Beat the Boxing Day Bloat

Feeling gassy, puffy, and just plain bloated after Christmas? To help you feel better fast check out these smart ways to beat Boxing Day bloat:

  • Drink up: Boosting your water intake can work wonders. Skip the soft fizzy drinks and aim for 6 to 8 glasses on Boxing Day. Water flushes waste out of your system and helps get things moving if you’re constipated—a frequent cause of bloating.
  • Eat more fibre: Fibre prevents constipation and bloating by adding bulk, which helps everything move through the intestines more quickly. To fix the fibre shortage, start your boxing day with an oat cereal like porridge. Throughout the day, snack on other high-fibre foods like strawberries, blueberries, dried apricots, and dried plums. Take it easy though and don’t overload on fibre like bran or you’ll feel even more bloated than before.
  • Cut back on gassy foods: Seasonal beans and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, sprouts and cabbage can sometimes be hard to digest and because of this they can trigger bloating and smelly flatulence. But you don’t have to give them up entirely on Boxing Day, as they are full of good nutrients for you. Instead, eat just a smaller amount of these foods for the next few days. Once your body adjusts to them, you can gradually increase the serving size over the course of a few weeks.
  • Get moving: Even a quick ten-minute walk can relieve bloating so get some much needed fresh air after all that time spent indoors partying. Exercise helps gas pass through the digestive tract more quickly, so you feel better faster. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. One big cause of bloating is swallowing too much air when you eat. For example, you might gulp air if you snack on the run and eat too quickly, talk while eating, drink from a straw, or have a lot of fizzy drinks. You’ve probably done a lot of talking and eating over the last few days, but for today force yourself to take more time for meals, skip carbonated drinks, and eat smaller amounts of food at each sitting. One of the easiest ways to reduce the amount of air you swallow: Chew with your mouth closed.
  • Olive oil: If you feel constipated today, another cause of bloating, take two tablespoons of olive oil, preferably first thing Boxing Day morning on an empty stomach. Olive oil can help reduce constipation and bloating because it is very well tolerated by the stomach due to its high oleic acid content.
  • Cut out salt, alcohol and caffeine completely for a day: Salty food, such as processed and ready meals, causes you to retain water which often concentrates around your mid-section. Caffeine hinders the secretion of excess salt and toxins from the body. And alcohol unsettles your blood sugar which can trigger bloating and abdominal weight gain. Cut out all three today and eat fresh, natural foods instead.
  • Keep your digestion healthy: It’s tempting to skip food altogether on Boxing Day because you feel so stuffed, but this is last thing you should be doing. It will just make you feel worse. If you leave your stomach empty for long periods of time the secretion of digestive enzymes slows down which triggers, you guessed it, bloating.
  • Herbal teas: Peppermint tea may help your digestion if you have problems. You might also want to settle down with the odd cup of fennel tea. Just brew a tablespoon or so of fennel in a tea strainer and drink several cups a day. Fennel tastes like liquorice and has anti-gas as well as anti-spasmodic properties, making it especially helpful for bloating. If you haven’t stocked up on herbal tea over Christmas try a cup of warm water with lemon instead.

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