Help! I love veggies but dread the gas
My goal for 2019 is to eat more veggies. I’ve been doing well this week, but I’m really bloated and gassy. Any advice?
Congratulations on your healthy goal—and yes, there are steps you can take to ensure you get all the benefits of veggies without the gas and bloat. Those uncomfortable symptoms set in when you suddenly increase your intake of fermentable fiber, which gets turned into gas by the bacteria in the intestines. To avoid this, ramp up your vegetable intake slowly so the body can adjust to the fiber. For now, have just two additional servings of veggies per day for one week, then add a daily serving each subsequent week until you reach your goal. I also advise starting with veggies that are less likely to cause bloat, such as leafy greens, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash and peppers.
If you’re still struggling after three weeks, consider taking an entericcoated peppermint oil capsule (available in drugstores) 30 minutes before meals. The menthol in mint relaxes the colon muscles, easing bloat and gas.
Chilly weather always makes my arthritis flare up. My sister told me meditation can help. Should I
try it? A Absolutely! Daily meditation has been shown to ease stiffness, pain and fatigue in osteoarthritis patients by lowering the body’s levels of inflammatory stress hormones. In fact, a recent West Virginia University study showed that adults with osteoarthritis experienced a 48% reduction in pain after practicing mantra meditation twice a day.
To benefit, sit in a comfortable position and set a timer for 15 minutes. Take a few deep breaths, then close your eyes and listen to the world around you for 10 breaths. Bring your awareness back to the body, focusing on the movement of your chest and stomach as you breathe in and out for another 10 breaths. Finally, begin to repeat the words I accept my body silently to yourself until the timer runs out. A daily practice can reduce pain within four days.