Easy Ways to Live Well: Steph McGovern discusses bloating
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Bloating has affected most people at some in point in their lifetime, according to the NHS. The condition may feel like the stomach is stretched or just generally feels uncomfortable.
Yoghurt containing probiotics
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts which are usually added to yoghurts.
Often referred to as ‘good’ or ‘friendly’ bacteria, they are thought to help restore the natural balance of bacteria in the gut.
According to the NHS, probiotics may help reduce bloating and flatulence, but the health body does warn there is little evidence to support many other health claims made about them.
Fruit is generally beneficial to digestion, due to its high fibre content. Fibre is essential to the digestion process as it keeps everything moving through the digestive system. It does this by bulking up stools and make them easier to pass.
On top of this, melon is high in potassium, which is also beneficial to digestion. This is because potassium helps control the balance of fluids in the body, which can reduce water retention.
Water retention can contribute to a feeling of bloating in the tummy, as the body holds on to water in order to prevent dehydration.
Sometimes when eating food which is high in salt, for example, the body can hold on to excess water so as to avoid dehydration.
Potassium balances out the negative effects of salt, so the body doesn’t feel it is dehydrated, allowing it to flush out excess water.
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Papaya contains an enzyme called papain, which helps the body digest food.
Specifically, papain is a proteolytic enzyme, which is an enzyme that digests protein, meaning papain is effective in breaking down meat and other proteins.
It is similar to pepsin, a digestive enzyme produced in the stomach to break down proteins. Papain is also commercially used as a meat tenderiser.
Drinking mint tea could help to relieve bloating pain or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) symptoms, according to nutritionist Maeve Madden.
Mint tea helps to normalise intestinal contractions and get rid of trapped wind, she said.
“Mint is a marvellous aid to digestion,” said Madden, in her book ‘Beat Your Bloat’.
“I suppose that’s why so many cultures have fresh mint tea after their meals.
“Mint contains a compound called menthol that aids in the normalisation of intestinal contractions.
“This is the perfect home remedy for anyone suffering with IBS.”
Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome include stomach cramps, bloating, diarrhoea and constipation.
These may come and go over time.
You can usually help ease irritable bowel syndrome by making changes to your diet and lifestyle, such as avoiding things that trigger your symptoms.
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