With 83% of Australian women suffering bloating on a daily basis, it is clear that digestive health is a painful problem for many.
According to Sheila Zhou, expert Scientist at USANA, leading producer of high quality supplements, 'With many of us consuming highly processed packaged or fast food that are high in saturated fat, refined sugar and artificial flavours and sweeteners, it's no surprise we find ourselves suffering from a sluggish gut. Thankfully, with the right combination of diet, exercise and supplements, you can banish bloating for good."
1. Spit it out
It may sound peculiar but chewing gum is one of the main culprits of bloating. When you chew gum you're swallowing air which, like blowing air into a balloon, causes your stomach to expand. So next time you're thinking about popping some chewy into your mouth, consider a mint instead.
2. Go bananas
The more salt you consume, the more potassium-rich foods you should have to avoid bloating. Potassium helps to balance and circulate body fluids and will get the nutrients moving throughout your body after a meal. Foods to eat that are full of potassium include bananas, potatoes, spinach, citrus fruits and asparagus.
3. Be more social
Many of us are guilty of scoffing down meals to save time, but turning food time into a social activity could be the secret to beating the bloat. Social interactions dramatically increase the time it takes to consume a meal, minimizing the amount of air swallowed, which prompts us to chew more and gives our body the chance to properly digest the food. So, if you've ever needed an excuse to dine out with friends, this is it!
4. Keep it real
While you may think you are cutting down your sugar intake by switching to artificial sweeteners, you are actually increasing your chance of bloating. The chemical compounds in artificial sweeteners are known to cause digestive complaints with excessive intake; Low calories in synthetic and non-nutritive sweeteners often cause overindulging. So steer clear of fake flavours, and opt for more natural sweeteners such as honey.
5. Push away the pain
Think you'll be stuck on the couch forever because of your after-dinner bloat? Try your hand at an abdominal massage to get things moving - literally! By massaging your belly you help relax the muscles that support the bladder and intestine and stimulate bowel activity.
Vitamin supplements should not replace a balanced diet. Use only as directed. Always read the label.
To view the full range of USANA Health Sciences nutritional, weight management and personal care products visit www.usana.com.