Stomach bloating is an too familiar sensation. Many people have experienced that feeling like their belly is on the brink of bursting. It often follows an overindulgence of gassy culprits such as certain foods and drinks. Adding a certain ‘friendly bacteria’ to a yoghurt may help restore gut health.
Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts promoted as having various health benefits.
They’re usually added to yoghurts or taken as food supplements, and are often described as “good” or “friendly” bacteria.
According to the NHS, “Probiotics are thought to help restore the natural balance of bacteria in your gut (including your stomach and intestines) when it’s been disrupted by an illness or treatment.”
There’s some evidence that probiotics may be helpful in some cases, such as helping prevent diarrhoea when taking antibiotics, and helping to ease some symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – bloating being one of the main culprits.
According to Holland and Barrett: “Next time you pick up a yoghurt that is packed with friendly bacteria, take a look at the label. It may contain Lactobacillus acidophilus or Bifidobacterium bifidum – these are common bacterial cultures that have been shown to have a beneficial effect on our health.”
Fennel has been used for centuries to help tame tummies
Holland and Barrett
Friendly bacteria are found naturally in some foods, such as kimchi, miso, sauerkraut and kombucha, and fermented tea, added the health site.
“These foods and drinks are more popular in other parts of the world, but they are starting to grow in popularity in the UK,” it added.
Fennel and peppermint oiL supplements can also help to alleviate bloating, as Holland and Barrett explained: “Fennel has been used for centuries to help tame tummies: drink it as a tea or take a supplement.
“And peppermint oil can help fight IBS symptoms like cramping or bloating – it works by relaxing the muscles of your intestines.
“Try taking capsules before or during meals.”
The health site also recommends upping magnesium intake to beat the bloat: “Magnesium is a natural relaxant and constipation can sometimes be related to low magnesium levels.
“Fill up on magnesium-rich green leafy veg, beans, and lentils, and try bathing in Epsom salts – your body can absorb the magnesium in the salts through your skin.”
According to the NHS, other ways to reduce bloating include cutting down on the following gassy foods:
You should also try not to swallow too much air, said the health body. “Don’t talk and eat at the same time, sit down to eat (sitting upright and not slumped over), reduce the amount of fizzy drinks you consume, stop chewing gum and chew with your mouth closed so that you’re not taking in excess air,” advised the health body.
A person’s stomach bloating can also be a sign of a food intolerance.
The main offenders are wheat or gluten and dairy products.
“The best approach if you have a food intolerance is to eat less of the culprit food or cut it out completely,” said the health site.
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