How to beat the bloat
Pardon our French, but bloating is a total bitch.
It shows-up unexpectedly, makes our new Acne jeans look a size too small, makes us feel full when we’re not (so we could’ve totally squeezed-in that last slice of camembert) or, worse, just gets downright painful (usually at the most inconvenient of times).
We’ve heard it all. We know it all comes down to what we eat, and for the most-part, we keep our lifestyles pretty lean and green – with a few glasses of red (and, ok, said camembert) here and there. We’re pro-probiotic and all that stuff. Heck, we’ve even attempted the whole food diary thing, but no matter how hard we try to avoid it, the bloating pattern has us beat, so we needed answers.
Enter Anthia Koullouros of OVVIO ORGANICS. This is a woman who knows what’s up. We were expecting to be told what we already knew (“you are what you eat”, “eat less more often”… yadi yadi yada), but Koullouros came back with some surprising advice.
Turns out, there’s way more to it than green tea and a good diet (although both of those definitely help).
Here’s what she had to say.
WHY IT HAPPENS
Basically, digestive bloating is a symptom created by infection or dysbiosis, inflammation, food intolerances or our bodies not digesting food well.
This is what you can do about it:
1. EAT WHAT WE’VE EVOLVED TO EAT
‘Vegetables, fresh and cultured (fermented foods rich in natural probiotics or good bacteria), whole fats and proteins from healthy pastured animals, non-farmed seafood, some well prepared nuts and seeds, small amounts of seasonal fruit and whole unprocessed cultured dairy’ Koullouros says.
‘Foods not only provide vitamins and minerals but nutrients to feed healthy bacteria and enzymes and acids in your tummy. Find out if you have a food intolerance or allergy (e.g. gluten) through a process of elimination or seek expert advice and get a food intolerance test.’
2. IMPLEMENT A CLEANSE
‘This is necessary to support the transition from industrial foods to whole foods. Cleansing removes toxins and creates an environment for healthy bugs.’
3. PREPARE YOUR FOOD WELL
‘Slow cook, soak your legumes, nuts seeds and grains and avoid high temperature cooking’ Koullouros suggests.
‘The lost art of food preparation has occurred because we seek convenience! Preparing food well preserves food, increases nutritional density and food is better digested and assimilated.’
4. EAT IN A RELAXED STATE
‘Eating in a stressed state effects digestion of food. Chew your food until liquid.’
5. DON’T DRINK WATER WHILE YOU EAT
‘Unless it’s small sips’ Koullouros says.
‘Drink 1/2 an hour before and 1 hour after. This allows your digestive juices to concentrate so they can break down food.’
6. DRINK MORE TEA
Koullouros suggests a mix of ‘organic fennel seed, chamomile flower, aniseed, peppermint leaf, cinnamon bark and star anise’ to alleviate bloating.
‘These herbs act as anti inflammatories and carminatives. They help with colic and alleviate wind which contributes to bloating. They soothe and have mild antimicrobial properties.’
7. GO TO A PRO
‘Dysbiosis or an overgrowth of bad bugs or not enough good bugs can contribute to bloating’ Koullouros says.
‘Seek expert advice to assess microbial over or undergrowth through professional testing.’