Monday, 27 July 2015

The belly bloat

I know I'm not alone here.

I know many, many, many people have suffered with me on this one, and many, many, many people will continue to suffer all throughout life with no understanding as to why this happens.

Painful, uncomfortable... even embarrassing.

Yep- I'm talking about the belly bloat!
 As a child I suffered from extremely painful episodes of tummy aches and belly bloats. I still have this memory of lying on the couch when I was about 6 or 7, completely stuffed from a dinner of some sort of fast food (pizza/ burgers or something)  followed by dessert of course, puffing up my stomach and then having my mum ask me; 'What are you hiding under there, Steph? A ball?' and guys, she wasnb't even teasing me, she was genuinely asking me what I had stuffed under my t-shirt... and the answer was my stomach.
Yes, it is still a family joke even 8 years on, but little did I know that I was suffering from bloating and irritation caused by the food I was eating. I think it was the painful stomach aches that left me curled in a ball rocking back and forth with my eyes scrunched up in pain that eventually lead mum and I to take action and uncover that I did in fact have a pretty sensitive stomach, which resulted in a LARGE amount of herbal medicines to try and treat it.

Not fun. Especially for a young little 7 year old.

Any who, as you may know, I now steer clear of my trigger foods that include highly processed wheat products, sugar and milk....

So how come the other day I was rapped with pain, curled up in a ball with a humongous bloated stomach?
It was not until I did a little research that I uncovered quite a lot of the foods I eat actually contribute to bloating- I was so unaware!

In that list included things like nut milks, broccoli, lentils, apples and onions- all foods I pretty much eat on the daily!
Most of the fruits and veggies listed cause bloating as they contain hard-to-digest sugars, that remains in the gut until bacteria ferment it producing gas= bloating. In items like nut milks, supermarkets add ingredients like the thickening agent carrageenan (derived from seaweed) that has also been linked to stomach issues.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised then how after my usual snack of a glass of soy milk (not home made) and a large apple left me feeling not so great.
Me, whenever my friends tell me to 'Live a little and eat it!'

Don't give up all hope though- there is help out there. How do you beat foods that cause your stomach to look pregnant? Why you eat other foods to counteract it of course! (best. medicine. ever!)
Things like bananas, avocados, kiwis, oranges and pistachios (all choc-full of potassium) prevent water retention by regulating your sodium levels (reducing salt-induced bloating) and other foods like papaya actually contain an enzyme that helps break down proteins in your GI system making digestion a heck of a lot easier!

So next time you are greeted with that lovely rounded belly, have a think as to what you've eaten recently, what could be the culprit and what you should include at your next meal to ease your painful stomach. I know I will!

Your turn:
Do you suffer from a sensitive stomach?
Do you ever get belly bloat after eating certain foods?
Best way you've found to combat it?

I hope you all have a fabulous day and do something fun (even for 5 minutes!). Bye for now friendly friends!! :D

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