parsley is said to be a great remedy for bloating and gas relief thanks to its effects on gas in your body - as it aids in digestion and helps settle the gas.
If you're suffering from feeling sluggish or growing a bloated belly, either make tea with raw dried or freshly chopped parsley, add a bit to a salad or use as a spice in the foods that often contributes to your bloating - such as carbohydrates.
There's a reason why your grandma always told you to eat a ginger biscuit when you felt sick as a child! Ginger is known for its anti-sickness and anti-bloating purposes, thanks to ability to expel gas from the digestive tract and sooth it - a great bloated stomach cure.
Ginger also contains anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, so it's great for relieving abdominal pain and bloating. Try some ginger tea or grating fresh ginger into your foods next time you're feeling uncomfortably bloate - you only need a small amount!
13. Try a new diet
Sometimes it's not until we take a step back from our day to day diets that we realise we could be making healthier choices, especially when it comes to bloating. There are some really simple food swaps that could make a massive difference to how your stomach and gut feels day-to-day and whether you become bloated after eating.
Give our Beat the Bloat Diet (opens in new tab) a go and see if it makes a difference - we reckon you'll have a spring back in your step in no time at all!
14. Make your own smoothies and avoid added sugars
Shop-bought smoothies and juices contain lots of added sugars and are naturally high in sugar too so it's worth always having them in moderation. According to nutritionist Rick Hay Xylitol, a type of added sugar, can be bad news for your tummy when consumed in excess. Too much of it can cause discomfort and diarrhoea.
15. Add aloe vera to your water
Rick explains: 'Just as aloe vera soothes sunburn on the outside, it provides relief internally too.’ Simply add a teaspoon of aloe vera juice to your water and you should notice the difference soon after. Aloe vera helps flush out toxins in the body and promote regularity.
16. Incorporate fermented foods into your diet
Fermented foods such as kefir and saurkraut (opens in new tab) are popular fermented foods but there are others that you can easily pick up in your local supermarket or make at home, such as kimchi (opens in new tab), live yogurt and sourdough bread. Fermented foods are great for gut heath as they encourage good bacteria to thrive.
17. Dandelion tea
According to Rick, "Dandelion tea is often recommended when a quick but healthy fix is required. Another bonus is that dandelion tea is a liver cleanser, help with skin health too."
That's how to reduce bloating in 17 different, easy steps through your diet and lifestyle without the need for intense exercise.