Fact Checked By Dr B Lee
Bloating is a common digestive issue that most people experience from time to time. It can make you feel uncomfortable, sluggish, and affect your overall wellbeing. If you’ve been struggling with bloating for a while, it’s important to understand the root cause and find an effective solution. Bloating occurs when the abdomen expands due to gas buildup or food intolerances.
Some of the main causes are overeating, constipation, dehydration or eating inflammatory foods like refined carbs or sugars, most of us being guilty of at least one. But don't worry, there are natural ways you can reduce bloating without resorting more aggresive solutions. Let's dive into some of the most effective and proven remedies: Probiotics and lifestyle changes that almost every time do the trick, especially when combined! A few lifestyle changes can work wonders already…
Alternatives To Probiotics: Change your lifestyle for better gut health
One of the easiest methods to implement is trying to eat smaller meals throughout the day instead of large ones at one sitting. This can have several other benefits for the body on top! It can help maintain a steady blood sugar level, aid in weight loss, and improve energy and concentration throughout the day.
Another simple but essential way of preventing digestion problems such as bloating is by chewing your food thoroughly. Proper chewing has even more positive health effects as well: it helps in the breakdown of food into smaller particles which makes it easier to digest and absorb nutrients. It's also recommended to avoid foods high in refined sugars and carbs such as sugary beverages, pastries, white bread, and candy. Instead, opt for whole foods that are high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats.
Incorporating warm liquids into your daily routine can provide a range of health benefits too! Warm liquid stimulates bile production inside the liver therefore triggering fatty acid digestion within our bodies; this helps ease intestinal contractions since your tract wall relaxes allowing any accumulated gas out thus helping elimination of excess bacteria or pathogens causing digestive distress.
Do probiotics help with bloating?
Long story short: Yes, one of the best ways to address bloating is by incorporating probiotics into your diet. Probiotics are live bacteria beneficially found in some fermented foods and supplements that enhance gut flora selectively. They support healthy digestion by breaking down nutrients into absorbable forms and keeping digestive function normal thereby reducing symptoms of bloated feeling. Common benefits include cardiovascular improvement, improved immune function, mood regulation, fatigue reduction etc.
Studies have shown that consuming probiotics regularly can help alleviate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), constipation, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal issues. However: As with many substances, there’s quite a quality difference when it comes to different strains of bacteria! Probiotic strains such as Lactobacillus acidophilus extend their metabolic activity which may lead to breakdown of certain unabsorbed carbohydrates from previous meals, supporting increased nutrition absorption thereby limiting bacterial fermentation.
Benefits of Probiotics (besides reducing bloating)
The benefits of probiotics go beyond relieving bloating alone. Here are some additional advantages:
- Increase nutrient absorption: Having a healthy balance of gut bacteria ensures that nutrients from food are absorbed properly. By maintaining a healthy balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut, probiotics can help support the breakdown and absorption of nutrients from food. Additionally, probiotics can help prevent the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut, which can interfere with proper nutrient absorption. Several studies have shown that probiotics can increase the absorption of important nutrients such as calcium, iron, and vitamins B and K.
- Build immunity: Our gut microbiome plays a crucial role in building our immunity. It accounts for around 70% of our immune system, and a healthy balance ensures that our body can fight off harmful pathogens that cause infections. A balanced gut microbiome is achieved by eating a diverse range of whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, and fermented foods that provide healthy bacteria to the gut. Stress, antibiotics, and a diet high in sugar or processed foods can damage the gut’s microbiome, leading to a weaker immune system. To build up our immunity, we need to prioritize our gut health by eating a balanced diet, managing stress, and avoiding unnecessary use of antibiotics. With a strong gut microbiome, our body can better defend itself against harmful pathogens and keep us healthy.
- Reduce inflammation: Chronic inflammation is a condition where the body's immune system stays active and constantly triggers inflammatory responses, leading to tissue damage and different health issues. An unbalanced gut flora is one of the factors that can contribute to chronic inflammation. The gut is home to trillions of microorganisms; the balance of good and harmful bacteria is essential for maintaining a healthy gut and overall well being. When there is an imbalance in gut flora, harmful bacteria can cause inflammation and damage to the intestinal wall, allowing toxins to enter the bloodstream and trigger further inflammation throughout the body. Chronic inflammation can lead to various diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, or even cancer.
- Improve mood: Many studies have shown that the microbes in our gut produce various chemicals, including serotonin, which is commonly known as the "happy hormone." Serotonin is responsible for regulating our mood, appetite, and sleep patterns. When there is an imbalance in our gut microbiome, with fewer good bacteria and more harmful bacteria, it can affect the production of serotonin and ultimately impact our overall mood and mental health.
What you should eat for better gut health
Now that you know all the potential benefits probiotics can have not only for bloating issues but pretty much your overall health, how the heck do you get them without buying expensive supplements? Let's have a deeper look into probiotic-containing foods that you can easily incorporate into your diet. These are some great options to help improve gut health and promote the growth of healthy microorganisms in your system:
Though debatable in terms of flavor, definitely deserving first place when it comes to effectiveness is kefir, a fermented beverage made from cow's or goat's milk. It contains a variety of beneficial bacteria and yeasts that aid digestion, boost the immune system, and reduce the risk of certain diseases. Plus, it's an excellent source of vitamins and minerals like calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin K2. Next on our list is yogurt with live and active cultures. Consuming this type of yogurt has been shown to improve gut health while aiding in digestion and promoting weight loss. Just be sure to watch out for added sugars or artificial ingredients that could counteract these positive effects.
Moving on to sauerkraut - this fermented food is rich in probiotics thanks to its natural fermentation process which promotes beneficial bacterial growth while discouraging harmful microorganisms. Be sure to look forunpasteurized or raw varieties at the store or try making your own at home! Tempeh is another option worth considering - it's a fermented soy product consumed for centuries in Indonesia that contains various strains of bacteria known for their potential health benefits such as regulating gut microbiota and reducing inflammation.
Known as a bloating remedy for centuries and therefore on the more traditional end, we have miso soup - a traditional Japanese soup made from fermented bean paste called miso containing probiotics that may help reduce the risk of various digestive disorders including diarrhea, constipation, and irritable bowel syndrome. In thort pretty much anything fermented is going to be good for your microiome. There is also the case of prebiotics (foods that good bacteria like to eat, but we'll talk about that in another article).
Conclusion On If Probiotics Can Help With Bloating And Gas
As we learned, there’s an incredible amount of natural remedies that help you with all kinds of gut health issues, especially bloating, without buying commercial probiotic supplements that are ridiculously overpriced more often than not anyways. Your guts are called your second brain or even heart for a reason - make sure to treat them accordingly by implementing the necessary lifestyle changes and eating the right food will go a long way!
Scientific Sources and Papers