If you’ve been experiencing some pretty out-of-whack digestion over the last year and a half, you’re certainly not alone. While gut health has always been top of mind at mbg, we’ve been paying extra close attention to the topic as of late. One specific issue we honed in on was frustrating bloat. Too much gas in your belly can be caused by any number of triggers—from irritable foods (hello, beans) to gut microbiome imbalance. Luckily, there are plenty of expert-backed strategies to help address the problem. Here, a few pieces of top-notch bloating advice we received from experts:
Add micronutrient-rich foods to your diet.
On the mbg podcast, Kellyann Petrucci, M.S., N.D., leading naturopathic physician, nutritionist, and renowned inflammation expert, explained eating certain foods can actually help reduce your bloat. In order to fit her criteria, the food must support the gut, have anti-inflammatory properties, and aid your body in metabolizing foods. Her top bloat-fighting picks include avocados, salmon, berries, and lemon.
Take a high-quality probiotic supplement.*
Four targeted strains to beat bloating and support regularity.*
When it comes to keeping bloat at bay, maintaining a healthy gut microbiome is key.* As integrative medicine doctor Amy Shah, M.D., previously told mbg: “Bloating is caused by an imbalance of good-to-bad bacteria in your gut,” which means, if you have more of the “bad” gas-producing bacterial strains, it can lead to more trapped gas in your gut.
Shah suggests adding a probiotic supplement to your routine: “Research shows that taking probiotics on a regular basis can support a healthy microbial balance in the gut, which can prevent or alleviate bloating.”* Research indicates that certain strains of probiotics can relieve gas and bloating—such as Bifidobacterium lactis HN019, Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07, and Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM—so go for a targeted supplement to promote digestive ease and comfort.*
Practice mindfulness in what and how you eat.
A little bit of mindfulness can go a long way when it comes to reducing bloat. Vincent M. Pedre, M.D., told mbg in June that he encourages his patients to slow down while they eat. “So many of us are conditioned to speed through meals, eat while working, and not give mealtime its due consideration,” he says. “Instead, try to be mindful during meals—it might help to start off with deep breaths, prayer, gratitude, or whatever helps you be more present while you eat.”
What’s more, he notes it’s important to be mindful of how certain foods affect your body. If you’re dealing with persistent bloat, he recommends keeping a food journal to help pinpoint the problem. “This is an important step in developing food-gut intuition—your ability to tell which foods disagree with you and which ones lead to a happy gut.”
Go for veggies that don’t increase bloat.
While cruciferous veggies are packed with important nutrients and anti-inflammatory benefits, they can also lead to occasional bloat. On the mbg podcast, nutritionist Kelly LeVeque shared some alternative options to add to your diet, like a nice mix including “half mixed greens and, half arugula, add radish.” Other options to consider: watercress and bok choy.
How you fuel your body matters, but staying active is also key to reducing uncomfortable gas buildup.
“A short walk after a meal supports optimal digestion,” Abby Cannon, J.D., R.D., CDN, previously told mbg. That’s because physically moving your body after a meal can help food travel more quickly through your system, which allows you to avoid that heavy, bloated feeling.