You and your spouse have finally managed to set aside a night for a date, and you go to slip into your little black dress. You take a look in the mirror and, to your horror, discover that your abdomen looks distended and swollen! Bloating, gas and constipation can cause pain and discomfort, too! Luckily, we've compiled a list of tried-and-true tricks that will help you beat that bloating feeling.
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1. Crank up the potassium. Salt consumption often leads to water retention and bloating. Try cutting back on the high-sodium foods and incorporate potassium-rich items back into your diet. Foods like bananas, asparagus, citrusy fruits, melons and tomatoes are full of potassium, and will offer you relief in no time.
2. Get moving. Problems like constipation frequently arise during long periods of inactivity. If you find yourself in the habit of crashing on the couch when you get home from work, you may be contributing to the problem! Regular exercise helps ease constipation and bloating, so be sure to incorporate a workout into your daily routine. Check out our Couch Potato Workout here!
3. Stay hydrated. Another way to remove all that excess sodium from your system and relieve bloating is to down eight glasses of water every day. Water will keep you hydrated and flush the waste out of your digestive system. For more reasons why it's important to stay hydrated, click here.
4. Drink some Joe. A cup or two of coffee every day will help stimulate the colon and can often generate a bowel movement. Coffee is a great way to relieve occasional constipation, but it can also dehydrate you. Make sure that you're getting enough water in addition to your morning cup of java!
5. Enjoy a cup of peppermint tea. Among its many qualities, peppermint is renowned for its ability to relieve persistent gas and other digestive problems. The next time you experience painful bloating, try sipping on a mug of peppermint tea or popping a peppermint oil capsule.
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6. Stick to a low-sodium diet. If you're prone to frequent bouts of bloating, you might just want to go ahead and be proactive about your diet. Try to cut out high-sodium foods as much as possible, and make sure you are getting enough fluids every day.
7. Add fiber to your meals. Fiber can be a huge help when it comes to preventing constipation and bloating. The FDA recommends that women consume a whopping 25 grams of fiber every day, which is more than you might think! Foods like whole grains, fruits, veggies, legumes, nuts and seeds are packed with essential fiber, so try to add these to your diet!
8. Snack on probiotics. Probiotics are full of helpful bacteria that are absolutely essential to eliminating bloating, gas and constipation. Consider adding foods full of probiotics, like yogurt, sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi and dark chocolate to your daily meals.
9. Take your time at the table. Not surprisingly, eating too fast can cause a lot of digestive problems. If you eat too quickly, and don't chew your food thoroughly, you wind up swallowing a lot of air, which can make you feel bloated and gassy. Try to chew each bite 20 to 30 times, and allow for about 30 minutes per meal. That will help you slow things down!
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10. Ditch those sugar-free foods. Consuming too much sugar alcohol (reduced-calorie sugar alternatives) over the course of a day can contribute to excessive bloating. Experts suggest that, if you can't bring yourself to completely cut out those sugar alcohols, you should at least try to limit yourself to 2 servings a day.