Digestive Health: Eat to Ease Bloating

If an uncomfortable bloating sensation has you wanting to loosen your belt a notch or two, chances are you need to eat more, not less —more fiber, that is. A slow-moving digestive system can result in bloating and irregularity, but you can help get yours moving and ease discomfort by adding fiber to your diet. [1,2]

One of fiber’s multiple health benefits is the way it helps maintain a healthy digestive system. [1]Lucky for you, high-fiber foods also happen to be full of flavor. Consider starting your day with a nutritious morning meal that includes a high-fiber breakfast cereal (at least 5 grams of fiber per serving) [3] and fruit. [3] This power duo ensures you’re getting both soluble and insoluble fiber. [3,5]  Studies show that having both at once is better for maintaining regularity because they work in concert with one another. [3,5]Ingredients to look for on your cereal box are wheat bran(insoluble) [3,4,5] and psyllium(soluble).[3,4,5]Later in the day, choose dishes like barley or bean soup or a salad with pears, or reach for foods such as barley, peas and citrus fruits. [3] (Take care when adding fiber to your diet, though, as adding too much, too quickly has the potential to worsen bloating. Introduce new fiber-rich foods one at a time.) [3]

Sources:

1. Mayo Clinic: Aging: What to Expect

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/aging/HA00040

2. UNC Center for Functional GI & Motility Disorders

https://www.med.unc.edu/ibs/files/educational-gi-handouts/Abdominal%20Bloating.pdf

3. Mayo Clinic: Dietary Fiber: Essential for a healthy diet

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/fiber/NU00033

4. University of Maryland Medical Center: Fiber

http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/fiber-000303.htm

5. Vuksan V, Jenkins AL, Jenkins DJ, Rogovik AL, Sievenpiper JL, Jovanovski E.

Using cereal to increase dietary fiber intake to the recommended level and the effect of fiber on bowel function in healthy persons consuming North American diets.

Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Nov;88(5):1256-62.

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/88/5/1256.full.pdf+html

by the Publishers of Prevention