5 Ways to Put an End to Uncomfortable Bloating
Recently on our Facebook fan page, we received wonderful suggestions about what a fellow BEDer could do to improve her digestion and reduce her bloating.
Thank you, everyone, for your thoughtful replies to Sara’s question!
First off, we wanted to share some great tips from Body Ecology Facebook fans and the reasoning behind them:
- Follow the Body Ecology Diet principle of 80/20. This means food combining for optimal digestion! 80% of your meal should consist of non-starchy vegetables, ocean vegetables, and cultured foods. 20% 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.
- 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 the gut, eat it alone and on an empty stomach.
- Avoid raw foods. According to Chinese medical food therapy, the cold nature of raw foods is an insult to the body’s digestive fire! Our digestive system prefers food and herbs that have a warm nature (think ginger) and are predigested with gentle cooking.
- Add ginger and turmeric into 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 boost immunity and aid in digestion.
- 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. FODMAP is an acronym: Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols. When eaten, FODMAP foods ferment in the small intestine, causing pain, gas, and bloating.
The Branch versus 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 we 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 the body through illness and even restore the body to health is that diet can treat both the root and the branch at the same time.
What Is the Root Cause of Bloating?
Once Sara begins to follow the Body Ecology Diet, she will 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
She will also eat according to the Body Ecology Principle of 80/20 and eat fruits alone on an empty stomach. Sara 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 is essential to ask where the imbalance begins. Because Sara feels bloated even after taking supplements or drinking water, this tells us that the root of the problem might be in the gut. In this case, we need to pay special attention to the body’s inner ecosystem, the community of microbes living in the stomach, small intestine, and colon.
For us at Body Ecology, the good bacteria found in fermented foods are the key to treating the root of Sara’s belly bloat.
When we remove foods that irritate the lining of the digestive tract and feed an infection in the gut—the battle is half won, and the bloat goes away. But unless she re-inoculates the digestive tract with the good microbes found in cultured foods, Sara’s bloat will return if she eats the “wrong” food again.
When we make fermented foods a regular part of the diet and our lifestyle, we take steps to bring the inner ecosystem back to a state of balance.
Beating the Bloat
You have to ask the question…What would make a person react to these foods? An inflamed, overly sensitive gut is underneath a person’s sensitivity to specific foods.
Donna’s advice for Sara: Do avoid offensive foods—especially those that we list in the Body Ecology Diet book. But, also keep working to restore gut health. Create a healthy inner ecosystem by eating fermented foods, following the proper food combining rules, and using digestive enzymes.
What To Remember Most About This Article:
We have our Body Ecology Facebook fans to thank for a quick, helpful response to a community question about bloating.
Here are five top tips from Body Ecology Diet fans to improve digestion and reduce bloating today:
- Follow the Body Ecology Principle of 80/20 to food combine for optimal digestion. Make each meal 80% non-starchy vegetables, ocean vegetables, and fermented foods with 20% animal protein, starchy vegetables, or grain-like seeds. Never eat animal protein or grains/starchy vegetables together.
- Eat fruit on an empty stomach. Fruit can easily ferment in the digestive tract and should be eaten alone and on an empty stomach.
- Steer clear of raw foods. Based on principles of Chinese medicine, the cold nature of raw food can insult the body’s digestive fire. Choose foods and herbs with a warm nature, predigested through gentle cooking.
- Cook with ginger and turmeric. Ginger and turmeric as a pair support longevity, immunity, and digestion.
- Don’t eat FODMAP foods. FODMAPs (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols) can ferment in the small intestine to cause pain, gas, and bloating.
Donna recommends using the tips above to restore gut health and beat the bloat, along with support from digestive enzymes.
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