5 gut-smart ways to put an end to uncomfortable bloating
We frequently get questions from our Facebook and Instagram communities about what you can do about bloating and indigestion. Read on for several gut-friendly tips you can use to help ease your discomfort.
First off, we wanted to share some great insight into how to get rid of bloating from members of our Body Ecology community:
1. Follow the Body Ecology Principle of 80/20. This means food combining for optimal digestion.
Eighty percent of your meal should consist of non-starchy vegetables, ocean vegetables, and cultured foods, and 20 percent should consist of animal protein, starchy vegetables, or one of the four Body Ecology grain-like seeds. Animal protein and grains/starchy vegetables are never eaten together.
2. Always eat fruit on an empty stomach. Fruit ferments easily and quickly in the digestive tract. To ensure that fruit doesn’t sit in one place for too long and moves smoothly through your gut, eat it alone and on an empty stomach.
3. Avoid raw foods. According to Chinese medical food therapy, the cold nature of raw foods is an insult to the body’s digestive fire. Your digestive system prefers food and herbs that have a warm nature (think ginger) and are predigested with gentle cooking.
4. Add ginger and turmeric to your diet. A “power couple” in the world of herbs, ginger and turmeric have enjoyed a long history together and are touted in Ayurvedic medicine as a combination that supports longevity. Ginger is warming, while turmeric is cooling. Both help boost immunity and aid in digestion.1,2
5. Avoid FODMAP foods. This includes foods that contain short-chain carbohydrates, which are not fully broken down in people who are sensitive to FODMAP foods.3
FODMAP is an acronym: Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols. When eaten, FODMAP foods may ferment in the small intestine, potentially causing pain, gas, and bloating.
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Are you treating the branch or the root?
In holistic healthcare, many physicians treat the origin of a disorder while also bringing relief to the symptoms. The origin is called the root, while the symptoms are called the branch.
Often, conventional medicine focuses on treating the branch, or symptoms that you can see and feel. Many times, the problem returns because the origin of the disorder was never addressed.
The benefit of using diet to support your body through illness and even restore it to health is that diet can help treat both the root and the branch at the same time. This applies when exploring how to get rid of bloating.
So, what’s the root cause of bloating? Once you begin to follow the Body Ecology Way of Life, you will ideally remove foods that contain:
- Gluten, a protein found in wheat and other cereal grains.
- Casein, a protein found in cow’s milk.
- Sugar, except those sugars found in sour fruits, like lemon, lime, and pomegranate juice.
You will also eat according to the Body Ecology Principle of 80/20 and eat fruits alone on an empty stomach. You may even remove FODMAP foods, like onion, garlic, and avocados.
But removing offensive foods only treats the branch — or the symptom of bloating.
When eating for optimal health, it’s essential to ask where the imbalance begins. If you feel bloated even after taking supplements or drinking water, this tells us that the root of the problem might be in your gut. In this case, you need to pay special attention to your body’s inner ecosystem, the community of microbes living in your stomach, small intestine, and colon.
For us at Body Ecology, the good bacteria found in fermented foods are the key to helping address the root of belly bloat.4
When you remove foods that may irritate the lining of your digestive tract and potentially feed an infection in your gut — the battle is half won, and the bloat goes away. But unless you reinoculate your digestive tract with the good microbes found in cultured foods, your bloat may return if you eat the “wrong” food again.
As you make fermented foods a regular part of your diet and lifestyle, you take steps to bring your inner ecosystem back to a state of balance.
How to get rid of bloating and feel comfortable in your skin
It’s important to ask the question: What would make a person react to these foods? An inflamed, overly sensitive gut may be underneath a person’s sensitivity to specific foods.5
Donna’s advice: Do avoid offensive foods — especially those that we list in the Body Ecology Diet book. But, also keep working to restore your gut health. Create a healthy inner ecosystem by eating fermented foods, following the proper food combining rules, and regularly using digestive enzymes.
- 1. Jagetia GC, Aggarwal BB. “Spicing up” of the immune system by curcumin. J Clin Immunol. 2007 Jan;27(1):19-35. doi: 10.1007/s10875-006-9066-7. Epub 2007 Jan 9. PMID: 17211725.
- 2. Bode AM, Dong Z. The Amazing and Mighty Ginger. In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011. Chapter 7.
- 3. Shanti L. Eswaran, William D. Chey, Kenya Jackson, Sivaram G. Pillai, Samuel W. Chey, Theresa Han-Markey. 821 A Low FODMAP Diet Improves Quality of Life, Reduces Activity Impairment, and Improves Sleep Quality in Patients With Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Diarrhea: Results From a U.S. Randomized, Controlled Trial. Gastroenterology, 2016; 150 (4): S172 DOI: 10.1016/S0016-5085(16)30665-5.
- 4. Menees, S., & Chey, W. (2018). The gut microbiome and irritable bowel syndrome. F1000Research, 7, F1000 Faculty Rev: pp.1029.
- 5. Caminero, A., Meisel, M., Jabri, B. et al. Mechanisms by which gut microorganisms influence food sensitivities. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol 16, 7–18 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41575-018-0064-z.