Get rid of that boep once and for all with this easy-to-follow eating plan
DO YOU often feel bloated and uncomfortable – as if you’ve swallowed a balloon? Does your stomach seem to fill out within a matter of hours?
“Bloating is a problem that affects many people, especially women,” says registered dietician Jeanie Nel of Cape Dieticians in Cape Town. “I often see patients who get up in the morning with a flat stomach but by the end of the day they look as if they’re a few months pregnant.”
There are many causes of bloating, Jeanie says. It can occur, for instance, when you eat gas-forming foods (see box, right), drink gassy cooldrinks or by swallowing air when chewing gum.
“There are also health conditions that can cause excessive gas such as food intolerances and irritable bowel syndrome,” she says.
It can also result from excessive bad bacteria in the intestines. “This is exacerbated by the intake of sugar, alcohol and any refined carbohydrates because certain types of bacteria feed on refined carbohydrates and give off gas as a waste product,” Jeanie says.
Whether you need to beat the bloat or lose weight around your waist, this diet is for you. A good first step is to become aware of how certain foods make you feel after eating it, track what causes your bloat and cut it out. If you’re not keen to completely exclude that food, reintroduce it over time, in small amounts.
BACTERIA FOR A HEALTHY GUT
Probiotics are good bacteria that keep your intestines healthy. They occur naturally in your body but also in yoghurt and in medicine form. Prebiotics are found in certain foods and, when eaten, act as food for probiotics, helping it flourish and work effectively. Your body benefits most when it has both.
Prebiotics can be found in fruit such as berries and bananas and vegetables such as asparagus, garlic and onions but be careful of onions and garlic as they can form gas in some people. Wholewheat products are also a good source of prebiotics but should preferably be avoided if you have a wheat intolerance.