5 Natural Solutions for Bloating

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Shot of a young woman experiencing stomach cramps at home.

Does your stomach feel tight and gassy after you eat? You may be one of the 30% of adults who experience bloating – a common digestive woe. [1]

Bloating is typically caused by extra gas in the digestive tract. Although it is sometimes accompanied by a fuller stomach, you may also become bloated without any change to your abdominal size. [1] Thankfully, there are simple diet and lifestyle changes, including natural supplements, that can make you less prone to bloating and reduce excess gas.

What Causes Bloating? 

Many factors can cause gas to build up in your digestive tract. Experts agree that bloating often results from a few overlapping triggers. [1] The most common causes of a bloating stomach include:

  • Extra gas produced by bacteria in your colon [1]
  • Fermentation of certain foods during digestion [1]
  • Eating habits, such as eating too quickly or swallowing air [2]
  • Constipation [3]
  • Eating a lot of fermentable carbohydrates or fatty foods [1,2]
  • Menstruation [3]
  • Abnormal muscle activity in your abdomen or diaphragm [1]

A bloating stomach may also be a sign of a more serious condition, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gut sensitivity, or pancreatic insufficiency. [1] It’s important to speak to a health care practitioner if you suspect an underlying health problem. [3]

5 Steps to Prevent Bloating

Don’t let the discomforts of bloating hold you back. The first step to getting rid of a bloating stomach is eliminating your triggers, including bloat-inducing foods and habits. Certain healthy lifestyle choices and natural health products have also been shown to promote healthier digestion and improve symptoms of bloating. Follow these five steps to beat your bloat naturally:

1. Track the Foods that Trigger Bloating

Do you know which foods are making you bloat? Food intolerance is a well-known trigger for abdominal bloating, and there are many possible culprits. [4] Keep track of your trigger foods by keeping a food journal.

Common Foods that Trigger Bloating

Trigger Food Examples Activity
FODMAPs (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides,
monosaccharides, and polyols)
• Figs, nashi pears, pears, and watermelon
• Artichoke, garlic, leek, onion, and spring onion
• Wholemeal bread, rye bread, muesli - containing wheat, wheat pasta, and rye crispbread
• Red kidney beans, split peas, falafels, and baked beans
• Dairy products  and soy milk
• Cashews and pistachios
• High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), honey, sorbitol, xylitol, erythritol
• Many other foods and ingredients identified by Monash University as high FODMAP
In some people, these carbohydrates can become rapidly fermented by bacteria in the colon, leading to excess gas production and painful bloating. [5]
Fatty food Fried or greasy food, cream, butter, red meats, cheeses Fat is harder to digest and slows gastric emptying. [6]
Chewing gum Bubblegum, candy gum The act of chewing gum can cause you to swallow air into your digestive tract. [7]
Salty food Canned soups, salted nuts and chips, ham, soy sauce High-sodium food increases water retention and lowers digestive efficiency. [8]
Carbonated beverages Pop, beer, bubbly water, sparkling wine The dissolved carbon dioxide  that makes carbonated beverages bubbly can introduce small amounts of gas and increase hydrochloric acid in your
digestive tract. [9]
Beans and legumes Black beans, chickpeas, lentils Beans and legumes contain oligosaccharides that are fermented and cause gas production by the bacteria in your colon. [2]
Dried fruit Milk, cheese, ice cream Dairy products contain the sugar lactose. Many people lack the enzyme lactase needed to properly digest lactose. [11]
Artificial sweeteners Sorbitol, mannitol, maltitol, xylitol The sugar alcohols combined with many artificial sweeteners can have a laxative effect and irritate digestion. [10]
Dairy products Milk, cheese, ice cream Dairy products contain the sugar lactose. Many people lack the enzyme lactase needed to properly digest lactose. [11]
Whole grains Barley, whole wheat, whole oats Whole grains are high in fibre. Though fibre is healthy, it is an indigestible carbohydrate that can temporarily increase intestinal gas production when the amount you eat is higher than you’re used to. [2]

2. Eat a Low-FODMAP Diet

Are FODMAPs a trigger for your bloating? Try following a low-FODMAP diet!

FODMAPs are hard-to-digest carbohydrates and sugars. Healthy nutrition infographics.

The challenge is that many foods, including healthy ones, are sources of hard-to-digest FODMAPs that worsen IBS symptoms. First, get to know which of your go-to foods are high in FODMAPS. For extra guidance, use the Monash University FODMAP Diet App to rate your food choices as low, moderate, or high in FODMAPs. [5]

High-FODMAP foods include: [5]

  • Fruit that contains sorbitol and high fructose, such as apples, pears, mangoes, cherries, figs, nashi pears, pears, and watermelon
  • Vegetables that contain fructans and mannitol, such as artichoke, garlic, leek, onion, and spring onion
  • Certain grains and cereals, such as wholemeal bread, rye bread, muesli-containing wheat, wheat pasta, and rye crispbread
  • Some legumes and pulses, such as red kidney beans, split peas, falafels, and baked beans
  • Dairy products and whole bean soy milk
  • Certain nuts, such as cashews and pistachios
  • Some sweeteners, such as HFCS, honey, sorbitol, xylitol, erythritol, and more

Thankfully, there are enough low-FODMAP alternatives to keep your diet fun and nourishing while following a low-FODMAP diet. Some delicious low-FODMAP alternatives include: [5]

  • Fruit such as cantaloupe, kiwi fruit (green), mandarins, oranges, and pineapple
  • Vegetables such as eggplant, green beans, bok choy, green bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, potatoes, and zucchini
  • Grains and cereals such as corn flakes, oats, quinoa flakes, pasta made from quinoa, rice, or corn, plain rice cakes, sourdough spelt bread, and bread that contains no wheat, rye, or barley
  • Protein sources such as eggs, firm tofu, tempeh, and plain-cooked meats, poultry, and seafood
  • Dairy alternatives, such as almond milk and soy milk (made from soy protein)
  • Limited dairy products, including brie and camembert cheese, feta cheese, hard cheeses, and lactose-free milk
  • Some confections and sweeteners, including dark chocolate, maple syrup, rice malt syrup, and table sugar

3. Check your Eating Habits

Do you bloat right after eating? Try changing how you eat – starting with chewing your food more thoroughly. Chewing physically reduces food into smaller, easier-to-digest fragments. It also gives the digestive enzymes in your saliva more time to chemically break down starch and fats into shorter molecular structures. [12] Eating quickly, gulping food, and not properly chewing it rushes this key digestive step, causing you to feel bloated and gassy.

Try these extra tips to reduce bloating after you eat:

  • Eat smaller, more frequent meals
  • Keep calm and avoid eating when feeling stressed or anxious
  • Sit up straight and take a gentle walk after you eat

4. Prevent Constipation

Are you constipated? This may be the reason you feel bloated. The slower your food moves through your colon, the longer it’s exposed to the fermentation bacteria that produce gas. [13] Thankfully, you can help prevent constipation with healthy lifestyle choices that promote regularity, such as: [14]

  • Staying hydrated – water is an easy home remedy for a bloated stomach
  • Exercising for at least 30 minutes per day
  • Eating enough dietary fibre – but don’t overdo it; aim for 20–30 g of fibre per day
  • Practising proper “toilet hygiene” by allowing enough time to pass bowel movements daily

5. Take a Digestive Supplement

Which supplement should you take to prevent bloating? There are various natural supplements that you can take to reduce gas production and promote healthy digestive function naturally.

Choosing the right one depends on your current digestive health and what’s causing your bloating.

• Probiotic Supplements

Are antibiotics, stress, or poor eating habits affecting your digestion? When the culprits disrupt the delicate balance of microflora in your gut, it can change the type and volume of gas produced during digestion – ultimately increasing symptoms of bloating. [4] 

Probiotic 50 Billion helps relieve gas, bloating, and abdominal pain, prevents constipation, and inhibits the growth of bad bacteria to promote a favourable gut flora. Each vegetarian capsule contains 10 optimal lactobacilli and bifidobacteria strains for gut health.

• Enzyme Supplements

Do you experience gas and bloating after eating a large meal? This may be a sign that you’re lacking the digestive enzymes needed to properly break down proteins, fats, and carbohydrates in your food.

If you suspect incomplete digestion as the source of your bloating stomach, make enzyme supplementation your top priority. Digestive Enzymes contains the enzymes needed for the complete digestion of starches and proteins. It’s a great choice if you’re deficient in stomach acid or have food sensitivities.

If dairy products are your culprit, try Dairy Again!™ Lactase Enzyme to prevent symptoms of lactose intolerance. By assisting in the digestion of lactose in milk products or lactose-containing medications, Dairy Again! prevents symptoms like bloating, gas, flatulence, cramping, and diarrhea.

• Dietary Fibre Supplements

Are you really eating enough dietary fibre to support your digestion? It can be challenging to get enough when fibre-rich foods cause you to bloat. If you’re following a low-FODMAP diet or have IBS, The Right Fibre4® is a fantastic gluten-free supplement for your daily digestive support.

It’s clinically recognized to improve both constipation and diarrhea, along with other gastrointestinal symptoms like bloating and gas. Low-FODMAP fibre4 makes it easy to boost your daily fibre intake without the risk of triggering gas and bloating.

Beat the Bloat

With just a few changes to your diet and eating habits, you’ll be on your way to beating the bloat and enjoying healthier, more efficient digestion

If you suspect that IBS is an underlying cause of your bloating, check out The Ultimate Guide to IBS. Be sure to also subscribe to our newsletter for more health and wellness tips.

Patience Lister, BSc

Patience Lister, BSc

A wellness writer who helps to inspire healthier & more sustainable food and supplement choices.

References :
  1. Mari A, Backer FA, Mahamid M, et al. Bloating and abdominal distension: Clinical approach and management. Adv Ther. 2019; 36:1075-84. 
  2. Jaret, P. Bloating 101: Why you feel bloated [Internet]. WebMD 2022 [cited 2022 Oct]. Available from: https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/features/bloated-bloating  
  3. WebMD Editorial Contributors. Remedies to relieve a bloated stomach [Internet]. 2020 [cited 2022 Oct]. Available from: https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/remedies-for-bloated-stomach 
  4. Seo AY, Kim N, Oh DH. Abdominal bloating: Pathophysiology and treatment. J Neurogastroenterol Motil. 2013; 19(4):433-53. 
  5. Monash University. High and Low FODMAP Foods [Internet]. 2019 [cited 2022 Oct]. Available from: https://www.monashfodmap.com/about-fodmap-and-ibs/high-and-low-fodmap-foods/  
  6. Khodarahmi M, Azadbakht L. Dietary fat intake and functional dyspepsia. Adv Biomed Res. 2016; 5:76. 
  7. Hasler WL. Gas and bloating. Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2006; 2(9):654-62. 
  8. Peng AW, Juraschek SP, Appel LJ, et al. Effects of the DASH diet and sodium intake on bloating. Am J Gastroenterol. 2019; 114(7):1109-15. 
  9. Cuomo R, Sarnelli G, Savarese MF, et al. Carbonated beverages and gastrointestinal system: Between myth and reality. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2009; 19(10):683-9. 
  10. Mayo Clinic. Artificial sweeteners and other sugar substitutes [Internet]. 2020 [cited 2022 Oct]. Available from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/artificial-sweeteners/art-20046936  
  11. Misselwitz B, Butter M, Verbeke K, et al. Update on lactose malabsorption and intolerance: Pathogenesis, diagnosis and clinical management. Gut. 2019; 68(11):2080-91. 
  12. Derakhshan AR, Yousefi M, Dehghan S, et al. Digestion process and causes of indigestion based on Avicenna's view and modern medicine. TMR. 2019; 4(4):140. 
  13. John Hopkins Medicine. Bloating: Causes and prevention tips [Internet]. 2022 [cited 2022 Oct]. Available from: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/bloating-causes-and-prevention-tips#:~:text=Constipation%20can%20contribute%20to%20abdominal,in%20more%20gas%20and%20bloating  
  14. CDHF. What is constipation? [Internet]. 2022 [cited 2022 Oct]. Available from: https://cdhf.ca/digestive-disorders/constipation/what-is-constipation/ 
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