‘Tis the season to be jolly and eat a lot! When we gather with our loved ones, we tend to snack all day (and night) long: chocolate-covered pretzels, candy canes, pizza rolls… and not to mention drinks like sodas or cocktails! The list is endless. While these appetizers and beverages might be tasty, they can also lead to what many of us are familiar with: holiday bloating.
That awful feeling of fullness and tightness is very common after overeating and it may take many days for your body to bounce back after the holidays. But the good news is that you can take some simple measures to get back on track after a big feast during this holiday season. Interested in debloating quickly and efficiently? Keep on reading and discover 5 light and healthy meals to help with bloating fast!
#1 - Why Do I Get Bloated After Eating?
Getting bloated after eating is common, especially during the holiday season. All that turkey, roast beef, and mashed potatoes are bound to have some effect on your body, unfortunately. But what is bloating and why does it happen? Bloating takes place in your abdominal area when large amounts of air build up in your gut. This, in turn, occurs when your body is digesting food and flatulence and burping usually take place to eliminate this extra air in your gut.
Additionally, bloating can be a symptom of many diseases and conditions, such as yeast intolerance or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Here are some of the main reasons why you may get bloated after eating:
Eating Oversized Meals
Enjoying abundant New Year meals is a great experience. What’s not so great is getting that uncomfortable feeling of being bloated right after you finish your meal. Eating too much requires our bodies to spend a lot of energy to digest that food, which can lead to fatigue. Naturally, whenever we feel bloated, the only thing we want is to lie down on the sofa and rest.
So, if the holiday season is bringing out your indulgent side, try to restrain yourself and avoid oversized meals to prevent bloating from happening!
Excess of sugar, Sodium, and Alcohol
Pleasant as holiday desserts are, foods with too much sugar can make you uncomfortably bloated because most of them undergo a fermentation process when they reach your large intestine. There, the bacteria in your microbiota have a feast with these sugar particles, creating gas as a byproduct and ultimately making you feel bloated (1). Instead, having too much alcohol can cause swelling and dehydration in your body, which results in even more bloating. Something similar happens when you eat processed foods with a high concentration of sodium, as they cause water retention (and, you guessed, bloating). In these cases, moderation is the key!
#2 - What Are the Symptoms of Bloating?
In addition to feeling as if your stomach just doubled in size, bloating has other symptoms that can help you differentiate it from other health issues such as IBS or distention. Let’s examine the most important signs of bloating and how to do away with them!
- Stomach pain
- Energy drop
- Cramps and flatulence
Now, how is bloating different from distention? While bloating symptoms are often described as feeling like there’s a balloon in your belly, distention means your abdominal size has actually increased and not necessarily because of a digestive process, as it can be linked to pregnancy or menstruation, for example. Abdominal distention is typically measured using techniques and studies like plethysmography.
#3 - What Are Some Foods That Relieve Bloating?
While bloating can be terribly uncomfortable and disrupt your daily life, the good news is that you can get bloating relief by introducing some changes to your diet and daily routine. Many foods can help you do away with stomach distention, gas, and cramps, among other signs. Let’s take an in-depth look at these ingredients:
- Avocado. This highly nutritious, delicious food is packed with vitamins C and K while rich in potassium and fibre (2), which supports your intestines by making food move more slowly in your digestive tract (3).
- Cucumber. With their crisp and refreshing flavour, cucumbers are not only good to make your salads tastier but they are amazing for bloating relief. As they are 95% water, they can help you stay hydrated and do away with bloating symptoms (4).
- Yogurt. This amazing dairy product offers you probiotics, that is, good bacteria that play a key role in keeping your gut healthy. For instance, many studies have shown that probiotics can reduce distention and bloating, especially when caused by IBS (5).
- Berries. Blackberries, blueberries, strawberries… all these delicious fruits fall into this category. They are loaded with minerals, vitamins, and fibre, which are essential to avoiding constipation and bloating (6).
- Celery. Just like cucumbers, celery has a high water content which can help your intestines be healthier and produce a lesser amount of gas. Plus, celery contains mannitol, a substance that has been proven to soften stools and help remove excess sodium from your body (7), which in turn can alleviate bloating.
#4 - 5 Healthy Meals to Relieve Bloating Fast
Looking for inspiration on what to eat this week and relieve your holiday bloating? Below, you can find 5 healthy and delicious meals with natural ingredients that will relieve your bloating fast and effectively.
Delicious Green Smoothie
Having a green smoothie with spinach, celery, ginger, green apple, and lemon is an excellent option for debloating. First, because it will hydrate you and help your body get rid of excess sugar, salt, and other substances that cause gas to accumulate in your gut. Second, these ingredients are packed with nutrients and fibre, which will get your digestive system moving. You can add extra ice in the summer and enjoy it!
Increasing your protein intake will also be useful for bloating relief. Omelettes, greek yogurt with fruits, cottage cheese, and peanut butter are only some of the protein-rich foods you can add to your breakfast to make it more nutritious while doing away with gas in your belly.
Yogurt & Berries Bowl
A bowl of yogurt, banana, and berries (like strawberries or blackberries, for example) can also help you deal with a distended stomach and symptoms of bloating, as you’ll be feeding the healthy bacteria in your gut while balancing your microbiome. A win-win situation! Here you can find other tasty recipes to prepare powerful bowls for breakfast.
Carrot Soup With Fennel, Turmeric, and Ginger
Ginger and turmeric are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and numerous nutrients. Combined with fennel- which has anti-spasmodic features (8), carrot, and onions, they make a delicious soup, packed with flavour but light in carbs and fats. Just cook the vegetables and blend them lightly to prepare one of the best dishes for bloating relief.
A Veggie Plate
Finally, why not combine all those items with de-bloating properties into one delicious veggie plate? Cucumber, avocado, celery, quinoa… the options are many! Prepare a delicious salad with some drops of lemon and enjoy a fresh, light meal.
When trying new diets and foods, whether it is for cleansing, losing weight or other purposes, make sure to avoid products that do not align with your current needs. For instance, for a low FODMAP diet for those suffering from IBS, we do not recommend celery or yogurt. However, we do recommend these foods for debloating for people with general dietary needs.
#5 - More Debloating Tips
If you are experiencing the aftereffects of abundant holiday meals and feel like you have a hot air balloon inside your belly, it’s time to take the bull by the horns and get some relief. Here are some debloating tips that will help you reduce those annoying symptoms and help your digestion get back on track as soon as possible.
Take Your Time When Eating
In the hectic times we are living in, it’s really hard to find the time to sit down and eat. And let’s not even mention chewing slowly! However, effectively chewing your food has a lot of benefits on your gut health, as your stomach and intestines will not have to work that hard to digest what you eat. Most importantly, chewing well can reduce the air you swallow, thus reducing your bloating after eating.
Replace Salt With Flavourful Herbs
As useful and common as it is, salt can bring about health problems if not consumed in moderation. Excess salt intake can produce high blood pressure and bloating, for example. So, if you are trying to cure your holiday bloating using natural methods, why not replace salt with other flavourful (and healthier) herbs? Garlic, for example, can add a burst of flavour to your favourite dish without increasing its sodium content. Onion powder, rosemary, basil, smoked paprika…the options are endless! What is more, these herbs and spices can bring about health benefits in addition to giving life to your foods.
Drink 2-3 Litres of Water Per Day
Staying hydrated offers a number of health benefits and, not surprisingly, it can also help you avoid bloating after the holidays. Many times, bloating is caused by excess sodium present in food and drinking plenty of water helps you get rid of this excess. Also, drinking at least a glass of water before eating can make you feel satiated, preventing overeating and minimising bloating.
Cut Down on Carbonated Drinks
Sodas and carbonated drinks are certainly delicious but are well-known for being bad for your health. Sodas have a lot of empty calories so they can promote weight gain (9) and are linked to chronic diseases like diabetes or liver disease. Additionally, this type of beverage has gas blended with water that can puff inside your belly and cause bloating.
Try Probiotic Supplements
Your gut is made up of billions of bacteria that make up your microbiome and is hugely responsible for keeping you healthy. Whenever your microbiome is not balanced, you can experience a myriad of problems and among them is bloating. One way to re-balance your gut and help it get back on track is to include probiotics in your diet, which are present in cheese, yogurt, kefir, and kimchi, among other foods. You can also take probiotic supplements to promote gut health, such as our Probiotic Power Greens!
Massage Your Belly Area
The University of Michigan (faculty of Medicine (10) also suggests that gently self-massaging your belly area is an effective remedy to relieve tightness, cramps, and bloating. Starting in the pelvic area, rub your belly with your fingers in a circular motion, from the right to the left and from your pelvis to the ribs, in a clockwise motion, for at least 10 minutes.
Beat the Bloat After This Holiday Season
Let’s face it: holiday overeating is common almost everywhere in the world. But however delicious holiday food may be, indulging yourself too much can lead not only to weight gain but also to sleep deprivation, heartburn, and other digestive issues such as bloating. And we all know how uncomfortable and inconvenient it is to wake up feeling puffed up and swollen. Luckily, it’s not that difficult to get rid of bloating after the holidays.
Finding a healthy balance after a week of pigging out will help you feel better both physically and emotionally. In addition to modifying your diet and trying to eat lighter foods, you’ll find that some simple habits (like eating more slowly) can significantly reduce gas build-up and help you feel less bloated. If you prefer faster results with a natural approach, you can also try out our Complete Gut Detoxification System, a health supplement made with natural ingredients that will give you a fast reset after holiday feasting!
Also, you can take our Free Health Assessment to get personalised recommendations on what products to take to get rid of bloating fast.