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You may lead a healthy life, you may exercise on a regular basis, you probably don’t even skip ab day and yet you always notice that your belly seems bloated, but why?
The answer might lie in your body’s inflammatory processes which are connected to external triggers such as stress. When we are stressed for prolonged periods of time, our body prepares itself for threatening situations by releasing a hormone called cortisol.
This hormone is being talked about a lot lately, especially what the consequences are when it’s triggered. One of the most striking things that has been discovered is that it releases glucose into the blood and causes the body to gain weight and swell.
Elevated cortisol levels cause our metabolism to slow down, as well as our intestinal tract, resulting in fewer food-digesting enzymes and poor absorption of nutrients and minerals.
Other symptoms besides bloating
Besides being bloated particularly in the lower abdomen, there are other symptoms associated with bloating due to inflammation:
- Abdominal pain
- Poor digestion
- IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
Foods that cause inflammation:
Some foods can cause inflammation and bloating, irritate our stomachs, and cause allergies as well as hypersensitivity. Not only that but they age our cells and rob us of our vitality. So let’s get to know which foods these are.
Gluten: wheat, rye, barley, Spelt, and Kamut are all cereals that contain gluten. Gluten can clearly be an allergen to our body causing an inflammatory reaction by our immune system.
Curred and processed meats: are rich in inflammatory compounds such as glycation. Glycation especially forms when food is cooked at high temperatures and is associated with inflammation.
Processed Foods: the body can reactive negatively to these foods because it was not built to digest and metabolize artificial chemicals, such as preservatives and colorants. Our body doesn’t identify them as food, in fact, we should say that they aren’t food.
Refined Sugars and Sweeteners: cause a spike in blood glucose levels which in turn raises blood insulin levels triggering inflammation. Watch out for soft drinks!
Refined Flours: pastries, white bread… also raise insulin levels and cause bloating.
Hydrogenated Oils: coconut palm oil or margarine are very rich in omega-6 but overconsumption causes an unbalance between them and omega-3 which leads to an inflammatory reaction by the body.
Alcohol: increases inflammation levels and contributes to what’s known as leaky gut- which facilitates the passage of toxins into the bloodstream, affecting the overall health of our body.
Things you can do to debloat or prevent bloating in the first place:
- Soothing and Digestive Infusions: It may sound like an old-fashioned and hackneyed tip from your grandma but, there is nothing like a warm infusion of chamomile, anise, cinnamon, cloves or ginger to soothe your stomach and reduce internal inflammation.
- Ginger: in infusions, stews or better yet, chew a little ginger root before eating and you will notice how your digestion and dyspepsia improve considerably.
- Eat Slowly: Set aside at least half an hour to eat, that way you can do so calmly. Chewing food thoroughly and mixing it well with saliva ensures good digestion.
- Chew your food well: this is the key to quality digestion and absorbing all the nutrients are good has to offer. Everything from eliminating toxins to the amount of food we eat depends on how we chew our food. Read more in this post.
- Draining Massage: A gesture as simple as massaging your abdomen (always clockwise and following your intestinal tract) can be a very effective tool to reduce bloating. After 10 minutes you will notice a considerable improvement.
- Move your body: doing some sort of activity at least three days a week is the perfect way to feel lighter. Plus, exercise prevents cellular inflammation, improves overall health, and prevents aging
- Yoga Classes: the benefits of yoga and meditation to help relieve stress and anxiety are already well known, but did you know that consistent yoga practice helps eliminate physical tension and oxygenates the body?
- Get Good Sleep: at least 7 or 8 hours of quality and restful sleep. It helps lower stress levels and helps to keep us calm. If you still have doubts about the importance of a restful night’s sleep, you need to read this post.