Are you fighting the battle of the belly bulge bloat? Not only is it unsightly, but it also can be painful. The good news: You can battle that bloat with the easy-to-follow tips here from Prevention magazine expert Jacqueline Wolf, MD, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and author of "A Woman's Guide to a Healthy Stomach: Taking Control of Your Digestive Health":
- If you're lactose intolerant, dairy can make you bloated. Try an enzyme such as Lactaid Fast Act Lactase Enzyme Supplement.
- Choose fruits lower in fructose: Berries, grapes, and citrus are easier to digest than fruits with more fructose such as apples and pears.
- Be wary of wheat. Eat rice or oats instead.
- Fake sugar can help you cut down on calories but sorbitol, xylitol, and mannitol all can lead to gas and bloating. Try stevia or aspartame instead such as Equal Zero Calorie Sweetener.
- Bean basics: Use a product such as Beano when eating beans.
As to what causes that bloat: Madeline Vann, MPH, explained in EverydayHealth that two basic sources of gas exist:
- Swallowed air. This includes air from carbonated beverages, and usually leads to belching.
- Bacteria. The gas that creates flatulence is made by bacteria; these live normally and healthfully in our colons and convert undigested sugars into gas.
Bloating occurs when excess air is not relieved by belching or passing gas. In addition to the tips above, she recommends avoiding carbonated drinks. In addition, don't use a straw, because that can cause you to inhale extra air.