Embrace the natural ebbs and flows of your body, including the occasional gas and bloating. These are part of our shared human experience and typically resolve themselves naturally. Yet, there are moments when we all yearn for a little extra comfort and care.
Let’s journey towards understanding our bodies better and discovering gentle, natural remedies to support our processes. After all, feeling good starts from the inside out.
Here, we’ll explore eight nurturing ways to help our bodies naturally easy gas and abdominal bloating, restoring our inner balance and enabling us to find our most comfortable, confident selves.
What Causes Gas?
Gas can be caused by two things. The first is when we sometimes swallow a little bit of air while we’re eating or drinking. The air can’t exit through our digestive system, so it exits through the stomach. This can lead to belching. A burp or two usually quickly relieves this type of gas, and it doesn’t ordinarily cause lingering effects.
The second cause of gas is fermentation in the lower digestive tract. Everything we eat is processed and fermented in the small intestine, and this fermentation process creates gas. Gas escapes through flatulence – but sometimes, it becomes trapped. When this happens, it can take a while for gas to find its way out of the body.
What Causes Bloating?
Bloating can be the result of the buildup of trapped gas or constipation. People with normal digestive health should have a bowel movementanywhere between three times a day to three times a week. Abrupt changes in bowel movement frequency or difficulty going to the bathroom could indicate constipation, which may cause bloating.
Lactose intolerance is one of the most common causes of bloating, among other types of food sensitivities or intolerances. Eating foods that contain lactose or gluten may cause bloating in those of us whose bodies have a hard time digesting certain foods.
Avoiding dairy products or gluten-containing products can make the symptoms stop. Over-the-counterlactaseenzyme tablets can also make it easier for our bodies to digest small amounts of lactose-containing foods on occasion.
Lastly, water retention can contribute to bloating and make the face, abdomen and lower extremities appear puffy. One of the most common contributing factors to water retention is the menstrual cycle, with some people finding that they retain more water around their period.
8 Natural Remedies for Gas & Bloating
Occasional gas and bloating can be eased with at-home remedies. As long as it’s not a consistent problem and it isn’t causing a significant amount of discomfort, there’s usually no reason to be concerned. Try some gentle natural remedies to see if it helps to relieve symptoms and assists the body’s efforts to find balance.
1. Changing Your Diet
We all have our favourite indulgences, even if they don’t always agree with our digestive systems. Unfortunately, food intolerance can cause a wide array of unpleasant symptoms.
If gas or stomach bloating seems to correlate with eating a specific food, it may be a wise idea to take a break from eating that food. If a change in diet keeps the symptoms away, it’s generally best to avoid that food (or at least enjoy it less frequently).
Our bodies need fibre for healthy digestion, and eating a high-carbohydrate diet low in fibre may lead to issues like constipation and bloating. Foods like beans, legumes, broccoli, avocados, apples, lentils, oatmeal and leafy greens offer our bodies plenty of healthy fibre.
As a rule, consuming more whole foods and less processed foods can help support general health and wellbeing. When your digestive system is running smoothly, you may be less likely to run into digestive issues.
2. Incorporating Debloating Foods
Potassium can help the body let go of excess water retention, so foods rich in potassium may help the body alleviate bloat. Bananas and avocados pack a fair amount of potassium into a small serving size.
Bloating unrelated to water retention may benefit from the exact opposite. Water-rich foods, like cucumbers, watermelon, celery and berries, can help the digestive system move smoothly. They can help us hydrate our bodies while delivering a little more water to the intestine, where our bodies can use the water to assist the digestive system.
3. Sipping Herbal Teas
Peppermint can help the body relieve gas and associated bloating. A cup of peppermint tea may hit the spot. Coffee drinkers might prefer a few drops of peppermint oil in a latté, especially around the holidays.
Ginger tea is another herbal preparation that can help with nausea or a generally upset tummy. Many people may experience bellyaches when dealing with constipation or bloating. While ginger doesn’t directly address the cause of the symptoms, it can make them a lot easier to deal with.
4. Using Probiotic Foods or Supplements
Probiotic bacteria work to support digestive efforts in the gut. Probiotic bacteria are good bacteria that work within the bacterial environment of the GI tract to help the body process food efficiently. The boost from probiotics can encourage digestive regularity, which can help ease symptoms of gas and bloating.
Probiotic-rich foods include:
Some of us love the zesty tang of these fermented foods, and others aren’t too wild about their unique flavour. Those of us who aren’t keen to eat fermented foods can always use probioticsupplements to obtain the same benefits.
5. Using De-bloat Tablets With Natural Ingredients
De-bloat tablets support the body’s natural digestion process, often containing a blend of digestive enzymes and herbs. These enzymes assist in breaking down food, potentially reducing gas production and thus, bloating. Herbs like ginger, fennel or peppermint, traditionally used to soothe the digestive tract, can also be found in these formulas, contributing to relief from gas and bloating.
Most effective when coupled with a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle changes, de-bloat formulas may provide effective support in your overall health journey. However, they should not replace professional medical advice for persistent or severe bloating. Always consult with a healthcare professional for comprehensive care.
6. Incorporating Movement Into Your Routine
Movement and exercise serve two important purposes when managing bloat and gas. First, it can help the body eliminate excess water that may be contributing to bloating. Second, regular forms of movement can work to stimulate the bowels into motion, which may help relieve excessive gas.
Exercise doesn’t have to be complicated, intense or joyless. We need to move our bodies to support our overall health, but it should never feel like a chore. It’s all about finding a method of exercise that works best for you – movement that you love!
Some people find that dance classes are fun and rewarding. Others prefer to go for a brisk walk on a treadmill parked right in front of their television so they can catch up on their shows while they get their steps in.
Embrace what brings you joy. Any movement is a celebration of your body’s abilities, and finding joy in our routines nurtures consistency. After all, the best physical activity is the one that resonates with you and keeps you in rhythm with your own flow.
7. Avoiding Common Gas Triggers
Our bodies react differently to different things, but there’s always a common thread. Some foods are known to act as gas triggers for a significant number of people.
Carbonated drinks often introduce air into the stomach, which leads to belching. This is just as true for carbonated water as it is for soda. Chewing gum can have a similar effect.
Sugar alcohols, sorbitol, polyols and other artificial sweeteners can also act as laxatives. In fact, some gentle laxatives use these sweeteners as their primary active ingredient. Some people won’t notice this effect when they consume foods that contain artificial sweeteners, while others will soon notice gastrointestinal changes or abdominal distension after ingesting them.
It’s important that we listen to our bodies. When our bodies tell us that something isn’t right, it’s best to follow our inner guidance.
8. Try Yoga
Yoga is a gentle, low-impact way to move the body. Some yoga poses may also help to relieve trapped gas and bloating. Yoga doesn’t appeal to everyone as an activity with long-term value, and it doesn’t need to. You can even use it simply as a solution to gas or bloating when symptoms occur.
There are also yoga poses designed to make the body long and lean. Gentle stretching of the muscles can help to relieve abdominal cramping or stomach pain associated with gas or indigestion. Yoga can also help encourage circulation, which may have a beneficial effect on the body’s ability to eliminate excess water.
There are plenty of free yoga resources online and follow-along videos that demonstrate the best yoga poses for gas and bloating.
If none of these methods help relieve your bloating, or if you experience other concerning symptoms, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional. Severe gas and bloating can be signs that you may need medical attention, and your doctor will be able to refer you to a gastroenterology expert.
The Bottom Line
Everyone will occasionally deal with excessive gas or abdominal bloating, but it usually goes away without any intervention. When it lingers around a little longer than we’d like, there are plenty of things that we can do to help our bodies manage the situation naturally. Lifestyle changes to support gut health can go a long way in managing symptoms of gas and bloating in the long term.