Bloating 101: How to Beat a Bulging Belly

Bloating is a common, day-to-day battle that can leave you wondering what triggered your bulging belly. The answers may be hidden in what you’re eating. Start the fight against bloating today by identifying the common culprits, and what you can do to keep your belly flat and pain-free.

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Common Bloating Culprits

Sodium causes the body to retain fluid – a common cause of bloating. The American Heart Association suggests that only 1,500-2,300 milligrams of sodium should be consumed per day, but the average American takes in nearly 3,400 milligrams. Before you reach for the saltshaker, consider swapping your snacks for a healthier option. Rather than munching on a bag of potato chips, stick to fresh fruit and veggies. Avoid buying frozen dinners and processed foods, as they are often overloaded with salt.

A great all-natural alternative to table salt is Spike, Salt-Free Magic. Spike contains 37 herbs and spices.  It doesn’t contain any salt so it will not result in water retention. You can find it at your local grocery store for $3.

Click here for an Oz-approved no-salt spice mix recipe.

Starches are carbohydrates that are sometimes difficult for the stomach to digest. Heavy starches such as bread, potatoes and pasta can cause water retention. Any food products made from flour, especially whole-wheat flour, form gas when broken down in the large intestine. Beware of eating these types of food before bedtime to avoid feeling inflated in the morning.

Adequate doses of the mineral calcium are vital to bone health and muscle function, but too much can leave you ballooning around the waist. One of the best sources of calcium is dairy, which can be hard on your digestive tract as it contains lactose, a difficult-to-digest sugar. Lactose intolerance is also a very common problem for many people. Modify and moderate your dairy intake or try switching to lactose-free products to deflate your tummy.