How to heal your gut | 4 Hacks to Get Rid of Bloating & Digestive Problems
Bloating is something that affects us all occasionally, particularly after a hefty Sunday Roast. However, if an uncomfortable distended belly is a common occurrence in your life, despite the size of your meals, it’s your body trying to tell you that something’s not quite right.
There are lots of reasons you may be experiencing bloating such as allergies and food intolerances, lack of digestive enzymes, gut dysbiosis, eating inflammatory foods, medications, hormonal imbalances, leaky gut and stress.
The good news is; your gut will look after you if you look after it. Recovering from gut problems means adopting a diet that’s gentle on the stomach, nourishes the entire body, and doesn’t create additional toxicity.
Keep reading for my favourite tips to heal your gut and beat bloating.
Cut out problem foods
If you find yourself feeling bloated regularly after eating, it’s a good idea to avoid foods that are known to cause gas. Cut down on fizzy drinks, beans, lentils, onions, cabbage, broccoli, sprouts, cauliflower, and turnips.
Eliminate sugar and “sugar-free” foods and drinks with artificial sweeteners such as sorbitol, maltitol and aspartame completely. We are unable to digest these fully, which results in gas, bloating and discomfort.
Food intolerances are a common cause of bloating, with the most problematic foods being wheat, gluten and dairy. Try to cut these out completely. Doing an elimination diet and then introducing foods slowly one by one can help you pinpoint your unique intolerances or sensitivities.
Try soaking beans before cooking and lightly cooking vegetables before eating to reduce gas. Alternatively, you can invest in a food intolerance or microbiome test which should give you valuable personalised insights on how to improve your gut health.
Repair the gut lining with:
When the gut lining of your intestinal wall becomes compromised from unhealthy foods, stress, antibiotics and medications, toxins are able to pass through into the bloodstream, causing inflammation, food intolerances and digestive symptoms such as bloating. Once you’ve cut out problem foods, there are a few things that you can do to help restore your gut.
Bone broth, also known as “stock” is loaded with nutrients, amino acids and is rich in collagen and gelatin, which help to repair the gut lining and reduce inflammation caused by food sensitivities. It’s easy to incorporate into your daily routine and is incredibly soothing and tasty. Drink up.
Since collagen is a natural component of the gut's lining, it can do wonders for repairing it. Bovine collagen is my all-time favourite because it’s rich in the essential amino acids proline, hydroxyproline and glycine. Together these compounds work to restore the gut lining, promote healthy inflammatory processes and also increase stomach acid levels, thus improving overall digestion and soothing any discomfort.
Collagen was instrumental in my gut healing journey, that’s why I put out my own version of the absolute best high-quality grass-fed and hydrolysed collagen peptide powder. Hydrolysed collagen (peptides) is easier on your digestive system, so you’re less likely to become bloated or experience other forms of stomach discomfort. And did I mention it will make your hair and nails grow like crazy? Check out my Collagen Peptides for a healthy gut and luscious hair here.
Molkosan & aloe vera juice
Molkosan is a liquid made from whey that’s is rich in lactic acid. With the support of aloe vera, it supports the growth of good gut bacteria. I personally swear by this combo for bloating and healing your gut, I take 1-2 capfuls of molkosan and 3-5 capfuls of aloe vera every morning. I go into more detail in my book It’s Not A Diet.
Get some help with digesting your food
Digestive enzymes are proteins that help you digest food. They help your body break down fats, proteins, and carbohydrates so that they can be readily absorbed and used by the body. If your body isn’t making enough enzymes to break down the food that you eat, it can lead to malabsorption and…you guess it, bloating, farting and all the other pleasantries that come along with it. Look for a full-spectrum digestive enzyme product, if you can find one containing ox bile, even better! Take a digestive enzyme before every meal and feel the difference of improved digestion almost immediately
Support your gut microbiome
Your gut is home to trillions of microorganisms – bacteria, fungi and viruses that play a role in maintaining the health of your immune system, hormones, heart, mind and gut. These critters are responsible for breaking down food and sending signals to our brain and vice versa. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that the state of your microbiome has a great impact on your overall physical and mental health.
Research shows that people who have allergies and food sensitivities typically have abnormal gut microbiome profiles. In order to heal your gut, it’s important to support the growth of a diverse range of gut bugs. Increase your intake of gut-friendly fermented foods like kombucha, kefir, yoghurt, kimchi and sauerkraut. Not everyone gets on well with these foods, so start with a small amount and see how you react. Make sure to also consume a varied diet of whole foods, vegetables, salads, herbs and spices on a daily basis to support the growth of good gut bacteria.
Practice time-restricted eating
Much like yourself, your gut and its resident microbes like to have a rest in order to function at their best. If you’re snacking all the time, your gut and microbes don’t get a chance to recover and clean up undigested food and damaged cells. Time-restricted eating gives your body a break and the opportunity to restore and cleanse waste from the body. It’s as easy as not eating a minimum of 4 hours before bedtime and having breakfast 1-2 hours after you wake up, giving your body a 12-hour break from digestion.
If you suffer from bloating and digestive problems then you know just how uncomfortable they can be and how much they can affect your mood, overall health and quality of life. Fortunately, with a better understanding of how your body works and support from good habits and a varied diet, you can nurse your tummy back to better health and freedom from the dreaded food-baby.