Bloating is uncomfortable. Your tummy hurts, you feel immobilized, and your clothes don’t fit the way they should. We’re going to cover what causes bloating and how you can prevent it from rearing its ugly presence on your special day!
What Causes Bloating?
Bloating is the result of gas and/or water retention in your body. There are several ways in which this can happen. Here are some examples:
- Intake of gas producing foods and drinks:
- Beans, apples, broccoli, pears, cabbage, cauliflower, peaches, brussles sprouts, “sugar-free” foods and sugar substitutes (due to the sugar alcohols), soda and sparkling water, alcohol, and fried foods.
- High sodium intake – can cause water retention, and in turn, bloating. Foods like canned vegetables, crackers, cured meats, and processed foods will likely contribute to bloating.
- Stress – chemicals released during bouts of stress can negatively affect digestion. Additionally, quickened breathing patterns can cause one to swallow more air than usual, resulting in trapped gas.
- Smoking – smokers inhale extra air every time they light up. Similar to quickened breathing patterns caused by stress, taking in extra air into the stomach and throat can cause air to be trapped in the digestive system.
- Digestive disease/problems – when the digestive system itself is compromised, bloating can be one of many side effects. Diseases like Celiac’s Disease (gluten intolerance), lactose intolerance, Crohn’s Disease, and IBS can make things rather uncomfortable for people.
- Hormone/chemical changes – the body is a fine-tuned machine. Changes in chemical and hormonal levels (e.g. due to menstruation, supplement and medication intake) can cause bloating.
What Can You Do to Prevent Bloating?
There are a handful of ways you can prevent bloating, such as:
- Intake of anti-bloat foods and drinks:
- Foods high in potassium combat the affect sodium has on your system – bananas, avocados, and spinach are a few examples.
- Foods with high water content – watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumbers, and smaller amounts of celery.
- Yogurt and cheese – these foods are high in probiotics, which are a bacterium that help regulate a healthy digestive system.
- Cut the salt – stay away from foods that contain a lot of sodium. The recommended daily amount is currently set at 1,500 mg. Cut out processed foods, table salt, bottled drinks, and use other spices to add flavor.
- Relaaaaaax – I know…this is easier said than done. But this will not only help you fight bloat, it will make your wedding day even more memorable. Remember, this is only ONE day, which is just a blip on the timeline of your marriage. Embrace and enjoy!
- Eating habits – eat slowly, chew thoroughly, and don’t drink from straws. This will prevent you from taking in extra air, and you’ll be helping your digestive system from having to work as hard.
3-Day Bloat Free Meal Plan
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- Breakfast – Cherry Coconut Oatmeal
- Morning snack – sliced cucumbers with string cheese
- Lunch – Rosemary Chicken Skewers with Grilled asparagus and Rice Salad (omit salt)
- Snack – 1 large piece watermelon
- Dinner – Zucchini Cappracio (no salt) and Tomato Fennel Soup (Note: fennel is an anti-bloat herb, omit salt in this recipe)
- Breakfast – Yogurt Parfait: 1 C plain Greek yogurt, ½ C strawberries, ½ C blueberries, 1/8 C almonds
- Snack – 1 large banana
- Lunch – Meatless Fajitas (we recommend Mrs. Dash Fajita Seasoning – zero sodium!) + ½ avocado, sliced
- Snack – ½ C low fat cottage cheese
- Dinner – Salmon with Grilled squash (omit salt) and Quinoa (use low sodium broth)
- Breakfast – Greek Omelette
- Snack – ¼ C mixed nuts
- Lunch – Stuffed Poblano Peppers
- Snack – 1 C. Greek Yogurt, 2/3 C raspberries
- Dinner – Pork Chops, Green Bean Casserole, and Cucumber Salad (skip the salt)
What event do you have coming up?
Photo credit: Huffington Post