Many of us suffer from bloating round the stomach area so what can we do to prevent this? Nutritionist Kate Arnold has some tips.
Firstly, making sure you are not constipated is key as this can lead to bloating. Research by Dulcolax has found that it’s a problem for 65% of us on holiday but fewer than one in five of us pack a treatment. Drink plenty of water as this can help. Avoid fizzy water, caffeine and sodas that can lead to bloating and spikes in insulin. If you are drinking alcohol try and have water on the table as well. This is a well-known custom in Europe, but we tend to forget about it in the UK!
Tackle water retention
Chew on celery sticks as they can help with fluid retention, particularly common around that time of the month. Mint is a great herb for beating bloating so try some iced mint tea or put mint in your water. Avoid fruit juice as it’s usually packed with sugar.
Focus on fibre
Try to ensure you have enough soluble fibre in your diet as this will keep your bowels regular. Go for apples, pears, avocados, figs asparagus and apricots. Red peppers are great metabolism boosters and stimulate the digestion. Pineapples are good as they contain bromelain which helps reduce gas. If your digestion is still feeling slow try some psyllium husks.
Exercise and movement can help a sluggish gut, so get swimming in the sea or the pool, don’t just lie there and look at it! Even gentle walking and yoga can help get that peristalsis working.
Boost your good guys
Including live yoghurt in your diet will help boost your good bacteria which can help with bloating and gas and keep your stomach trim and flat. A diet high in dark green leafy vegetables can help the good bacteria grow.
- Limit your sugar intake.
- Start the day with a protein rich breakfast to stop you snacking and choose fresh fish, vegetables and whole grains.
- If rice leaves you feeling bloated, try quinoa instead as it’s higher in protein.
- If you’re going abroad, local fruit and vegetables will be fresh, delicious and a perfect choice! Avoid processed foods high on the glycaemic index (white pasta, white rice, white bread) as these can lead to bloating.
- Beware of smoothies which can be very high in sugar and grab some whole fruit instead.
Kate Arnold is a nutrition consultant based in Eastbourne who specialises in gastrointestinal disorders. Find a range of tips and information for holidaymakers at www.letstalkconstipation.co.uk
More details about Kate can be found at www.katearnoldnutrition.co.uk