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10 strategies to ease the discomfort of bloating, gas, indigestion and flatulence

Fresh fruit and vegetables are high in fiber
Fresh fruit and vegetables are high in fiber
Photo by and (c)2007 Jina Lee
  1. Eat fresh fruit and vegetables; they are high in fiber and ease constipation.

  2. Drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces of clear fluids daily. This helps flush your system, adds moisture to your colon and keep things moving through your digestive system. (Example: 150 lbs ÷ 2 = 75oz ÷ 8 oz per glass = 9.4 glasses; 8 to 10 glasses works)
  3. Avoid soft drinks and carbonated beverages. The carbon dioxide can become trapped in your stomach, causing bloating.

  4. Eat natural fresh foods. Packaged foods contain more preservatives and are harder to digest.

  5. Read labels and avoid high-sodium foods. Sodium dehydrates and limits your water intake.

  6. Eat dairy in moderation. If lactose intolerance is a problem, this will ease digestion of those products. Look for lactose-free products.

  7. Reduce or avoid caffeine. It acts as a stimulant and can overexcite your digestive system.

  8. Avoid high-fat foods. They are hard to digest and can cause digestive spasms.

  9. Exercise, especially in the morning before breakfast - even just stretching. Moving your body encourages bowel activity.

  10. Gradually increase fiber to 25-30 grams per day. Fiber helps multiple digestive ailments, including bloating and gas.

Implement these changes gradually, tackling only one or two at a time. Studies show people can modify their behavior most easily by making gradual changes and focusing on a limited number of goals at one time.

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