Stomach bloating: Prevent trapped wind with diet and lifestyle changes


Stomach bloating has affected most people at some point in their lifetime, according to the NHS.

The condition, which may be a sign of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), can make the stomach feel puffy or swollen.

It could be caused by eating certain foods – including beans or onions – or by swallowing air.

You could lower your risk of stomach bloating or trapped wind with these six tips.

Stomach bacteria

‘Good’ bacteria in the stomach may help to prevent feeling bloated, according to dietitian Helen Bond.

Eating prebiotic foods to your diet can encourage the ‘good’ bacteria to flourish in your tummy.

“Fill up on prebiotic foods, such as wholegrains [wholegrain bread, oats, brown rice and pasta], leeks, Jerusalem artichokes, chicory, onions, garlic and bananas,” said Bond.

“We can’t digest these, so they arrive in our gut intact and provide a feast for the billions of friendly little helpers living in our gut – feeding, stimulating and supporting their growth.

“You could also take a high quality daily probiotic supplement, like ProVen Probiotics Adult Acidophilus and Bifidus – 25 billion.”

Eat regular meals

Regularly eating three meals a day is crucial to avoiding bloating pain.

“Aim to have breakfast, lunch and dinner, without leaving long gaps between meals or eating late at night, and take time to enjoy these eating occasions, chewing your food well,” said the dietitian.

“Skipping meals and eating quickly can aggravate any digestive discomfort you may have.”

Vegetables

One of the best ways to avoid trapped wind is to make sure you eat enough vegetables, said Bond.

They’re full of vitamins and minerals, and will boost the amount of fibre for good bacteria to feed on.

“But be careful of ‘windy’ veg, like Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, beans and pulses if you suffer from bloating and wind.”

Cut back on caffeine

“Caffeine is a stimulant, so it’s great for waking us up in the morning, but it can also affect our gut health.

“If caffeine upsets your gut, monitor your caffeine consumption and limit your intake of caffeine-containing drinks, such as coffee and tea to no more than two mugs [three cups] a day.”

Plate size

The more food on your plate, the more likely you are to eat more than you need to.

Having a particularly large meal is one of the risk factors for stomach bloating.

“Not only could this change benefit your waistline, but also when you overindulge with a gigantic sized meal, it can put a huge strain on your digestive system, leaving you feeling bloated and uncomfortable.”

Cut back on fat

Eating too much fatty foods can slow down how quickly the stomach empties, said Bond.

“That’s why you can feel uncomfortable after eating a large greasy Chinese takeaway.

“As a guideline, foods that contain more than 17.5g of fat per 100g are considered to be ‘high fat’ and foods that contain less than 3g of fat or less per 100g are considered to be a ‘low fat’ food.”



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