What is Bloating?
Bloating can be a pain – literally. The feeling of our stomach being overly full can cause mild to severe discomfort and if you experience regular bloating, it's a sign that your body needs some help.
Bloating is a result of excess liquid, food or gas, and tends to be quite uncomfortable. You may have noticed this after eating a big meal or when hormonal changes occur. Bloating can also be a result of a digestive issue, which could be due to an imbalance in gut bacteria or inflammation. That’s why Ayurveda states addressing your gut health is one of the most important things to do if you notice you are experiencing it more often.
What worsens bloating?
Stress – You may have heard the gut be called the “second brain”, and this really rings true. The two organs are very closely linked, as they directly communicate with each other. This is why stress can have a huge impact on your digestion. Stress and anxiety can slow down digestion which can lead to constipation and gas build up.
Lack of Sleep – When you’re running on little to no sleep, your body releases more of the stress hormone cortisol. This then causes stress in the body, and in turn, your digestive system. Lack of sleep can also cause inflammation which further exacerbates bloating.
Dehydration – If you haven’t heard it enough, drinking enough water every day is crucial. If you’re not drinking enough, this can lead to dehydration, which can lead to constipation, which leads to bloating. It may feel counterintuitive to drink more when your stomach feels so full, but it may be what fixes it!
Lack of Fibre – Fibre is what pushes your digestive system along. It also feeds good bacteria, keeping your microbiome healthy. Therefore, if you’re not consuming enough fibre, it can lead to digestive stagnation, which leads to bloating.
Recipe to Beat Bloating:
Ayurveda considers digestive health to be the main indicator for overall health, which is why it’s important to look after it and keep your digestive fire balanced!
Below is a simple recipe to start your day that will help with bloating and digestive issues. Let’s look at the beneficial properties of the ingredients used:
- Lemon kickstarts your digestion in the morning, supports your liver and provides your digestive system with beneficial minerals.
- Ginger is said to ease cramping and gas. It speeds up digestion and protects the gut.
- Turmeric is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatories. It’s known to combat bloating and gas, and stimulates the gallbladder to produce bile, which helps with digesting foods.
- Apple contains a fibre called pectin, which helps move food through the digestive system and feed good bacteria in your stomach, supporting your microbiome.
- Chia seeds are a great source of omega 3s and fibre. Omega 3s are great at reducing inflammation in the gut, which can help with underlying digestive issues that may be causing bloating. Being another source of fibre, they also help to keep things flowing!
- Fresh ginger (4 inches)
- Fresh turmeric root (around 2 inches)
- Juice of 2 Lemons
- 2-3 Tbsp chia seeds
- 2 Apples
- Half cup of water
- Squeeze the juice out of both lemons, removing any seeds and pour the juice into a blender.
- Rinse the turmeric and ginger and chop into smaller chunks and add to the same blender.
- De-core the apples and chop into smaller bite-sized pieces and add into the blender.
- Pour half a cup of water into the blender and blend all the ingredients together.
- Once a smooth consistency, pour the mixture over a sieve or strainer and use a measuring jug to catch the liquid.
- Once the liquid has separated from the pulp, start pouring the juice into ice cube trays.
- Sprinkle around ¼ - ½ a teaspoon of chia seeds into each ice cube container and stir so they are covered in the liquid.
- Carefully place the tray in the freezer and leave at least a couple of hours for them to fully freeze.
- Add one ice cube to a mug or heat proof glass and pour a cup of warm to boiling water over the top.
- Stir into the water and enjoy!
This drink is best taken first thing in the morning to help detox the digestive system from the night before!
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