BLOATED? ONE THING YOU NEED TO DO TO PREVENT IT (DON’T WORRY, IT’S FREE!)
There’s this shawarma shop right around the corner of my house and let’s just say that moving into this apartment was a huge mistake (a glorious one, yes, but a mistake nonetheless). I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you I eat there more than twice a week.
You guys, c’mon. It is shawarma. It is a glorious fresh out of the oven naan filled with shredded tender lamb meat, fresh homemade pico de gallo, and drizzled with thick, creamy parsley filled tahini sauce…
Ok. Now that I’ve wiped the drool off my chin, let me divulge my one regret every time I eat one (ok, two) of these bad boys.
(Drum roll, please.)
I can’t help it. You know when you’re thinking of your favorite homemade dish-the one mom used to make especially for you when you were having just the crappiest day? Do you remember how fast you’d eat just so you can get a second serving? Not that there wasn’t a ton of food, it’s just that you were always just a little too over excited and before you know it, you’re on your third plate and you cannot breathe. Or move. Or breathe.
I guess it’s true what they say, the things we love the most bring us the most pain. In this case, it’s the over consumption of food.
And not chewing.
There are several reasons for bloating. Usually on top of everyone’s list are dairy, alcohol sugars, and gluten. Also on that list are cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts), gum, soda, beans, and alcohol. Is that all?
Well, of course not.
There are numerous more reasons. It’s a scary world out there. According to Sugarscience of UCSF, “There are at least 61 different names for sugar listed on food labels”.
Yikes, do what you want with that bit of info.
While I can go on and on about hidden food labels and how we don’t bother reading them, I have another topic to discuss and this one won’t scare you as much.
Before continuing, please keep in mind that I am not a doctor (sorry dad) and the following information is purely out of research and common knowledge. Bloating after a large meal is normal, but if you are constantly bloated with side symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, or bleeding, I suggest you contact your GP (general practitioner). Further steps can be taken to help you feel at ease. Over the counter medicines such as Beano, probiotics, or Pepto-Bismol can help remedy a bloated stomach.
Ok, now that we got that out of the way, let’s begin.
Let me let you in on a little secret. Did you know that just the physical process of slowing down and chewing your food can help you absorb nutrients better and aid in digestion? It’s true. You may not think that chewing can be such a big deal and won’t have that big of an impact, but I’m here to tell you, you are absolutely wrong.
By chewing your food, you are literally helping your body more than you can ever think possible. Sound a little too over the top? It’s really not. You know what happens when you chew your food more than 20-30 times? Your mouth produces a ton of saliva and we all know what saliva contains, right?
Bingo! Digestive enzymes.
You are helping your body digest faster, and also reducing the stress that your digestive system undertakes when you don’t chew properly. Because believe it or not, digesting takes up A LOT of energy. So why not save yourself the trouble and follow this one simple, priceless, and underrated tip.
Chew. Chew. Chew. (x30).
Below is a list of other tips to help in the aid of bloating:
1. Slow down when eating
2. Check for food sensitivities
3. Drink a cup of hot tea or hot water before every meal
4. Eat high water content foods such as watermelon and cucumbers
5. Avoid talking while eating (leads to swallowing air)
6. Eliminate (or lessen) fizzy drinks
7. Check your fiber intake
8. COOK your veggies
9. Consider lowering your FODMAP intake
10. Watch your sodium intake