Friday, April 23, 2010


Look at my abs -- and some of the things I do to eliminate the unwanted bloat. Besides the obvious of clean eating and working out ;)

In the past few weeks I have had a couple of people ask me about abdominal bloat. May have something to do with the warmer weather and the fear we women may have of exposing a less than flat midsection. Completely understandable.

The first step in figuring out the cause of abdominal bloating is determining whether it's associated with eating or drinking.

Bloating can be caused by diet especially if one consumes a diet high in salt eats a lot of gas-producing foods, such as dark leafy vegetables or beans. Calcium supplements can also cause gas in some people as it does me.

A simple reflex like inhaling can be the cause of bloating which can happen when even when we eat, chew gum or smoke which can aggravate the discomfort.

One of the main causes of bloating and gas are foods that doesn't get properly absorbed. Sorbitol for example, which is commonly contained in sugar-free gum, is not absorbed by the body. Milk (specifically milk sugar or lactose) is another culprit that our body isn't necessarily engineered to digest. Fructose -the sugar in fruit- is equally not well tolerated by some people.

Ceratin fruits and vegetables, especially when raw, like cauliflower and broccoli that, again, our body doesn't have the right enzymes to digest completely. This feeds bacteria and results in more gas.

In a nutshell our digestive system simply cannot process everything and ingesting ingredients that are harmful to you, will result in undigested food fermenting in the intestines, where bacteria will feed on it and produce more gas.

Bloating is very common in women. However if the problem is persistent, it’s advisable to seek medical advice, as it could be early symptoms of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).

For pre-menopausal women, bloating is often related to the menstrual cycle and the level of hormones. When hormonal activity is high, stool and gas move more slowly through the intestines, often leading to constipation and bloating in the weeks before the period. Older women on HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy) also commonly suffer discomfort from bloating.

If abdominal bloating is persistent rather then cyclical, it might be due to a mass such as an ovarian cyst or uterine fibroid. Chronic bloating could also be a sign of an underlying, more serious, liver or pancreas disease.

Women over 50 need to be especially cautious and consult a doctor about any chronic bloating.

Here are some natural remedies for bloating that i suggest to women and I use myself:
Ginger tea
Peppermint tea
Clove oil
Eucalyptus oil
Boiled water with 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon (sweetened with honey, if desired)
Probiotics: Acidophilus and Bifidus (my favorite)
Bloating Dos and Don’ts

A few other pointer:
Drink plenty of water (non-carbonated)
Chew your food thoroughly
Don't talk and chew at the same time. This causes you to swallow air, which causes more gas
Avoid carbonated beverages, chewing gum, highly spiced foods, and too many sweets
Avoid/Minimize dairy products, a majority of people are lactose intolerant
Eat only peeled, cooked seedless fruits and vegetables. Strain the seeds out of tomatoes
Avoid beans, corn (including popcorn), and nuts. Vegetables in the cabbage and onion families, including broccoli and garlic

Here you go -- just a few things I generally recommend/suggest :)

Hope this helps you wonderful women out there. Certainly as noted before, be sure to rule out anything more serious with your doctor.