As Christmas approaches we are faced with plenty of food temptation; things that we normally try and avoid become unavoidable. But allowing ourselves a treat at this time of year should be a calculated decision, especially is you are the type of person who is prone to stomach bloating and trapped wind. This can be very painful, so paying careful attention to specific foods that aggravate the condition can be helpful:
Fizzy drinks are carbonated and therefore cause air bubbles to form and expand in your abdomen. This leads to bloating and feelings of discomfort.
Artificial sweeteners are found in many reduced-calorie foods, processed foods and diet drinks. Specifically, sorbitol is difficult for the body to digest and can cause stomach pain.
Starches - "Heavy starches such as bread, potatoes, and pasta can cause water retention. Any food products made from flour, especially whole-wheat flour, form gas when broken down in the large intestine."
Alternatively, probiotic rich foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kimbucha and kefir feed the gut good bacteria, supporting optimal digestion. Healthy digestion is all about balance, and probiotics taken in tablet form or powder will positively aid digestive health.
Keeping the body hydrated is also important when managing bloating, as it is the key to restoring sodium balance in the body as well as ridding the body of harmful toxins. 6-8 glasses of water a day is recommended by the NHS.
Peppermint tea is a fantastic and simple way to help relieve bloating and wind pain when it hits. This is becasue of its relaxant and antispasmodic properties.
This festive season, make smart and informed decisions about what you eat so that you can prioritise your digestive health and have a great time celebrating this special time of year!