On my clinic experience bloating is one of the most common complaints. The cause can be linked to many different factors. Still, most of the time, it is related to food intolerances and dysbiosis (imbalance between the ratio of good bacteria vs harmful bacteria on our gut). It can also be a sign of low HCL (hydrochloride acid) on our stomach. If the food ingested is not properly broken down, it can ferment and liberate gas, thus resulting in bloating. Low HCL is also linked to reflux and heartburns. I like to say that digestion starts on our mouths. It is important to chew our food properly. Take your time, don’t eat in front of the TV or while doing something else. Never eat if you are feeling stressed as this causes our digestive system to shut down and we can’t break down the food ingested.
If you continuously suffer from reflux or heartburns instead of taking an anti-acid, you can try to drink one tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar diluted in 100ml of water, 10 minutes before your main meals. It will help to increase HCL levels.
If the cause of your bloating is a food intolerance, it would be helpful to avoid foods containing processed white flour and gluten mostly found in bread, pizza, pasta, cakes and biscuit, processed sugar and dairy. Cut out these foods for three to four weeks and then start introducing back to your diet one-by-one. I usually suggest to my clients to do a food journal and take notes after re-introducing the various foods, paying attention not only to physical reactions but emotion too.
To address dysbiosis, the best thing is to take a good probiotic- that is one presenting several different strains and a minimum of 10 billion bacteria.
To improve your gut health, increase the consumption of beans, pulses, nuts, vegetables and fruits. Aim for at least three portions of fruits daily, especially berries and 5 to 8 portions of vegetables, especially the ones containing resistant starches like artichoke, Jerusalem artichoke, celeriac, garlic, onions and leek.
Another way to support our gut bacteria is to eat fermented foods like Kefir (fermented milk), sauerkraut, Korean kimchi, live yoghurt plus Tamari sauce and cider vinegar.
Finally, if you really want to understand what is going on with your digestive system, I would recommend a 5R protocol, a Comprehensive Stool Test or an Organic Acid Test. I usually suggest the 5R protocol to all my clients, and I’ve used those tests before and strongly recommend it.
If you need any more support to improve your gut health, give me a call and let’s talk. I am here to help.