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If you regularly suffer from a bloated belly, there could be several factors as to why your stomach is behaving in such a way. Your bloated stomach could be aggravated by foods, carbonated drink, alcohol or lack of movement, to name just a few possibilities. If you want to reduce the bloated look, here are our top tips on how to deflate the belly again. Start the day with grated ginger and hot lemon water Drinking hot lemon water with ginger first thing in the morning, before breakfast, helps to get your digestive system working. You can also add a little turmeric to the drink to provide some anti-inflammatory properties which will sooth any irritation in your stomach. Do not overload on fruit As unfair as it may be, some of the best foods for us are the hardest to digest. Certain fruit and vegetables carry particular kinds of carbohydrates which are difficult for our small intestines to absorb. Think about eating everything in moderation, especially if you are starting the day with a fruit smoothie. You can also try using lemon juice on vegetables for lunch or dinner such as broccoli, kale and cauliflower, as the lemon juice stimulates digestive enzymes. banner_29Mar17_1 Do not graze throughout the day As tempting as it might be, try and prevent yourself from snacking at your desk or mindlessly picking at food. When you do this, you don't pay attention to what or how you are eating. We may choose less nutritious options, increasing the risk of the food not being digested properly and more bloating to occur. Move around and get outside Staying static for an extended period of time can relax the digestive system, and make you feel sluggish. Ensure you get out for some fresh air throughout the day to encourage proper digestion, especially during or after you eat your lunch. Eat smaller meals more often Eating fewer foods, more often should keep the bloated stomach away. If you think about how you feel after a huge meal, say at Christmas, this full feeling can lead to an upset, bloated stomach. Eating little and often will suppress any sense of hunger you may experience. Try anti-bloating food and drink Consuming drinks such as peppermint tea, ginger, and yoghurt containing probiotics (good bacteria) can help stop your stomach from bloating. Foods which create gases while they travel down to the colon and large intestine should be eaten in moderation, such as Brussels sprouts, cherries, avocados and many types of beans. There are plenty of superfoods out there which do not cause a gas build up in the body, though, such as berries, leafy greens and pumpkin, which are easily absorbed through the digestive track. If you are unsure, simply listen to your body and figure out any triggers one item at a time. Drink water between meals Don't forget to keep yourself hydrated in between meals. We should be drinking at least eight glasses of water a day, but if you are eating a particularly fibre rich diet, drinking at least 2 litres per day will prevent all that fibre from clogging up your system. It is also advised to stop yourself from gulping down water through a meal, as this can affect the digestive enzymes in your stomach from doing their job properly. banner_29Mar17_2 Relax When we are stressed, overwhelmed or nervous, we tend to turn to habits such as nail biting, chewing gum, or even smoking. When we do this, we are swallowing more air into the stomach. Thus the stomach starts to bloat. When you feel your blood pressure start to rise or something is testing your patience, take a 5-10 minute break and restore your breathing back to its regular rhythm. Probiotics Getting your daily dose of probiotics from a reliable source is crucial. If you are sourcing your intake from foods such as yoghurt, check that the brand you are buying contains a suitable amount of live bacteria to make a difference to your gut. Many will not have the sufficient amount and may be high in sugars, which can make bloating worse. More effective choices for foods include kefir and sauerkraut, pickles and kimchi. If you are taking a supplement always looks for a high quality probiotic, with multiple strains of bacteria, such as the Wild Nutrition MultiStrain Biotic which contains eight beneficial strains of bacteria.

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