Feeling bloated is never fun. Your belly might feel so full and tight that it’s hard to move around. It’s enough to make anyone slip into sweatpants and hide out, because who wants to carry around an inflated stomach?
Bloating happens when the stomach is jam-packed with gas. There are countless causes, from swallowing air to constipation or eating certain foods. If you’re menstruating or on medication, bloating can happen, too. Don’t lose hope just yet. Bloat can be banished with easy, simple home remedies. Often, avoiding specific habits will do the trick. Ready to deflate your stomach? Keep these anti-bloat tricks in mind.1 2
1. Chew On Ginger
When it comes to an upset stomach, you can’t go wrong with ginger. It’s a traditional remedy for bloating, burping, nausea, diarrhea, and constipation. The antioxidants in ginger will even protect the digestive system. Enjoy ginger as a tea or capsule. For a quick fix, chew on a fresh thumb-sized piece of ginger.3
2. Eat Papaya
For centuries, papaya has been a go-to remedy for digestion problems. Bloating, constipation, and symptoms of the irritable bowel syndrome will benefit from this tropical fruit. Can’t get your hands on fresh papaya? Brew a cup of papaya leaf tea or take papaya enzyme capsules.4
3. Make Mint Tea
Like ginger, mint is awesome for tummy trouble. This rejuvenating herb relaxes the smooth muscles of the digestive tract, helping gas move out with ease. Nausea and stomach cramps will also take a backseat. Take mint as a tea, capsule, or tincture. Don’t take peppermint if you have gastroesophageal reflux disease because the herb will just make things worse.5 6
4. Add Castor Oil To Ginger Tea
Castor oil doesn’t taste great, but ayurveda dubs it as one of the best remedies for constipation. It doesn’t dry up the colon like other natural laxatives. To make castor oil more bearable, add 1 teaspoon of it to ginger tea.7
5. Avoid Carbonated Drinks
Cut back on fizzy beverages. Those bubbles are full of air, so it only makes sense that your stomach will be full of it, too. The sugar in soda won’t help, either.8
6. Slowly Increase High-Fiber Foods
Fiber is good for the body. But when you eat too much too fast, gas and bloating are likely. Avoid the problem by gradually increasing fiber intake over time. Beans and lentils are common offenders. However, fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, so increase your intake slowly.
7. Avoid Chewing Gum
Chewing gum will also bring on bloating. Every time you chew, air sneaks in. Limit the risk of bloating by eating mints instead.9
8. Avoid Dairy
Does dairy make you swell up? You probably have lactose intolerance, just like 65% of the population. It develops when you don’t have the enzyme that breaks down lactose, the sugar in milk. Additional symptoms include diarrhea, gas, nausea, and pain are also common. If you’re lactose intolerant, you’ll feel uncomfortable 30 minutes to 2 hours after eating dairy.10
9. Eat Your Food Slowly
Eating too fast is a fool-proof way to swallow lots of air. This will fill up your belly, but not in a good way! It’s also a good idea to avoid talking while eating, a childhood rule that still applies today. Pay attention to the foods that bother you. If needed, keep a food log to pinpoint the offenders.
Do you have pain, vomiting, heartburn, or weight loss? Are your stools dark or have blood? Talk to your doctor as soon as possible, because a bigger problem might be causing your bloat.
|↑1||Symptoms & Causes of Gas in the Digestive Tract. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.|
|↑2, ↑9||Abdominal bloating. MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine.|
|↑3||Haniadka, Raghavendra, Elroy Saldanha, Venkatesh Sunita, Princy L. Palatty, Raja Fayad, and Manjeshwar Shrinath Baliga. “A review of the gastroprotective effects of ginger (Zingiber officinale Roscoe).” Food & Function 4, no. 6 (2013): 845-855.|
|↑4||Muss, Claus, Wilhelm Mosgoeller, and Thomas Endler. “Papaya preparation (Caricol®) in digestive disorders.” Neuroendocrinology letters 34, no. 1 (2013): 38-46.|
|↑5||Babaeian, Mahmoud, Mohsen Naseri, Mohammad Kamalinejad, Farzaneh Ghaffari, Fatemeh Emadi, Awat Feizi, Nafiseh Hosseini Yekta, and Peyman Adibi. “Herbal remedies for functional dyspepsia and traditional Iranian Medicine perspective.” Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal 17, no. 11 (2015).|
|↑6||Peppermint. University of Maryland Medical Center.|
|↑7||Frawley, David. Ayurvedic healing: a comprehensive guide. Lotus Press, 2000.|
|↑8||Eating, Diet, & Nutrition for Gas in the Digestive Tract. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.|
|↑10||Lactose Intolerance. U.S. National Library of Medicine.|