Bigger From Dawn To Dusk: Natural Remedies For Bloating

Does this sound familiar? You wake in the morning feeling great with a nice flat belly, but by the evening your gut is swollen and aching, or at the very least uncomfortable and tight? Is bloating a problem for you? It is for many people. Chances are if you answered ‘yes’ then you’re probably a woman, with about one in three women experiencing abdominal bloating. But,while bloating is more common for women it’s also a problem for many men. For some unlucky people, bloating is a constant and serious problem. However, there are many natural remedies for bloating.

By the evening your gut is swollen and aching
By the evening your gut is swollen and aching

 

CAUSES OF BLOATING

There are many causes of bloating. Sometimes it’s simply the result of overeating. But if it happens regularly it could be due to any of the following:

  • Food allergies
  • Food intolerance
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Constipation
  • Gas-producing foods
  • Swallowing air (aerophagia)
  • Intestinal parasites
  • Menstruation, period pain, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Diverticulosis, Splenic-Flexure Syndrome, partial bowel obstruction
  • Visceral fat

After eating or drinking gases are produced in the colon. Normally they move through the gut where they’re mostly absorbed or they’re passed out of the body. But if the gas gets trapped along the way then discomfort and distension occurs. Sometimes bloating can be so severe that it makes you suddenly look pregnant.

 

STRESS AND BLOATING

A big problem and sometimes the cause of bloating is STRESS. When you’re stressed your gut doesn’t work properly. When your body goes into ‘fight or flight mode’ the digestive system closes down. If you’re living with ongoing stress your body stays in a prolonged state of ‘high alert’, as do all the digestive repercussions.

If you can’t remove the stress from your life then you need to introduce practices to break the stressful state apart. These practices could include yoga, meditation, walking the labyrinth, deep breathing, tai chi, exercise, relaxing music, walking. In fact whatever it is that relaxes and calms you will create the result you want.

Importantly you need to make the commitment to continue the activity on a regular basis.

 

HORMONES AND BLOATING

Bloating can be the result of gynaecological problems and often related to the hormonal cycle. Together with constipation it’s often worse right before periods when hormonal activity is high. HRT can also contribute to bloating in older women.

Isolating the offending cause of bloating can become further complicated when something as seemingly innocuous as calcium supplements may cause bloating in some people. The range of causes can be diverse and a complicated mix from a number of different sources.

 

FOODS AND BLOATING

Foods often cause bloating, with food intolerance probably being the biggest cause. Food intolerance is often very difficult to identify, especially if there;s more than one single food involved. Symptoms don’t always show up immediately after eating the food and may take days to become evident.

Problem Foods For Bloating

Problem foods often come from these groups:

  • Vegetables – Onions and garlic, and brassicas (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale)
  • Dairy foods – milk, cheese, ice-cream, and foods containing milk solids
  • Grains – wheat, corn (including popcorn)
  • Fruits – such as apples, peaches and pears
  • Sweets – hard candy, chewing gum
  • Highly spiced foods
  • Alcohol
  • Carbonated drinks and champagne

Processed foods are high in bloating-promoting ingredients and can lead to bloating. Fructose, one such ingredient, is often added to processed foods.

Fructose intolerance is a problem affecting more and more people. The FODMAP diet can really help those with fructose intolerance. However it needs to be done under the supervision of a practitioner as it varies a little from one individual to another and can be very complicated to put together.

Salt can be a problem, particularly in highly processed foods as it can cause or worsen bloating and water retention. It’s far better to avoid processed foods and to use other seasonings in your cooking.

 

It looks tasty but broccoli, milk and wheat could all be causing your blaoting
It looks tasty but broccoli, milk and wheat could all be causing your blaoting

 

PROBLEM FOODS FOR BLOATING

Gluten, lactose and fructose intolerance are the three most common  causes of bloating in my clients. If you believe one of these is behind your problem eliminate it completely for a week and watch the effect. But these ingredients are often hidden, for instance gluten is present in many medications.

Lactose, sorbitol and wheat as well as vegetables like cabbage, broccoli and onions can cause increased gas production. But the underlying problem is usually that your digestive tract isn’t contracting properly. When this occurs gas gets trapped in the digestive tract and leads to gurgling and bloating.

Avoiding problem foods helps lessen symptoms. But in the long term it’s better to fix the problem at a deeper level and that’s where natural remedies for bloating can help.

 

NATURAL REMEDIES FOR BLOATING

Homeopathy

There are a number of Homeopathic remedies that stimulate the gut so it starts contracting properly and then keeps on working efficiently. Using homeopathy for bloating is a bit like a ‘re-training’ for the gastrointestinal tract.

There are pre-mixed homeopathic remedies for general gut issues. However you’ll get best results under the care of a fully trained  Homeopath who’ll select a remedy to match your specific symptoms. Homeopathic remedies should be selected and taken according to homeopathic prescribing guidelines.

Herbs

Herbs are another natural option that can help bloating. Peppermint is well-known for its soothing effect on the digestive system. However it’s not great for everybody. While it works like a treat for many people about 40% actually experience a worsening of their symptoms and so are better avoiding peppermint altogether. Other mints are also helpful.

Ginger is another good digestive herb that might help you.

Fennel Seeds
Fennel Seeds

Fennel is probably the most effective herbal digestive aid and relieves gas magnificently as well as reducing bloating and cramps. Either chew fennel seeds or drink fennel tea.

Teas are one of the easiest and best ways to take herbs at home. You can make your own herbal teas or buy one ready blended containing fennel. Select a brand that specialises in therapeutic herbal teas.

It is easy to make your own Fennel Tea, simply crush one teaspoon of fennel seeds and add to a cup of water. Bring to the boil, cover and steep for ten to fifteen minutes. Cool and strain. Drink two to three cups each day.

Try the herbal tea out and if you don’t get a positive response try a different herb instead. My favourite digestive tea contains cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, clove, peppercorn and spearmint amongst other ingredients, which are all digestive aids.

Supplements

Taking probiotics, bifidus and acidopholus, can be helpful. They repopulate your gut with ‘good bacteria’. They help redress the imbalance between ‘good’ and ‘bad bacteria’ that often accompanies bloating. Look for a reputable brand from your health food shop, one that is for ‘practitioner dispensing only’ is the better choice.

There can be insufficient enzymes in the small intestine. In this case Digestive Enzymes can be a great help in breaking down the gas-forming foods. They are available over the counter.

Activated charcoal can help to relieve gas and bloating. Take it before and after meals. But don’t use it if you’re taking the contraceptive pill or other medications and don’t use it long term.

Essential Oils

Essential Oils are great for symptoms due to stress. Choose from peppermint, orange, rose, cinnamon and basil oils.  Alternatively buy a stress-relieving or balancing blend from your health food shop.

 

EXERCISE FOR BLOATING

Certain exercises can help when the pain of bloating is really bad.

  • Rolling a soft ball over your abdomen can help move the gas along the digestive tract.
  • Lie on your back and hug one leg to your chest while keeping the other flat on the floor. Hold for the count of 20. Then repeat with the other leg. Doing this at least five times may alleviate symptoms.
  • Five minutes of deep abdominal breathing is one of the best ways to get some relief.  This is a good practice to adopt every day whether you’re bloated or not.

 

YOUR HAPPY GUT CHECK LIST

  1. Maintain a healthy diet, keep regular eating patterns and don’t skip meals. Eat slowly and chew everything well.
  2. Avoid problematic foods from the list above.
  3. Increase your water intake and cut back alcohol which irritates the gut
  4. Replace white wheat bread with different grains such as rye or spelt, or even gluten-free. Broaden the range of grains you consume
  5. Avoid dairy products as many people are actually lactose intolerant
  6. Combat your symptoms with natural remedies
  7. Reduce your stress
  8. Limit sugar intake especially fructose found in fruits and juices

 

 

BLOATING WARNINGS

Persistent chronic bloating can be a symptom of intestinal blockage or more sinister diseases such as ovarian cancer or uterine fibroids. Get checked out by your doctor particularly if you also have unexplained weight loss or gain.

It’s becoming more widely recognised that many serious health problems stem from problems with the gut not functioning well. Keeping your digestive system working happily really is fundamental to maintaining good health.

Natural remedies for bloating are a simple and effective way to get relief

 

Would you love to stay vibrant & healthy beyond your 50’s? Join us to redesign your life and create your personal Wellness Blueprint with the tools you need to upscale your health & wellness in the long term at the Live Life: Love Life: Long Life Wellness Retreat

Bloated green man

Disclaimer.

All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before trying any of the treatment suggested on this site. 

Find The Rainbow Connection With Antioxidants

Rainbow in a wok
Rainbow in a wok

As I tossed my dinner in the wok tonight and marveled at the gorgeous array of colours, I was reminded of how bland the meals that I was served as a child always looked in comparison – always brown meat with some white (potato) and green (peas or beans) and maybe a touch of orange or red. The vegetables changed a little but always seemed to have the same look about them.

The message today in a nutshell is that when you always eat a ‘rainbow’ of fruit and vegetables with a naturally high color intensity you can be sure that you are getting a wide range as well as a good quantity, of antioxidants.

Now, if all you want to know is the ‘what you need to do’ or you are too short of time today, then there you have it, be conscious to always EAT A RAINBOW and you will be sure to get a broad range of nutrients, including antioxidants, to help you combat free radical damage in your body.

But, if you would like to know ‘the why’ and the nitty gritty details, then read on

Cells need oxygen to metabolise vitamins and minerals but when oxygen isn’t metabolized thoroughly it results in extra oxygen molecules hanging round which form free radicals. When you get a sudden rush of free radicals they cause a chain reaction that causes damage to the cells and leads to disease.

The body has its own antioxidant defence system of free radical scavenging enzymes but when there is too much stress put on us from our toxic environment and lifestyle our body gets overwhelmed by free radicals and we get sick. These scavenging enzymes need support from many minerals and vitamins that are not made by the body and must be gained from our food. Unfortunately, because there are so many stresses on the body from our modern world we now need far more antioxidants than were ever needed in the past.

SO WHAT EXACTLY ARE ANTIOXIDANTS?

Antioxidants are substances that remove potentially damaging oxidizing agents in a living organism. They are capable of neutralizing the effects of free radicals before they are able to cause damage in the cells and tissues of your body, and they are found in the form of vitamins, minerals, carotenoids and so on. Antioxidants have protective effects and can lower the risk of diseases such as cancer or heart disease.

Eat a Rainbow
Eat a Rainbow

There are a number of different antioxidants that act in different ways and you can often tell which they are and what they will do by the colour of the food in which they occur.

There are over 4000 compounds with antioxidant properties – here are some of them:

antioxidant

colours

foods

  vitamin C  various oranges, citrus fruits, capsicum, mangos, kiwifruit,  strawberries, blackcurrants
  vitamin E  various avocado, nuts, vegetable oils
  beta-carotene  orange, yellow, green carrots, sweet potato, mangos, apricot, pumpkin,
  anthocyanins  red, blue blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, dark grapes, eggplants
  catechins  tawny, red cocoa, red wine, green tea, chocolate
  cryptoxanthins  orange mangoes, red capsicum, pumpkin
  lycopene  red tomato, watermelon, guava, strawberry, pink grapefruit
  lutein  yellow, green spinach, corn, gold kiwifruit, leafy greens
  flavonoids  various tea, green tea, citrus fruits, apples, red wine
  selenium  white brazil nuts, seafood, sunflower seeds, rice
  isoflavenoids soy products, lentils, milk
  lignans  white seeds, nuts, vegetables, broccoli, kale, wholegrains
  manganese  red, green nuts, berries, shellfish, legumes, leafy greens, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds
  polyphenols  green, red thyme, oregano, rosemary, ginger, red wine
  phenolic acid  various apple, citrus fruit, oats

But these are just some of the foods associated with antioxidants. Some of the best overall sources are berries, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pomegranates and ginger.

AND FREE RADICALS…?

Free radicals are molecules that are produced in our body as a result of our everyday life which cause oxidative stress in the body and basically feed off other cells to survive. In fact your body produces free radicals as a by-product of metabolism. Your body also produces a limited number of antioxidants to neutralize them, but when your body becomes overloaded with free radicals caused by outside stressors it is unable to cope and succumbs to a variety of illnesses. The cells of your immune system are the most likely to suffer damage initially and you may not even notice the effects, but left unchecked eventually the DNA held within the cell will become the target of the free radical damage. DNA acts as the ‘command centre’ of your cells so when it is damaged there can be significant and far-reaching effects.

Free radical damage accelerates the aging process and fosters many diseases including cancer, heart disease, arthritis, atherosclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis, Hypertension, Diabetes, cataracts, macular degeneration, and almost all chronic degenerative diseases. Ultimately the effect of free radicals is to shorten your life.

There are many factors in our life in addition to ageing and basic metabolism that can increase free radicals production.

  • The Western Diet creates a free radical bonanza! It is full of fats, processed foods, pesticides and chemicals, and with an emphasis on meat, dairy foods, sugar, processed ‘white’ grains, coffee and alcohol, that are all excellent free radical promoters. In addition it is deficient in fruits and vegetables, the source of antioxidants.
  • The chlorine in the water we drink results in free radical production
  • The air we breathe is loaded with a multitude of pollutants, including tobacco smoke whether you actually smoke or not. We are surrounded by substances such as lead and asbestos and all these are producing free radicals
  • Fats in the diet, in the form of trans-fats, animal and other forms of fats. Many people consume excess quantities of fat, with it contributing around 30% of western food intake. Simply put, the more fat you eat the more free radicals are produced, and some fats are worse than others
  • Pesticides are big producers of free radicals. They are found in large quantities in animal fat and present a significant free radical source if you are eating a meat-rich diet. These pesticides are stored in your body in fatty tissue. Non-organic fruit and vegetables also carry lots of pesticides
  • Free radical producing chemicals are found in solvents, cleaning products, glue, paint and thinners, as well as perfumes, and even prescription medications.
  • Ionizing radiation from sunlight, X-rays or electro magnetic fields is another source. Body cells are very sensitive to radiation and even very mild exposure will set off the chain reaction within the cell.
  • Even mental stress, including anger and anxiety can increase the presence of free radicals.

So, this is just another reason to get your daily dose of pesticide and chemical-free, antioxidant-rich, RAINBOW of fruit and vegetables! Be conscious of the foods you need and take the time to enjoy the beauty of a colourful diet.

Who doesn’t love Kermit? Enjoy The Rainbow Connection with Kermie.

Disclaimer.

All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before trying any of the treatment suggested on this site. 

 

Source articles:

http://www.healingdaily.com/conditions/free-radicals.htm

http://www.naturaltherapypages.com.au/article/the_power_of_antioxidants#ixzz2HoOfDp34

http://www.naturalnews.com/024710_antioxidants_fruits_antioxidant.html

http://www.naturalnews.com/036992_antioxidants_best_sources_foods.html

No Resolutions To A New Outlook

Just how worthwhile are New Years resolutions when 1st March rolls around?
Just how worthwhile are New Years resolutions when 1st March rolls around?

I woke today, the first day of 2013 to a beautiful warm, sunny summer morning. As I watched from my deck the summer butterflies darted about the parched garden seeking the few open flowers, the surrounding trees were filled with the songs of the lorikeets and magpies, and I began to crystalize my thoughts about the directions I wished to follow in the coming year.

You may call these resolutions, but I have always shied away from using this term. I am not making any resolutions. I hate New Year resolutions. They seem somehow so pointless. I hear people around me making the same resolutions year in and year out – stop smoking, lose weight, exercise more, get a new job, etc, etc and at the end of the year most of their resolutions have fallen by the wayside and they have made no changes in their life.

Do these ring a bell for you? The top 10 resolutions made over the last 10 years have remained the same every year.
Do you recognise yourself in this collection? The most common top 10 resolutions made over the last 10 years have remained the same every year.

New Year Resolutions seems to lock everything into a very narrow field and set up you up firmly and squarely on the success/fail axis. I prefer to adopt the more accepting belief that whatever we experience or wherever we find ourselves is the right place to be because it the one place at that moment where we will find the opportunity to learn and understand more about ourselves. So, by setting up resolutions I would be setting up inflexible parameters that didn’t allow for the shifts of life that provide the opportunity for growth.

In addition, this type of a rigid approach causes stress and all the concomitant health problems that stress invariably leads to, which I would like to avoid. What I have noticed is that when people are living in a way that embraces opportunities for personal growth other things in their life fall into place more easily. Exercising or weight loss comes more easily because they want to be out doing whatever activity draws them, difficult decisions are made, new opportunities arise, and life begins to flow more fluidly and easily.

So my thoughts about my directions for 2013 are a little looser than things like “lose weight”, although that would be nice! I decided to take a look at the Virtues Project to form my list of the virtues I would like to see acknowledged and strengthened through this year, both on a personal and a wider community or global level.

Here is my list in no particular order of THIRTEEN VIRTUES TO EMBRACE FOR 2013, taken from the condensed list of 52 Virtues from The 52 Virtues Project (the full list of Virtues is extensive and this condensed list provided a little more focus):

1. Assertiveness
Being assertive means being positive and confident. You are aware that you are a worthy person with your own special gifts. You think for yourself and express your own ideas. You know what you stand for and what you won’t stand for. You expect respect.

2. Confidence
Confidence is having faith in someone. Self-confidence is trusting that you have what it takes to handle whatever happens. You feel sure of yourself and enjoy trying new things, without letting doubts or fears hold you back. When you have confidence in others, you rely on them

3. Creativity
Creativity is the power of imagination. It is discovering your own special talents. Dare to see things in new ways and find different ways to solve problems. With your creativity, you can bring something new into the world

4. Integrity
Integrity is living by your highest values. It is being honest and sincere. Integrity helps you to listen to your conscience, to do the right thing, and to tell the truth. You act with integrity when your words and actions match. Integrity gives you self-respect and a peaceful heart.

5. Joyfulness
Joyfulness is an inner sense of peace and happiness. You appreciate the gifts each day brings. Without joyfulness, when the fun stops, our happiness stops. Joy can carry us through the hard times even when we are feeling very sad. Joy gives us wings.

6. Moderation
Moderation is creating a healthy balance in your life between work and play, rest and exercise. You don’t overdo or get swept away by the things you like. You use your self-discipline to take charge of your life and your time.

7. Thankfulness
Thankfulness is being grateful for what we have. It is an attitude of gratitude for learning, loving and being. Appreciate the little things that happen around you and within you every day. Think positively. Thankfulness brings contentment

8. Compassion
Compassion is understanding and caring when someone is hurt or troubled, even if you don’t know them. It is wanting to help, even if all you can do is listen and say kind words. You forgive mistakes. You are a friend when someone needs a friend.

9. Generosity
Generosity is giving and sharing. You share freely, not with the idea of receiving something in return. You find ways to give others happiness, and give just for the joy of giving. Generosity is one of the best ways to show love and friendship.

10. Tolerance
Being tolerant is accepting differences. You don’t expect others to think, look, speak or act just like you. You are free of prejudice, knowing that all people have feelings, needs, hopes and dreams. Tolerance is also accepting things you wish were different with patience and flexibility.

11. Understanding
Understanding is using your mind to think clearly, paying careful attention to see the meaning of things. An understanding mind gives you insights and wonderful ideas. An understanding heart gives you empathy and compassion for others. Understanding is the power to think and learn and also to care

12.Unity                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Unity helps us work and live together peacefully. We feel connected with each other and all living things. We value the specialness of each person as a gift, not as a reason to fight or be scared. With unity we accomplish more together than any of one of us could alone.

13. Love
Love is a special feeling that fills your heart. You show love in a smile, a kind word, a thoughtful act or a hug. Love is treating people and things with care and kindness because they mean so much to you. Love is contagious. It keeps spreading.

Of course there are many more virtues to ambrace, and selecting only thirteen was very difficult.

The Virtues Project is a grassroots initiative started in Canada aimed at inspiring the practice of virtues in everyday life. It is widely used in schools but is equally effective in the home or your personal life. It “empowers individuals to live more authentic meaningful lives, families to raise children of compassion and integrity, educators to create safe, caring, and high performing learning communities, and leaders to encourage excellence and ethics in the work place.” If you would like to start off 2013 doing a daily Virtues Card pick for yourself then go here and click on ‘Do A Virtues Pick’.

Use 2013 to achieve change that you can recognise when 2014 rocks in
Make 2013 a year of change that you can recognise when 2014 rocks along

But, if someone were to twist my arm and force me to make three New Year resolutions, then this is how I would go

1. make no stupid resolutions that would fall by the wayside during January

2. adopt a new Virtue to embrace each week, thirteen of which would take me through to the end of March

3. refuse to take any of these doomsdayer prophesies literally.

I hope that 2013 brings you the opportunity to experience the new, to find joy in the simple things of life and to grow to know and understand yourself and the world around you more fully, and that by opening your self to the world around you experience much abundance in all parts of your life.

And especially, if as the doomsdayers claim, the Earth is about to be wiped out by a meteor in the next few months taking us all with it, that as you go down screaming you can feel that you have lived a life worthwhile.

Allow your virtues to unfurl
Allow your virtues to unfurl

Disclaimer.

All information and opinions presented here are for information only and are not intended as a substitute for professional advice offered during a consultation. Please consult with your health care provider before trying any of the treatment suggested on this site.