Bloating is an issue many people deal with on a regular basis. It can be uncomfortable, inconvenient, and even embarrassing. Luckily there are plenty of supplements that can help ease the discomfort of this common issue.
Bloating is usually caused by diet and exercise level, but within those two categories are several causes. According to Dr. William Hasler, there are five major causes:
While these five causes cover most bloating cases, there are still other causes, including menstruation and reactions to certain medications. Fortunately there are many ways to help reduce bloating naturally. If, however, you experience frequent bloating and your body does not respond to these options, it is best to see your healthcare provider. Although generally benign, chronic bloating and intestinal pain can be symptoms of a more serious problem.
Peppermint oil has been a long held home remedy for a number of intestinal issues, including bloating. Peppermint oil can be added to tea or taken on its own. Its pleasant, minty smell and taste make it an easy addition to any diet. Peppermint helps relax the muscles in your stomach, which can aid with slow digestion or bloating caused by irritation in the bowels. In fact, peppermint oil is commonly used for this issue. There is also nothing to suggest that peppermint interferes with other medications or birth control. If you do experience heartburn from time to time you should use caution with peppermint as it may make it worse. If taking peppermint as a supplement, making sure it is enteric coated can help the oil get to the intestines instead of the stomach.
Just like peppermint, ginger is a carminative. Carminatives are herbs that help indigestion in a number of ways. Ginger can almost be called a very light laxative. It decreases pressure on the intestinal tract and helps move food through the small and large intestine. It can help our bodies process food more efficiently, helping us avoid constipation. Ginger, therefore, can help with relieving bloating and other intestinal discomfort.
Probiotics are a key component of overall gut health. They are the healthy bacteria that live in your body. These miracle microbes help break food down, allowing our bodies to absorb more of the nutrients in the foods we eat. When there are not enough of these probiotics available, your body may experience bloating and other intestinal issues. Probiotics are most helpful to people who are experiencing bloating due to a carb intolerance. They produce digestive enzymes that help break carbs down and make them more manageable for our digestive systems.
Chamomile has a long and storied history when it comes to health benefits. It has been noted for its medicinal properties and makes for a good, natural option to many gastrointestinal issues. Like many of the other carminatives that we’ve talked about, chamomile is good at relaxing the muscles in the digestive tract. It helps with any gassy build-up and even protects the lining of the intestine. Besides being great for regulaing bloating, diarrhea, and nausea, chamomile can also aid in optimizing digestive health.
L-Glutamine is an amino acid. Amino acids are nutrients that are produced by the body that help with the breakdown of nutrients. They are often found in high-protein foods. L-Glutamine is particularly good for our digestive tract because it helps rebuild and maintain the cells in the large and small intestine. This can help reduce gas and bloating.
Psyllium husk is a commonly used fiber source that can be ground up and consumed. Like other fiber sources, Psyllium husk helps with bloating by supporting bowel movements and keeps obstructions from occurring. Psyllium husk is a bit more gentle than other fiber sources and can be taken every day. It’s important to drink plenty of water when taking any kind of extra fiber. Not staying hydrated can result in even more bloating or constipation.
Cinnamon has been a commonly used spice for thousands of years. It is a popular addition to baking, cooking, and even wellness regimes. Cinnamon is known for having many beneficial properties, including contributing to managing cholesterol levels, being anti-parasitic, and (most importantly for people dealing with bloating) containing high levels of polyphenols. Polyphenols are found in plant based foods, herbs, and spices. They support digestive health by acting as a prebiotic and supporting gut bacteria. This means that cinnamon can calm the digestive tract in much the same way chamomile and ginger do. Aside from being good for you, cinnamon can be easily added to many foods.
Vitamin D is known as the sun vitamin because sunlight helps our bodies convert nutrients into this essential vitamin. People who live in areas that stay overcast for long periods of time are often missing this nutrient. It’s produced by skin cells, sunlight, and some foods. Foods with vitamin D in them are few and far between, so many people lack the appropriate amount of it. If you’re not getting enough vitamin D, a vitamin D deficiency could be the cause of gas and gas-related bloating. In fact, one study showed that people who increased their levels of vitamin D had fewer gastrointestinal issues overall.