Bloating: Causes and Natural Ways to CureLuke Coutinho
Are you the one who wakes up to a huge round belly and a puffy face in the morning that soon settles down towards mid-day and come evening ,you regain the puffiness once again ? And just because of how you felt in the morning, you have cursed yourself all day long and even punished your body by getting on a starvation diet ?
Well, what if you are not fat , but just bloated ?
Most of us tend to confuse between the two . There is a huge difference between being fat and being bloated . Fat is the accumulation of fat cells in the body due to improper diet , lack of activity , inadequate sleep and stress . Bloating on the other hand is experienced due to the accumulation of either a lot of fluids or gasses within the body .
Why does body retain water in the first place ? Human body is largely made up of water ( almost 75-80% ) . Water or fluid retention is related with the circulatory system , interstitial spaces between cells or within the tissues . The main factor that triggers water retention is a wrong LIFESTYLE.
- If you find yourself sitting at one place for prolonged periods of time , you are inviting water retention because of poor circulation and pooling of blood in a specific area . This is commonly seen in senior citizens who do not move often and thus notice puffiness in their feet , legs and thighs which fades away even with a few minutes of assisted movement .
- Overuse of medicines like Chemotherapy drugs , Beta blockers , Antidepressants and NSAIDS cause water retention as a side effect . While most may be necessary, its also important to parallely work with your doctor to change your lifestyle so that you can gradually taper off medications.
- Lack of sleep leading to hormonal imbalance. Women just around the beginning of their monthly cycle may also experience water retention because of the sheer drop in estrogen levels and rise in progesterone levels
- Chronic stress , emotional imbalance , emotional internalisation .
- Exceeding daily limit of salt intake by eating processed foods . Sodium is an important mineral that has the tendency to bind to water molecules on order to carry about various bodily processes . The problem occurs when there is too much sodium in food that overrides the in-built mechanism to guard against the effects of excess levels of sodium . Every gram of sodium matters because each gram retains extra water to balance itself as a molecule .
- High intake of sugar and other junk foods . Processed carbs spike up sugar levels that our pancreas works hard toward bringing it down by producing more insulin . High insulin levels is directed co-related with retaining more sodium and thus more water retention .
- Medical conditions like a sluggish liver ( alcoholic as well as non-alcoholic fatty liver ) , poor kidney health , weak heart health are all links to water retention too . Kidneys act as Na-K pumps ( sodium potassium pumps ) and that plays a crucial role in maintain the fluid balance .
Ways to beat the bloat ? Popping diuretics like lasix is not the solution as it can compromise the health of our kidneys in the long run and create imbalance in normal levels of electrolytes which are vital to the heart, kidney and liver function. If the root cause is lifestyle , then the solution should revolve around lifestyle too .
Movement aids circulation and circulation acts as a natural drainage system . Be active outside of your one hour workout . Set a goal of 10,000 steps each day . Find every opportunity to move after every 45 mins .
- Lay off the salt
One meal at the restaurant and you end up overexceeding your daily salt intake limit ie 1 tsp or 2300 mg salt in total and end up feeling bloated , puffy , heavy , lethargic . At the same time , it doesn’t mean we go salt-free . Salt free is detrimental to health as it puts our organs into a terrible situation . Sodium as mentioned earlier is required for various bodily functions like electrolyte balance , maintaining blood volume and electrical conductivity .
This powerful mineral is responsible for carrying out 300 +enzymatic functions including balancing the right amount of Sodium . The higher the levels of magnesium in the body lesser the sodium levels . Almonds , banana , whole grains and cacao nibs are some of the best sources
- Vitamin B6
This is especially for women in their menstrual cycle as it helps maintain the estrogen-progesterone balance . Banana , potatoes , walnuts gives sufficient B6 to combat bloating .
Even a combination of black sesame seeds and jaggery is known to reduce menstruation related bloating.
Just like Magnesium , potassium balances excess sodium. Bananas , tomatoes , avocadoes , nuts , seeds are some of the potassium rich sources .
Dehydration actually makes our body hold on to water, just like it does with fat , hence adequate hydration is a must to flush out the excess water . Take it a notch up and even add a slice of lemon to it as its high in potassium and can relieve bloating .
Quick remedies :
- Natural foods like parsely , coriander work as fantastic natural diuretics , Take about 250 gm of each and keep boiling them in water till it loses its colour . Strain the yellowish liquid and keep sipping on it all day .
- Boil a tbsp of fennel seeds and a tsp of bishops weed in 4 cups of water , reduce it to half , strain and sip
- Boil 3 tbsp of pearl barley in 3 cups of water , reduce it to half , squeeze some lemon juice .
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