Bloating is something we’ve all experienced before. It could be due to eating too much food in a short period of time, consuming a bit too much alcohol (particularly carbonated libations like beer or hard seltzers), or just eating a particular food (or group of foods) that just don’t “agree” with you.
While any one or a combination of these factors could lead to those uncomfortable feelings of fullness and tightness that are hallmark signs of bloating, the real issue lies within your gut.
Today, we take a look at the link between gut health and bloating, and what you can do to support optimal gut health for better digestion and less bloating.
Bloating & Gut Health
As we mentioned above, bloating can be caused by a number of factors, but most of them revolve around the foods you choose to eat (as well as those you choose to not eat or eat less frequently).
Certain foods, for certain individuals, are more likely to lead to excessive gas production than other foods, which contributes to bloating. Some problematic foods include (but are not limited to):
- Sugar alcohols
- Dairy (for individuals that are lactose-sensitive)
- Some artificial sweeteners
Again, everyone is different. This means that a given food causes GI distress for a certain individual; it may be perfectly well-tolerated, and enjoyed, by another individual. As such, don’t be afraid to experiment with your diet. If you’re experiencing bloating more frequently, take a close look at your diet and identify what some of the potential “troublemakers” could be. Once you’ve identified those, try removing them from your diet for several days and see if that improves your bloating. If it does, then you know that you need to remove the food from your diet, or reduce the quantity of it that you eat.
Some other factors that can contribute to bloating are:
- Eating too quickly
- Consuming too much sodium
Last, but not least, you also need to consider the health of your gut.
The composition of your gut microbiome can significantly impact your body’s ability to properly digest, absorb, and utilize the host of nutrients you consume each day.
Remember that our guts are home to trillions of bacteria, and just like the rest of the cells in our body, they require sustenance (i.e. food). But, the food that bacteria eat aren’t the typical protein, carbohydrates, and fatty acids that our cells need. They thrive on the indigestibleportions of the foods we eat, namely FIBER.
Gut bacteria ferment fiber to produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), including butyrate, which has several downstream benefits for the body, including GI health, healthy inflammatory response, cardiovascular support, and neuroprotection.
As such, it’s imperative that you consume enough fiber each day. Current fiber recommendations are 21-25 grams of fiber a day for women and 30-38 grams of fiber per day for men.
Fiber-rich foods include:
- Cruciferous veggies (broccoli, kale, cauliflower)
- Whole grains
Another excellent source of fiber is 1UP FIBER PLUS
Not consuming enough fiber can starve the good bacteria in your gut, thereby disrupting the optimal balance of the microbiome, which can lead to GI distress (e.g. bloating), metabolic difficulties, inflammation, and a host of other unwanted side effects.
How to Avoid Bloating
To reduce the chance of bloating, keep these helpful tips in mind:
- Eat slower -- shoveling your food down increases how much air enters your stomach, which can lead to that balloon-belly feeling
- Consume enough water
- Consume enough fiber each day
- Limit stress (or at the very least, improve stress management)
- Consume probiotic-rich foods or supplements
- Consume Digestive Enzymes
- Watch your sodium intake
- Get enough sleep
One other thing to consider, for added digestive support, is a probiotic.
Probiotics are “good” bacteria that aid digestion, support gut health, and have also been found to aid immune function.
1UP Greens & Reds Superfoods PLUS includes premium LactoSpore® -- a heat-stable, clinically-researched probiotic found to support digestive health and cardiovascular health as well as aid body recomposition.
Every serving of 1UP Greens & Reds Superfoods also includes 2,000mg of prebiotic fiber and a comprehensive digestive enzyme complex (DigeZyme®) to further facilitate ease of digestion and reduce bloating. This is all in addition to 19 organic fruits and veggies in every scoop!
- Yan F, Polk DB. Probiotics and immune health. Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2011 Oct;27(6):496-501. doi: 10.1097/MOG.0b013e32834baa4d. PMID: 21897224; PMCID: PMC4006993.