Reducing certain foods, improving eating habits, stopping smoking and taking probiotics can all reduce stomach bloating.
Many people experience excessive gas and bloating in the abdomen.
It is felt as an uncomfortable feeling, puffiness and a stretched tummy.
Flatulence is mostly related to excess air formed in the upper digestive tract.
This issue is affected by what and how we eat and drink.
For instance, talking while chewing food, drinking and eating too quickly, fizzy drinks and smoking and chewing gum, can all cause stomach bloating and flatulence.
Your body posture or changes in position might be another factor that causes bloating and flatulence.
Poor habits such as eating in a rush or under stress are the other lifestyle factors that cause stomach bloating.
Here are some tips to reduce stomach discomfort and pain:
1. Try to reduce or remove certain foods from your diet
Legumes, such as beans, are nutrient dense and high in fibre but they are difficult to digest and can cause gas.
Some cooking techniques can reduce the number of indigestible starches in legumes and so help to reduce the bloating and pain.
2. Give up smoking
Smoking or using e-cigarettes causes the swallowing of more air so and so more gas and discomfort
3. Improve eating habits
Eating smaller portion sizes and drinking or chewing slowly are useful behaviours in reducing abdominal discomfort.
Body posture may also influence stomach bloating.
One study has suggested that gas moves quicker in the upright position than supine.
So if you want to avoid bloating stand up.
4. Take probiotics and digestive enzymes
Some people need Lactase enzyme to help breaking down lactose when consuming milk and its byproducts.
Charcoal can also be helpful as it attaches to the gases and reduces bloating.
About the author
Mina Dean is a Nutritionist and Food Scientist. She holds a BSc in Human Nutrition and an MSc in Food Science.
The study was published in the journal Gut (Dainese et al., 2003)