With the holidays approaching, many of us are starting to worry about how our stomachs might look after numerous family dinners and special-occasion desserts. Loosened belts are practically a universal symbol of a holiday season well celebrated, but fluctuating weight from overeating isn’t the only thing that can cause our bellies to appear bigger than we might prefer. We’re talking about bloating: an enemy to us all. Bloating is uncomfortable and unattractive but is it inevitable? What causes belly bloat, aside from “that time of the month,” and how can we avoid it?
Consuming air is one nasty culprit in the case of belly bloating. As odd as it may sound, we sometimes consume air along with our food and that air can get trapped in our stomachs and cause us to bloat if we consume too much of it. There are ways to avoid this cause of belly bloat. First of all, eating more slowly can help. Eating quickly can lead to swallowing extra air, so slow down and chew carefully to avoid adding air to your meal. Carbonated beverages are another way air ends up in our stomachs; even carbonated water, the healthy alternative to soda, contains air (the bubbles) that can cause bloating if you drink too much. Chewing gum can cause the same issue. With carbonated beverages and gum, moderation is key.
Possibly the ultimate in belly bloat causes is the over-consumption of sodium. Sodium causes the body to retain water, making your stomach appear larger. Watching your sodium intake is a great idea for your health overall and should always be a goal, but it will also help you achieve a flatter tummy. Pay attention to the sodium content of snack foods and, most of all, avoid over-processed foods like frozen meals which typically contain unhealthy amounts of sodium for the sake of preservation.
On a less salty note, artificial sweeteners can cause bloating as well. Some artificial sweeteners, including sorbitol which is found in many sugar-free candies, are difficult for the body to digest. Because the body can’t easily digest these compounds, they stick around and negatively affect the system, causing bloating and other health issues. This makes diet sodas a double whammy when it comes to bloating as they contain both carbonation and artificial sweeteners. So, while in moderation artificial sweeteners are probably fine, limiting your consumption may help with your bloating troubles.
Collagen Can Help
Bloating happens when the digestive system can’t keep up with the demands of your diet or comes in contact with extra air or foods it cannot easily process. Taking steps to support your gut health can help. Consuming high-fiber foods and a healthy diet are always a good first step. To do more, try incorporating Traditional Tonic Nourishing Collagen
which contains amino acids that may help support your gut’s natural processes so that it can handle more obstacles without bloating.