One of the most common digestive issues of today’s world is definitely bloating. It’s so uncomfortable and embarrassing that many of us decide to start eating healthier foods in order to avoid this occurrence. But what if this doesn’t help? How can you get rid of gas and bloating fast?
I experienced this myself time and again, heard many of my fellow plant-based munchers complain about it and have now come up with a list of the most common triggers for bloating. Because just cutting out animal products unfortunately doesn’t always automatically heal your whole digestive tract and healthy plant foods can sometimes be too much for your bowels.
This is one of our older articles which needs to be overhauled soon. We don't stand by everything written here anymore (just take things with a grain of salt) and will do our best to improve this piece in the near future. Until then, simply enjoy your whole plant-based foods and check out our latest articles!
Although there are short-term solutions to gassiness, bloating, and digestive issues, it’s always best to really go for the root cause and eliminate the initial problems instead of just gulping down the probiotics. It’s also important to know that bloating doesn’t always have to be followed by flatulence – but both of these issues can be painful, embarrassing and just overall uncomfortable.
This is meant to be a holistic approach to reducing stress and irritation so you can have a happy flat belly again soon!
If your problem persists or becomes a lot worse all of a sudden, then definitely see a doctor.
There is always the possibility of some chronic or serious medical condition, and diagnosing digestive problems can be complicated. However, in many cases, bloating can be reduced (or even eliminated) using simple changes in diet. Now, let’s get started!
How to Get Rid of Bloating
We hope that the following tips will offer you some relief in the short and long run. As an additional perk, you can click here to download our free Anti-Bloat Bundle consisting of a printable food journal, 3 recipes for a flat belly, an overview of possible trigger foods & what to choose instead!
1. Eat less cruciferous & allium vegetables
This family of veggies (including broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts or cauliflower) are pretty tough to digest for some people. Even though they are full of anti-cancer compounds and well worth eating, they are also high in sulfur compounds - which can cause some pretty bad smelling gas.
Make sure to cook these foods thoroughly and in order for the sugars to be broken. Chewing them well can also help with its digestion and reduce the amount of hydrogen sulfide that reaches your lower intestine. Maybe even avoid them overall for a few days and see if it's any better.
Replace them with healthy low gas vegetables, like butternut squash, carrots, zucchini, tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, eggplant, spinach, and Swiss chard. Leafy greens can also work out fine for you.
Also, leek, onion and garlic are most always a no-no! They contain high levels of fructans such as inulin which can cause gastrointestinal issues for many people. Even though they are incredibly healthy and considered a prebiotic, eating a meal with a lot of onion or garlic in it can be the cause of your belly problems.
Especially if you eat them raw, they can lead to cramps and huge gas production – so make sure to cook them thoroughly in order to avoid this. Only add small amounts to your meals for now and go from there.
In a nutshell
Try cutting out onion, leek and garlic. Then, also reduce the amounts of broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts and be sure to cook them thoroughly before eating. Slowly reintroduce these foods once your symptoms improve.
2. Regulate your fiber intake
Maybe you have increased the amount of dietary fiber too quickly and your digestion cannot handle this indigestible carbohydrate so well. While fiber is an important part of a healthy diet, you should take it slow and increase the foods high in fiber step by step (about 5 grams per day until you’re at the required amount for your age group).
And as you add in fiber, also make sure that you’re adding in water to push the fiber through. Another key to digesting fiber is ensuring a good balance of soluble and insoluble fiber. When soluble fiber hits the colon undigested, it causes gas.
Sometimes, it's better to still get some more slightly processed foods, like white rice, white pasta and crackers instead of the whole grain version. Foods like fruits, vegetables and legumes also contain a good amount of fiber, some more than others. Keep your smoothies small and be sure to cook your vegetables thoroughly in the beginning.
In a nutshell
Don't suddenly increase the amount of fiber you eat, rather take it slow so your digestion can get used to it. Stick to some slightly more processed food like pasta and bread first.
3. Eat smaller amounts of legumes
If your diet has had only very little beans and lentils in it, then your digestive tract needs some time to get used to them again. They do have quite a bit of fiber as well as raffinose, an indigestible carbohydrate. The bacteria in your large intestine thrive on it but this also means fermentation and gas production if you don't have the specific bacteria needed to digest legumes.
Any legume will help release short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) that strengthen your intestine cells, improve absorption of micronutrients, and help with weight loss. Beans feed good gut bugs, which in turn revs up your immune system. Calorie for calorie, beans offer the most nutrition bang for your buck. They are packed with fiber, protein, folate, and B vitamins, which play a role in regulating a healthy gut and a healthy brain.
So, it's not like they aren't healthy - their nutritional value is outstanding. A good way to make them more digestible is by soaking them overnight in water with a tablespoon of vinegar or add some fennel seeds while cooking. Increase the amount of beans, peas and lentils slowly to get used to them and try to start with a pureed form such as hummus or soups.
In a nutshell
Legumes can be hard to digest if you're not used to them and don't have the right bacteria in your gut yet. Start with lentils or tofu and slowly increase the amount of this healthy food group.
4. Cut out dairy
Since we’re not little babies anymore, our ability to digest lactose (the sugar naturally found in milk) is very poor. Though some people are diagnosed with a lactose intolerance, for many others dairy products can still cause quite a bit of trouble including bloating or constipation.
It is estimated that 75% of the world’s population isn’t able to digest lactose. So just leave the milk to the cow and its calf where it belongs and find your favorite plant-based alternative; they rank from soy to almond, oat, coconut, hazelnut, cashew or even hemp.
Other classic symptoms of dairy sensitivity are mucus, respiratory problems, fatigue, joint pains and skin problems. Plus, when casein is not properly digested, it gets into your bloodstream which causes inflammation – so it’s really not worth it. There's also evidence that it can contribute to some types of cancer! Check our recipe section for delicious dairy-free meals like mac and cheese.
In a nutshell
Many people have some kind of bad reaction to dairy products and we should all avoid it them for several health reasons - including fatigue, mucus and skin problems. You can find countless delicious dairy-free recipes online!
5. Cook your food
Even though on paper, raw foods are so incredibly healthy - if your body isn’t able to digest them properly, you cannot reap the benefit or even get to all of these nutrients. In the end, it’s not what you eat – it’s what you absorb. Since your body has to do all the work, breaking down cellular walls which are raw and unprocessed, this can be too much for it.
Cooking is a form of pre-digesting, so think twice about permanently skipping this step. When I started out eating a high raw diet, I was constantly bloated and had very few bowel movements. It was crazy and painful! So after a year of doing that, I finally came to terms with the fact that it's super hard for me to digest lots of raw vegetables and even a big smoothie.
I started cutting back on raw salads and started steaming my food, I never drank more than 1 glass of smoothie at a time (plus, I rather juice my raw fruits & veggies, so there's no fiber but all the good nutrients) and just leaned more towards starchy food. This was incredibly beneficial to my belly, skin and overall energy levels.
In a nutshell
Decrease the amount of raw food (especially raw vegetables) to find out whether you have a hard time digesting them. Stick to cooking, stewing or baking them for a while.
6. Be careful what you drink
Don't drink water with your food, rather get it in an hour later at least. It dilutes your stomach acid, which makes it harder for your stomach to break down the food, which will then sit in your gut for much longer and produce gas.
Drinking huge amounts of water in one sitting (around 1 liter) also stretches your stomach and can lead to bloating. When the water you drink is cold, you can cause extra irritation – so just reach for room temperature (or even warm) water.
On top of that, try not to swallow any extra air or drink through a straw – about half of the gas in the digestive system comes from that. Also, avoid carbonated drinks and soda since they’re full of gas themselves (plus contain a good amount of bizarre, acidic, chemical-laden ingredients) and just add fuel to the fire.
Whereas tea can be useful to relieve bloating, coffee, on the other hand, is a well-known irritant for those suffering from IBS, ulcers, colitis and many more diseases. It can prevent the healing of an already damaged GI tract - regular or decaffeinated makes no difference in this regard.
The problem is, coffee appears to stimulate gastric emptying of the stomach before food has a chance to be properly digested. On top of that, the caffeine in coffee is a strong diuretic in the human body, which increases the chance of getting constipated.
In a nutshell
Don't drink a lot of water in one sitting, avoid straws and carbonated drinks. Coffee also causes digestive stress and prevents healing of an already damaged GI tract. Have some tea, like fennel, chamomille or peppermint, instead.
7. Avoid fatty food
Oils aren’t a whole food of course and therefore incredibly calorically dense while being devoid in essential nutrients. Though it can make you feel fuller, using oil usually delays stomach emptying which can cause diarrhea, bloating or stomach pain. In general, eating more fat than your body can digest at each meal can tax your system and slow down digestion.
While specific amounts will vary for everyone, it’s usually best to view fat as a small topping such as a tablespoon of flax or chia over a smoothie, half an avocado on your salad etc.It really depends on how sensitive you are – sometimes even a raw bar made of dates and nut butter can start the bloating again.
Especially when going out to restaurants or having friends/family cook for you - the food ends up being too high in fat since almost everyone uses oil. You can still sometimes eat it though, just to have a good time. But know about the effects afterwards and don't wear tight jeans that night!
In a nutshell
Fat delays stomach emptying and can cause both constipation and diarrhea. Eat less fat (especially oil) to improve your digestion.
8. Cut out junk food
Of course, overly processed food can be harmful to your stomach too. If you get in too many additives, preservatives, maybe even pesticides and that kind of stuff, your body doesn't really know how to handle that. Who could blame it, since this is not even real food!
So of course your body doesn’t have the tools to digest these foreign substances. Anything highly refined could worsen that - especially if it’s fatty (read above). Also, junk food is usually full of salt, which causes your body to retain water, predominantly around your abdomen.
Sometimes bloating is not due to gas but rather because of water retention, which is even harder to alleviate, so it is important to avoid high-salt food. Other ingredients you can find in junk food are artificial sweeteners which contain sugar alcohols that cannot be digested properly.
In a nutshell
Junk food is full of foreign additives, preservatives, and pesticides - all of which can be irritating to your digestive tract. Their high amounts of fat and salt or sweeteners is also a problem for most people and should be decreased.
9. Decrease portion sizes
Even if you eat all the right foods – the amount does come into play as well. Especially if you have a history of restriction, your stomach isn’t able to handle even normal portion sizes and you can feel great discomfort. But even if you’ve always been a good eater, switching to a whole food plant-based diet means you need to eat a larger volume in order to get sufficient calories.
That said, you should never overstuff yourself since this can be tough on your stomach. If you have a lot of undigested food in your system, it can cause a bacteria overreaction and therefore worsen your pain. Also, eating too fast adds to the risk of bloating after a meal. The remedy is simple - eat more slowly.
Satiety signals can take up to 20 minutes to reach the brain and dampen appetite. One of the longest living people in the world, the Okinawans, have a rule of eating only until 80% full (called “Hara Hachi Bu”) for optimal energy, health and digestion – this goes along with eating more slowly of course, since your stomach needs some time to let the brain know that you’re done.
In a nutshell
Huge amounts of food can overwhelm your stomach and cause digestive trouble. Try eating only until you're 80% full to see if you have positive results. You can eat more often during the day and eating smaller meals or snacks.
10. Check for food sensitivities
There are several common foods which people can be sensitive (or even intolerant) towards. They include, but are not limited to, dairy, eggs, peanuts, soy, wheat, gluten, and corn. When you are sensitive towards any of them, then you are most likely to experience symptoms such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), eczema, migraine, fatigue, hives and asthma.
What’s more, you can develop these intolerances throughout your life, which you should definitely get tested for. If you think you're sensitive to some particular food, don’t start to eliminate it until you’ve had a blood test done – otherwise the result could be incorrect.
An easy elimination diet is useful to narrow down your irritants, starting with some food like rice and adding in one other food at a time, can also give you an answer to this problem and lets you know what you need to avoid in order to feel your best.
I used to be so sure to be gluten sensitive, so I cut it out for half a year - but I didn't get better. So be honest with yourself about the result and work with a professional.
In a nutshell
Cut out the most common triggers of food sensitivities for several weeks at a time and see if it makes you feel better. You can also try an elimination diet. This is recommended to do with a specialist on your side, like an RD.
11. Dealing with stress
One of the biggest determining factors when it comes to getting a huge stomach after eating (or even drinking!) is being stressed out. It can be about little or big things, but as soon as you become agitated, your stomach immediately reacts. For some, this is more noticeable than for others of course – but there is definitely a gut-brain connection, meaning a stressed mind can manifest itself in the belly with stress-induced GI disorders.
This can be in the form of food allergies, IBS or ulcers, which then of course mess with your microbial flora in your gut and can wreak havoc on your whole system. To soothe these stress-induced inflammations, try to add in some techniques like yoga, meditation, counselling, herbs, qi gong, sleeping, reading or even exercise.
An overall awareness of your state of body and mind is important here, so you can notice the stress levels rising and take some necessary steps before it’s too late. The mind-body connection goes both ways – so when your gut is happy, your mind will be a lot happier as well. This is because 90% of your overall serotonin (the happiness hormone) is found within your intestines, along with 50% of your dopamine, which is involved in your motivation.
In a nutshell
There's such a thing as stress-induces GI disorders, which can result in ulcers and mess with your microbial flora in your gut. Do you best to de-stress on a daily basis.
12. Chew well
What's also tough on your digestive tract is food that hasn't been chewed well. Chewing your food thoroughly mixes in saliva which starts off proper digestive processes and makes breaking it down easier. Since your stomach doesn’t have any teeth, parts of your food stay there for too long and cause the stomach acid to form gas.
Really take your time while eating and opt for 20 chews or so per bite. It also reduces the amount of air you swallow with the food (a cause of bloating), and it makes you eat slower, which is linked to reduced food intake and smaller portions. Chewing gum is a disaster for your digestion because it causes your stomach to ready itself for food.
When food doesn't enter your stomach, digestion is upset and gas is created - not to mention the air you swallow when chewing (the same happens when you smoke, so another good reason to finally quit). The enzymes and acids that are activated when you chew gum are therefore released, but without the food they're intended to digest.
This can cause bloating, an overproduction of stomach acid, and can compromise your ability to produce sufficient digestive secretions when you actually do eat food. Again, chewing gum almost always contains artificial sweeteners, which I covered above (see ‘Junk Food’).
In a nutshell
Your stomach doesn't have teeth, so make sure you do a good job of chewing your food before swallowing it (around 20 times per bite). Also, try not to swallow any air.
13. Have some tea or lemon water
Drinking some lemon infused water is a very good way to normalize hydrochloric acid production in the stomach and to produce bile in the liver. Both of them are very important for digestion and assimilation of nutrients, which, in turn, reduces your bloating and other digestive issues. Warm water itself can help move food through your digestive tract as well and shouldn’t be forgotten about.
Drinking water in general will help you flush excess salt from your body, while keeping things moving. But wait for at least an hour after your last meal before your drink so you don’t disrupt the digestive process or dilute stomach acid. Teas make the top 3 list of my favorite remedies because they are beneficial on so many levels.
Peppermint helps relieve cramps and spasms in the GI tract, improves the passage of food and allows it to go through smoothly without any pain. It’s best to have a small cup of this tea just before or even during a meal for its positive effects to unfold. The same goes for chamomile.
Ginger is also known to help soothe the digestive tract and relieve gas, it improves circulation and is said to be an effective pain reliever. You can chew on tiny bits of it or make tea out of the fresh root. Just like peppermint, fennel also has anti-spasmodic properties and it stimulates the production of gastric juices. This means it can help with GI problems, heartburn, diarrhea, IBS and indigestion.
In a nutshell
Get rid of excess salt by flushing it out with water. Tea can help relive cramps and spasms in the GI tract, choose peppermint, chamomile, or ginger if you can.
14. Try a low-FODMAP diet
Ultimately, it comes down to your individual situation, body type, and preferences. I cannot tell you what foods exactly you should be eating since nobody else knows what works for you. Bloating can have many reasons and you have to figure out which ones the right steps are. Tweaking your diet a little isn’t harmful at all and can give you a good insight.
One common advice for people who have problems with bloating, with or without other digestive symptoms, is eating a low-FODMAP diet. This means that you reduce or avoid foods which contain "Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Monosaccharides And Polyols." – all of which could be a reason for IBS and other functional gastrointestinal disorders.
Some examples of common high-FODMAP foods are wheat, onions, garlic, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, beans, apples, and pears. For a detailed list, you can download our free anti-bloat bundle!
In a nutshell
Reduce or avoid foods which contain "Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Monosaccharides And Polyols." since they could be a reason for IBS and other functional gastrointestinal disorders. Only do this with a trained professional, like an RD, and don't stay on it too long!
15. Choose beneficial food
What you want to focus on are fruits like pineapple and papaya, both of which contain certain digestive enzymes that help ease the stomach and promote easier digestion of protein and fat. Melons, including honeydew and cantaloupe, also help your body to flush out excess sodium. Watermelons contain 94% water and can be an excellent choice to prevent bloating.
Both bananas and tomatoes are loaded with potassium, which helps relieve water retention from too much salt, and are relatively easy to digest – therefore an excellent anti-bloat food. You also need to experiment whether whole grains give you more problems than refined ones. This is a subject many people disagree on. Both are healthy for you and can be included in your diet, gluten-free or not.
Furthermore, you can use digestion stimulating spices when making your food. Try for example black pepper, ginger, cumin, coriander, or turmeric to make your belly happy. They either stimulate the digestive tract or the gastric juices and help with an array of health issues.
Another tip is to eat several hours before you go to bed to avoid heartburns or severe bloating, since your body doesn’t digest much when you sleep. Also don’t eat in a rushed environment and remember to practice mindfulness to slow down, chew thoroughly and recognize slight fullness signals.
In a nutshell
Spices can help your body to digest food as well as water-rich fruit. Try to see if refined grains or whole grains work better for you and eat several hours before you go to bed.
16. Add some probiotics
Your gut is home to over 100 trillion bacteria and outnumber human cells in your body by a ratio of 10:1 – we are actually only 10% human! So of course, all of these species and strains of bacteria play an important role in your overall health. If you’ve taken antibiotics in the past, you are very likely to not have a healthy gut flora since these drugs are made to kill off bacteria – no matter if they are beneficial to you or harmful.
Making sure your bacteria is well-balanced between the “good” and the “bad” is thought to be essential in maintaining strong and healthy digestive and immune systems. This can and should be done by eating a diet rich in healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and nuts or seeds. But sometimes, this isn’t enough to fix the root of your bloating – and this is where probiotics come in as helpful additives.
Probiotic pills offer either a single or multiple strains of beneficial bacteria. When buying these, make sure that the capsule is made of vegan substances only. Rainbow Light ProbioActive (Amazon Link) offers a great formula along with a plant-based capsule, giving you very good value for your money. Ora Organic Probiotics (Amazon Link) and Prebiotics is a little bit more expensive but comes with as much as 6 probiotic strains and is freeze-dried for the best possible bio availability. We had experience with Ora products and the past and can confirm that they are of superb quality.
A delicious way to include more probiotics into your diet is to make kefir or soy yogurt as well as fermenting vegetables to make sauerkraut. The easiest and cheapest way to do this is by making your own kefir. It’s a fizzy drink (which can also turn into a yogurt-like consistency) that’s made of (coconut) water or plant-based milk with some kefir grains (Amazon Link). After letting it sit for 24-48 hours, you just need to take the grains out of the liquid carefully and you’re already done!
Fermenting foods is a little more elaborate task – but the benefits are amazing nonetheless. For sauerkraut, the easiest one, you just need some cabbage, salt and caraway seeds. After cutting it up and mixing it together, put it into a clean jar and let it ferment for 3 to 10 days. Here’s a detailed recipe for this. Also, check out kimchi, kombucha, tempeh, miso, and pickled vegetables!
In a nutshell
Your gut bacteria can be damaged and needs to be built up from time to time. Make your own kefir, sauerkraut, or simply buy probiotic pills to fix this problem. At the same time, you need to get plenty of prebiotics and then follow a healthy plant-based diet to keep feeding the beneficial bacteria!
17. Get into meditation & yoga
Since all of your bodily functions are regulated by the autonomic nervous system, it is important to be sending out the right signals. When in stress mode, your body no longer focuses on everyday functioning, like digestion — everything becomes secondary to your body’s “fight or flight” survival response.
Relaxing both your body and mind is tremendously powerful because blood oxygen levels and circulation are being multiplied. Depending on the situation, we either have our sympathetic (stress) or parasympathetic (relaxation) nervous system activated - and you’ll guess which one is more helpful for a flat and happy belly.
So this is why, even though it can seem counterintuitive when you are bloated, it is important to try and do some deep abdominal breathing. This can act like an internal massage and it sends signals of relaxation to your brain, which, in turn, can get your intestines going a lot better.
We often breathe too shallow during the day and only get to the deep, healing, breathing part at night. Also, most people have a habit of breathing in too much air due to which gas can accumulate in your stomach. If you want to try this method, check out this great guide to breathing exercises.
But you can also pursue activities like meditation or yoga to regulate your breathing. Even though I listed meditation as a de-stress method above, I wanted to emphasize this once again. The digestive system is one of the biological processes most affected when the body is tense and anxious – this is why you want to calm down your mind as much as possible.
Below is a video of a beautiful and helpful sequence.
Generally, you can do some yoga poses that stimulate your abdominal organs - like the bridge pose for example. Others are twist poses that massage and tone your abdomen, which also are a great therapy for gas, bloating, and constipation. You can do a child’s pose, wind-relieving pose or cow pose.
Yoga can help increase gastrointestinal circulation, better food absorption and decrease gas as well as stress. The remedial benefits of yoga can be compared to that of a body massage, where the working and stretching of your intestines will increase healthy movement, blood flow and circulation.
And even if you have never meditated before, a few minutes of silence, closing your eyes, paying attention to your breath or just looking up into the sky while letting go of all the drama in your life for just a little bit could be your first step. There are so many ways to do this, find what feels right for you and just go with it.
Leo from zen habits created a list of 20 practical tips for starting with meditation and making it a habit. There are also great videos on YouTube for guided meditations if that sounds like a better fit for you.
In a nutshell
Look for a good yoga workout video on YouTube and simply follow the instructions. Also try some guided or silent meditation to relax your nervous system.
18. Try some movement & exercise
According to a November 2006 study published in the “American Journal of Gastroenterology,” gas retention was significantly lower in individuals who exercised than those who were at rest.
So far, my own experience has been the same: when I do some kind of strength training, cardio or yoga, my digestive tract always thanks me for it! Especially the cardio exercises can help relieve abdominal bloating. When you exercise, the gas can pass through the digestive system more easily.
Try to participate in a form of cardio exercise for a minimum of 10 minutes to find relief. Besides walking, you can also opt for swimming, cycling, jogging, step aerobics or stair-climbing. Increase the time of your cardio workouts until you are exercising 25 to 30 minutes three to five times per week.
To tone up your stomach area and therefore let the bloating have a smaller impact on your size, you can do some sit-ups, pelvic lifts or bicycle maneuvers. If you want some instant relief, go for a brisk walk for 30 minutes or do a few jumping jacks or twists. It helps to increase blood circulation since your heart will be beating faster and this helps to release gas.
Walking is gentle enough to prevent further stomach upset, but it also provides enough physical activity to keep food and trapped air moving through the digestive tract. The increased heart rate and breathing causes the digestive muscles to push air and food through the intestines.
In a nutshell
Exercise can help relieve bloating and tone up your stomach area as well. This can be anything from walking around to running, cycling, or HIIT workouts. Regular exercise can also change your gut microbiome for the better!
19. Keep a journal
Since all of these different factors could contribute, start paying attention towards what's helpful or not. When did you feel good or bad after a meal? You can determine which foods trigger your symptoms by keeping a food diary which uncovers the offenders. This is done by recording what you eat, how much and when, as well as writing down the symptoms you might experience.
We’ve added a printable template with all the necessary and useful columns that you can use as your diary in our anti-bloat bundle, so feel free to download it and start keeping track of your meals! I can speak from experience that you will start recognizing which ingredients or combinations cause you some trouble and you’ll be feeling better soon after avoiding these triggers.
You might also want to pay attention to the times you eat and your level of fullness. Stacking one food on top of another could be causing you some trouble as well, so make sure most of your previous meal has been digested before eating again.
Try to give your body a good long break overnight too. Aim for 12-14 hours of fasting – this means, if you have your breakfast at 7 am, try to eat your dinner around 5-7 pm the latest. Your body will get enough time to restore and prepare for another busy day of digesting.
In a nutshell
Getting closer to the way of eating that works best for you is a lot easier when you keep track of what you eat and how it makes you feel. Watch yourself for a few weeks and adjust your diet accordingly.
20. Apply some pressure
Another way to get relief is to lay down on your stomach or – even better – put a pillow underneath your abdomen when lying down. Along with your breathing, this works like a massage for your intestines. When you sit down, you can put a pillow in front of yourself onto your stomach area when to provide some gentle pressure.There’s also a way to perform self-acupressure on the acupuncture point Triple Heater 6 which is located on the back of the wrist, approximately three inches up from the wrist crease.
If you have a loving partner or family member, you could ask them to give you a nice back massage while lying down. This can help move gas along, relaxes your muscles and your mind as well! Try not to hold any gas in since this can cause additional pain.
For quick relief of abdominal pressure caused by gas and bloating, lie down with a hot water bottle or warm compress across your stomach. Allow its heat and weight to help the gas leave your body and the pressure subside. It also aids digestive organs with a soothing circulation boost - all you have to do is lie back and welcome the sweet relief.
In a nutshell
Get instant relief by putting a pillow or hot water bottle on your stomach. You can also try some acupressure on the back of your wrist.
Bloating may also be caused by altered function of the muscles in the digestive tract. Drugs called antispasmodics, that can help reduce muscle spasm, have been shown to be of use and peppermint oil (Amazon Link) is a natural substance that is believed to function in a similar way.
It’s also possible that you don’t have enough stomach acid and therefore cannot digest your food properly. An easy way to correct this is by supplementing with Betain HCL (Amazon Link), which is essentially hydrochloric acid. Take one pill before every meal and you should feel a warm sensation in your stomach – meaning, you have enough acid in your stomach to deal with any food that comes along. If you’re not able to digest your meal, your body cannot absorb all of the essential nutrients and craves for more food which leads to overeating and weight gain.
Ask your doctor, dietitian or pharmacist for good over-the-counter medicine that can alleviate your symptoms – but make sure to get to the root of the problem in the long term, so you’re not reliant on any medication at all.
Persistent bloating or distention may signal potentially serious conditions, such as enlargement of one of the abdominal organs or a malignancy. Definitely ask your doctor about it.
Have you been dealing with indigestion or gas as well? Let us know below if you have any additional advice and what your favorite cures for a bloated belly are!
Alena has been eating a plant-based diet for 6 years and is passionate about sharing her learnings in the fields of nutrition, wellbeing, and vegan ethics. She is the co-creator of nutriciously and loves music, reading, nature, traveling, yoga & good food. Alena received training in the fields of nutrition, music therapy, and social work.