I think we can all agree that bloating is the worst. No matter what season it is, bloating is an unwelcome nuisance that most of us would like to avoid at all costs, but with summer being the most skin baring of seasons, bloating can be even more bothersome than usual.
In order to banish bloat, it’s important to understand what causes bloat in the first place, and while there are many causes that could be to blame, I am going to cover the most common causes for occasional bloating that can often be relieved at home. If bloating is something you chronically experience, please, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your concerns. Your doctor will be able to diagnose any underlying causes that could be to blame, far more accurately than self-diagnosis. If bloating is something you experience more intermittently, this article is for you.
More often than not, the cause of bloating can be directly linked to excessive sodium intake, and it’s no wonder as to why considering that the majority of Americans consume twice the recommended amount on a daily basis. While sodium is essential to maintaining a healthy body, too much sodium can cause many adverse effects, with bloating being the least serious. In addition to bloating, excessive sodium in the diet can cause high blood pressure, heart disease and even stroke. That’s scary stuff, and reason alone to keep your sodium levels in check!
Another common cause of bloating could be attributed to all of that healthy fiber you’re consuming. Obviously, fiber is good for you, and is a fantastic way to keep off unwanted pounds as it keeps you feeling full, but if you’re not drinking enough water to move all of that fiber through, so to speak, you’re going to end up feeling ‘full’ in the worst way.
The number one thing people fail to include when they make a healthy lifestyle change is adequate amounts of water. You should be drinking at least half of your body weight in water per day, and even more if you’re active or outside in the heat. When the body doesn’t have enough water, it can’t function properly because the balance of fluids has been disrupted. The functions of bodily fluids include body temperature maintenance, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, absorption of nutrients and digestion. When you consider the fact that we are constantly experiencing fluid loss, whether it be through our skin, breathing, urine or stool, this delicate balance is easily disrupted if not properly treated.
So, number 1 way to beat bloat? Up your water intake!!!! While it may seem counterintuitive to add more liquid to an already bloated body, your body needs this additional water to release the water it is holding onto. Your body often holds onto water when it is dehydrated, so it is important not to get to that point if you want to prevent bloating in the future.
If drinking that much water seems daunting to you, get your water in the form of hydrating foods. Some excellent choices that are all above 90% water content include watermelon, cucumbers, iceberg lettuce, radishes, tomatoes, celery, green peppers, cauliflower, spinach, strawberries, broccoli, grapefruit, baby carrots and cantaloupe.
Another great way to remove sodium retention is by upping your potassium. Potassium encourages both sodium excretion and lower blood pressure. Potassium-rich foods include bananas, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, oranges and melons. The recommended daily potassium intake for the average adult is about 4,700 milligrams.
Now, if you are looking to de-bloat quick, the following concoction is for you…
Go find yourself a water bottle that is at least 50 ounces, and take a few sips out of it to make room for a few additions.
Add in 1 tablespoon of 100% pure cranberry juice (not cranberry juice cocktail!!!! You only want to use real, no sugar added cranberry juice), and 2 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice. If needed, you can add in a few drops of liquid stevia. The cranberry juice I used was Lakewood 100% Fresh Pressed Cranberry Juice.
Simply sip on this mixture throughout the day, and watch your tummy shrink. That’s all there is to it.
100% pure cranberry juice contains arbutin, which is a diuretic that helps flush fluids that contribute to bloating due to excess water weight trapped in the tissues. Lemon juice further aids this process as it also acts as a natural diuretic.
Just a little warning, this de-bloating drink works because it flushes you out, which in turn means you will be making frequent trips to the restroom. Plan your day accordingly (i.e. near a restroom) if you’re wanting to give this a try.