1/ Avoid fizzy drinks
The gas in fizzy drinks is directly absorbed and stored in the gut, hence the unpleasant feeling of a swollen, bloated stomach.
Stick to still water and have as few fizzy drinks as possible.
2/ Vary your sources of fibre
Fibre is important for intestinal transit and actively contributes to health and well-being, but when too much fibre is eaten or it is poorly tolerated, it can lead to digestive problems and flatulence.
Eat both raw and cooked vegetables in the same meal and mix soluble fibre (carrots, courgettes, rye bread, buckwheat, oranges …) with insoluble fibre (whole wheat and its derivatives, dried fruit, pulses …).
3/ Restrict consumption of FODMAPS
FODMAPS are usually short-chain carbohydrates (sugars such as fructose or sorbitol) which are present in many foods (cereals, fruit, vegetables, dairy products …) and which cause gut disorders, especially bloating.
Reduce your intake of FODMAP-rich foods such as apricots, raw beetroot, asparagus, cauliflower, chickpeas, dried fruit, onions and rye…
4/ Choose your dairy products carefully
Lactose, a sugar present in milk, is not easily digested and can produce fermentation in sensitive individuals which can result in bloating.
Replace cow’s milk with a lactose-free, plant-source milk (rice, soya…) Avoid yogurt and whole milk and space out your consumption of cheese and other dairy products.
5/ Eat fennel
Fennel is able to block the process of fermentation and thus prevent the formation of gas. It is also an excellent aid for slow transit.
Prepare the fennel in different ways (raw - sliced finely, steamed, in a compote, braised …) so that you include it in your diet regularly.
6/ Opt for plants and herbs
Certain plants have known digestive properties and can help in maintaining a flat stomach (see also our article on slimming plants). This is so for sage, angelica and dandelion.
Teas are a good option here. You can also consume several of these plants together (in capsule form, for example) as a treatment.
7/ Forget the chewing-gum
Chewing gum makes air enter the stomach (the digestive system is then ‘running on empty’) and causes bloating.
Instead of chewing gum, suck a sugar-free mint sweet.
8/ Try activated charcoal
Activated charcoal (available from pharmacies or over-the-counter) is able to absorb gas and reduce fermentation.
Follow the doses recommended on product packs. But be aware that activated charcoal cancels out the effects of certain drugs and oral contraceptives.
9/ Identify your trigger foods
Is it pulses, sugar, fibre? Though it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what it is you’re most sensitive to and what’s causing that bloated feeling, it’s best to target your trigger foods.
Make a note of what you eat, and that way you’ll be able to identify those foods that cause you problems. Cut these foods out for three days and see what happens.
10/ Chew well!
Mastication plays an important role in digestion. You should chew slowly and thoroughly to help the digestive system do its job properly. In addition, try not swallow too much air while you’re chewing – so don’t speak while you’re eating!
Put your fork down between each mouthful, chew slowly and take a moment to savour your food. As a guide, it should take you at least 20 minutes to eat a complete meal.
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