Beat the bloat
Bloating can be caused by sluggish digestion, eating the wrong foods, time of the month or other, less obvious reasons such as the way you eat or being stressed at work!
If you find yourself bloated at the end of the day, try these tips to improve your digestion and reduce your stomach pain.
Chew your food properly: bloating can be caused by rushed eating. This is due to undigested food that hasn't been chewed enough before swallowing. Take your time, eat away from distractions like your phone and the TV, and put the knife and fork down between mouthfuls.
Aim to eat a variety of foods across the day that help to nourish your digestive system. This includes foods that are high in fibre, such as fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. Go for two serves of fruit and five serves of vegetables. However, if you haven't been eating much fibre, then aim to increase your intake slowly over a couple of days, or you may feel more bloated than before.
Try sipping on peppermint tea after meals. Peppermint helps to settle your stomach and reduce gas in the digestive tract. If you're not a fan of tea, you can also buy peppermint capsules to try taking with meals.
Reduce your salt intake. The sodium in salt causes fluid retention, increasing a bloated stomach's appearance and making you feel puffy.
Exercise daily. This could be something such as a walk, bike ride, gym class or weights session. Exercising helps improve blood flow, helps move gas through your digestive tract, and can aid regular bowel movements if you're experiencing constipation.
Drink enough water. The minimum recommended amount is around 2 litres (8 cups), and don't forget to add more if you've been active, are in a hot environment, or have been sweating it out in the gym!
Pay attention to your stress level. When people are experiencing higher-than-usual levels of stress, this can cause bloating and gut discomfort. Eat mindfully, try five minutes of meditation, or do something that relaxes you, like reading, walking or taking a bath.