Bloating and excessive gas is not only uncomfortable and painful, it can be extremely embarrassing in social situations. How to get rid of bloating fast is probably the first question that comes to mind when you experience it. Why does it happen at all?
Well, bloating occurs when there is an excess amount of gas in the digestive system, and can lead to a distended belly or feelings of abdominal discomfort.1
Normally, the body regulates this gas either by burping or by passing gas. But if you find yourself in constant pain and discomfort, or unable to control your flatulence, it may be something more serious.2 When in doubt, consult your physician to be sure it isn’t something that needs medical attention.
The good news is that there may be natural remedies for your discomfort already in your house, or at your supermarket. The following natural foods discussed below may be just what your body needs to help you feel less gassy and bloated, and more like yourself.
Fuel with Fiber
For years, research has shown that dietary fibers, also known as prebiotics that feed your good bacteria, contain a unique blend of resistant starches, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and antioxidants.3
These bioactive components in fiber not only aid in digestion, which can help remove excess gas, but they’ve also been shown to help reduce the risk of serious illness.4
Leafy greens and broccoli are great sources of fiber, and they are easy to build into your daily diet.5 While too much fiber may actually exacerbate your bloating or gassy feelings, a fiber-rich diet high in pectins has been shown to speed along the passing of gas, reducing bloating and the build up of intestinal gas.6 Foods that are high in pectin include apples and pears, so adding these to your diet (when in season and in moderation, of course) may be a great remedy to ease your painful bloating.7
Ginger to the Rescue
Have you ever had a stomachache and someone suggested you drink ginger ale to relieve the symptoms? Turns out, this is more than just an old wive’s tale. For years, ginger has been recognized for its ability to reduce nausea and pain.8 Thankfully, ginger is readily available in many forms, such as powders and teas, as well as it’s raw root form – you DON’T have to resort to drinking soda. So, depending on your preference, you can either add it to your meals, or drink it.
Ginger tea is an easy way to get your ginger intake to potentially relieve gassy symptoms, and it is commonly available at your local supermarket. Also, it tastes great, which makes getting rid of your discomfort that much better.
Speaking of teas, if ginger tea isn’t your favorite, consider reaching for a cup of warm chamomile tea when you’re feeling bloated and uncomfortable. Similar to ginger, chamomile has been a natural remedy for abdominal discomfort for centuries.9 Recent studies support chamomile’s beneficial impact on assisting the body in expelling gas, and for relaxing the intestinal muscles responsible for moving food through your stomach and intestines.10
Chamomile tea is also an excellent option for helping discomfort from bloating, because it is easy to carry with you. You can’t always control when your belly is going to start acting up, so carrying a few chamomile tea bags with you may offer you quick relief in a pinch, so don’t leave home without them!
Whenever you’re feeling ill or unwell, more water is always a good thing.11 And when you’re feeling particularly bloated or gassy, water with fresh lemon juice may just be what you need.12 Lemon, and other citruses like grapefruit and lime, have been known to serve as digestive aids for years, largely due to the citrus’ ability to support the hydrochloric acid in your stomach, which helps in breaking down the food before it gets to your intestinal tract.13
That said, drinking lemon water when you wake up in the morning, before a well-balanced breakfast, may just give your digestive system the support it needs to start your day off right and free from stomach discomfort!
Is it Possible to Prevent Gas?
Of course, having to deal with excessive gas can tank an otherwise perfect day And while getting rid of bloating and gas once you’re dealing with it is a necessary solve, there are actually quite a few changes you might be able to make when it comes to what you eat – and even how you eat it – that will help you fend off these unwanted issues.
Now, everyone passes gas. Everyone. And a healthy person might pass gas anywhere between 14 to 20 times a day – that’s normal!
Again though, you might just have excessive gas because of some bad habits that allow you to swallow air more often than not. And you know what that means… swallowed air has got to find its way out some way or another – either as a burp or as flatulence.
Now, there are foods famous for causing a higher number of gas-passing instances in most people. Then again, everyone’s different – some folks are just more sensitive to certain foods.
But, if no real medical issue is causing your problem with gas, then the ability to prevent flatulence and burping may just come down to habits and diet.
To prevent gas, try:
- Giving up gum
- Ditching soda entirely
- Upping your post-meal exercise game
- Cutting out foods that cause gas
- Sitting down for every meal
- Eating more slowly
- Consciously trying to swallow less air when you eat
- Losing the straw when you drink
Finding the right solution that gets rid of bloating fast is key. The natural remedies listed here are just some of the ways in which you may be able to alleviate the discomfort you feel from bloating and gas. In addition to natural remedies, your dietician or physician may know of other options that are better suited to your specific needs. Don’t lose another day to painful bloating and gas!
Article updated March 13, 2018
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