- Try drinking a glass of filtered water (hot or cold) with a slice of lemon in it half an hour before eating to activate stomach acids to digest food better.
- Avoid drinking anything during a meal, wait 30 mins after eating then start drinking fluids again. This avoids diluting the stomach acids aiding in better digestion.
- If bloating does get too much for you simethicone can be purchased from the pharmacy and helps to break down the air and gasses so they pass through the intestines better. Chew one tablet after meals.
- Drink fennel, aniseed and / or caraway tea 30 mins after eating or try chewing on a fresh stalk of fennel from the bulb. Fennel, aniseed and caraway relaxes the stomach and aids digestion in making small foamy air bubbles into lesser bigger bubbles, which reduces the big bloat as they can pass through the intestines better.
- Chew your food well, 32 times approximately or until each mouthful is a mushy mixture then swallow. Digestion begins in the mouth with amylase enzymes in the saliva so make sure you start the process off well and give your body a helping hand otherwise the stomach has to do double the work. Also when eating and chewing keep your mouths closed. It isn’t just out of good manners and etiquette but when we close our mouths whilst eating less air can get through and is less likely to cause us bloating in our stomachs.
- Avoid eating on a ‘stressed’ stomach. Basically when we are stressed our bodies tense up. Our stomach is known as our second brain, we make decisions based on our ‘gut instinct’ and it is sensitive to stress and tension. When you eat on a tense stomach, the stomach hardens and digestion becomes much more difficult. The stomach needs to be relaxed and supple. Too much stress can also produce too much stomach acid, which can upset the acid/alkaline balance and you’ll get acid reflux (that awful metallic taste in your mouth). It’s best you take 30 mins out and do some breathing or meditation exercises to calm down before you eat. Even if it makes you late for dinner, it doesn’t matter. Sit in your car for a while longer before going into your house or to a restaurant, put on some music and spend 10 mins calming down.
- Get a good digestive enzyme, acidophilus is an example. Look for enzyme products that have over 1 billion bacteria in them. Below 1 billion won’t do you any good. Our emotions can upset our digestive enzymes and throw them out of sync.
- Avoid gas producing foods like: fried fatty foods, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli etc. Some of you may just not be able to digest them very well. I know I can’t but my sister and husband can so try cutting them out and see if your tummy improves.
- For trapped wind / gas try mixing one spoonful of apple cider vinegar into a glass of water and drink. Also try lying down on your LEFT side in a baby foetal position. The air trapped will rise up and pass a bit more easily. I learnt that from nurses in hospital!
- Try cutting portion size down, it might be that you are eating too much; more than your body needs. Remember the hand rule-your food should measure about the size of your hand on the plate.
- Avoid beer and carbonated drinks and particularly whilst eating.
- Avoid sugary, gummy sweets, sweetners and too much chewing gum. These are full of sweet fructose or corn syrups, xylitol, sorbitol, mannitol and aspartame (the last four are well known for causing bloating). I bloat out a lot after eating gummy bears.
I’d be happy to answer or discuss any questions you might have in the comments section below. 🙂 These herbal remedies are to help ease temporary pain. If your pain is chronic and lasts longer than a couple of days then you must see your doctor for other underlying problems.