1. Ditch gum – pop a mint instead
As you chew, you swallow air – a big cause of bloating. Mints can help ease gas after eating, so try that instead.
2. Sit up straight!
‘Hunching over when eating puts pressure on the stomach, resulting in acid reflux and gas,’ says nutritional therapist Alison Cullen from herbalists A.Vogel.
3. Spice up your life
‘Curcumin, the active component in turmeric, is thought to be helpful for IBS sufferers, relieving bloating, stomach cramps and intestinal gas,’ says nutritionist Dr Sam Christie.
4. Shake the salt habit
Salt encourages the body to hold onto fluid. Ditching the salt shaker won’t be enough – you’ll need to cut back on takeaways and ready-made meals, flavouring home-cooked food with herbs, instead. Parsley is perfect, as it helps eliminate excess fluids from the body.
5. Give yourself a break
‘Overeating is an obvious cause of a bloated tum,’ says clinical nutritionist Kim Pearson. ‘It takes up to 20 minutes for your brain to register you’re full so, before you dive in for seconds, wait a while.’
6. Check your eating etiquette
Scoffing on the move and swallowing too fast can boost bloating. ‘Eat smaller mouthfuls and chew slowly to avoid swallowing air,’ advises Dr Christie.
7. Avoid artificial sweeteners
‘Sucralose and aspartame, often found in fizzy drinks and diet foods, can’t be effectively broken down by the body and can lead to bloating,’ says Kim. ‘Couple that with the added gas found in all carbonated drinks and it’s not hard to see why your stomach swells.’
8. Pop a probiotic
Research published in the Clinical Journal of Gastroenterology found that two probiotics – Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM and Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07 – reduced bloating.
9. Cook it
‘Eat less raw food. Cooking helps break down food, making it easier to digest,’ says Dr Marilyn Glenville, author of Natural Solutions to IBS.
10. Take a bath!
Adding Epsom salts to bath water is thought to help reduce bloating by drawing water out of the stomach.
11. Does dairy do it for you?
‘Many struggle to digest lactose, the sugar component of milk,’ says Kim. ‘Switch to rice or almond milk, and try soya yoghurt.’
Read more: Check out our collection of diary-free recipes.
12. Stay hydrated
Drinking water doesn’t lead to fluid retention. In fact, if you deprive your body of fluids, it goes into ‘famine’ mode and holds onto what water you’ve got, causing bloating. Aim for six to eight glasses a day.
13. Know your triggers
‘Gas-producing foods can include beans and legumes like chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, as well as broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower,’ says Dr Marilyn Glenville. And, too much fruit can result in excess fructose being broken down by ‘fermentation’, leading to gas in your gut. Limit yourself to three portions of fruit a day.
14. Go for a walk
‘A gentle increase in movement will help gas pass through the digestive system, so try a 10 to 15 minute stroll after eating,’ says personal trainer Rob Brennan.
15. Go wheat-free for a while
‘Wheat is one of the most common causes of bloating and it crops up in our diets all through the day,’ says Kim. Try going without it for at least a week to see if it makes a difference. If you trying to cut wheat from your diet, you definitely need to sign up to our 5 day gluten-free newsletter series, with all the recipes and info you need to go wheat free.