Bloating: How to Cope

Bloating is generally the result of not being able to properly digest foods. These not-so-easily-digested foods feel like they’re just sitting around causing discomfort and a general feeling of being stuffed and ‘windy’!

It can happen at any age, but if it seems to be more frequent as you’re getting older it can very well be because of your stomach’s reduced ability to produce enough acid for proper digestion.

Normally, when we eat, cells in our stomach release more acid which is important for so many digestive processes like breaking down foods. As we age this process can become less efficient and the result can feel like it’s wreaking havoc on the rest of the digestive system.

Unfortunately, this can have wide-ranging effects on all of our digestion abilities and can result in bloating.

Bloating Reason #1:

Sometimes our bodies are (or become more as we age) sensitive to the fiber in certain fruits or veggies. This can also occur when we introduce new ones into our diet as it may take a while for our body to get used to them.

Try chewing your vegetables more thoroughly, or lightly cooking or steaming raw ones. If a fruit or veggie seems to be consistently related to bloating try eliminating it for a few weeks and monitor your symptoms.

Bloating Reason #2:

Decreased stomach acid can reduce the activation of a key protein-digesting enzyme “pepsin”. This means that the proteins you eat aren’t broken down as much and they can pass through your system “undigested”.

You may consider reducing the amount of animal-based foods you eat and see if that helps.

Bloating Reason #3:

All this lack of digesting in your stomach and small intestine puts extra stress on the large intestine. The large intestine is the home of all of your wonderful gut microbes that have SO many functions in the body.

Try eating more fermented foods. Fermented foods contain probiotics which will feed the good bacteria and microbes in your system to keep the bad bacteria at bay. This includes things like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha, and kimchi. Make sure they’re unpasteurized and contain live cultures.

Ginger has been found to help with digestion and reduce nausea for certain people. And peppermint is thought to help your digestive muscles keep pushing food through, so it doesn’t stay in one spot for too long.

Consider drinking a digestive tea like peppermint or ginger.

If bloating is a serious problem for you, always consult your doctor for evaluation.

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