Bloating is a common occurrence that is characterised by a filling of tightness of filling up of gas in the stomach. Bloating can either be a result of any one of several causes which include indigestion, and intake of too much air while eating.
For menstruating women; hormonal bloating is a common symptom of PMS. According to a study by Women’s Health, 62% of women experience bloating before menstruation, while 51% feel bloated during the entire time of their menses. Bloating is uncomfortable and can affect the mood and appetite of women before and during their periods.
Fortunately, it is not a serious health concern if it happens around your menstrual clock and can be remedied in many different ways.
Below are simple fixes & changes in your lifestyle to help you debloat during your menses:
1. Drink lots of water for hydration.
The easiest way to fight bloating is to increase your water intake. Make sure you drink at least eight glasses of water every day to keep your body hydrated. Avoid gulping water and instead drink it slowly and gradually. This helps reduce the bubbles that cause bloating in the stomach.
You can also snack on water-packed veggies like cucumbers to hydrate and aid in debloating
2. Enjoy water-dense fruits.
Eating water-packed fruits such as watermelons, pineapples, grapes, and blueberries help relieve bloating as they have high water content. The diuretic properties of these fruits help flush out excess salt from your digestive system. Moreover, fruits such as blueberries contain antioxidants that are good for the body. You can include a bowl of freshly cut fruit salad into your diet during your periods to rehydrate and curb bloating.
3. Avoid fizzy drinks
Carbonated drinks such as sodas, canned energy drinks and beer contain lots of air bubbles that promote bloating as they release carbon dioxide which in turn causes your tummy to fill up with gas. It is thus advisable to stay away from carbonated drinks during your period. Instead, you can opt for healthier options such as smoothies and freshly squeezed fruit juices.
4. Eat potassium-packed foods.
Potassium-filled foods include vegetables like sweet potatoes and fruits such as avocados and bananas. The good news is most veggies and fruits are affordable and easily accessible. Take advantage and grab these foods while grocery shopping and enjoy them in different salads and as snacks. Replace that plate of salty and greasy chips with some healthy sweet potato chips.
You can also incorporate leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach into your daily meals. They are cheap, easy to find and packed with many health benefits and light on the stomach. Also, fruits like bananas are packed with potassium which eases the feeling of puffiness from indigestion. Potassium in such foods also helps in the contraction and flexibility of muscles in the body. As a result, foods rich in potassium help reduce painful cramps.
A simple exercise routine can go a long way in debloating during your periods. Take a walk whether morning or evening especially after meals to regulate digestion. You can also do some stretching in the comfort of your room to deflate that tummy while also training your pelvic muscles to relax thus reducing abdominal and back pains. An easy option is to lie on your back, then stretch and massage your abdomen to help subside your swollen belly.
6. Avoid salty foods.
Foods high in sodium promote bloating. These are mostly processed foods such as crisps, chips, packed noodles, and canned meats among others. Since we can’t completely avoid salt, the only solution is to reduce intake during your periods and in general day-to-day life as it can increase the risk of blood pressure.
7. Indulge in a nutrient-filled diet.
Make it a habit to indulge in a bowl of cooked oats as it is a light and healthy meal mostly for breakfast. Oats are a great source of fibre which is good for the stomach as it doesn’t cause bloating. Fill your cooked oats bowl with berries and nuts for a delicious healthy bowl that also aids in good gut health.
8. Green tea
You can forego your morning sweetened coffee for a hot cup of green tea. Green tea has lots of benefits for the digestive system, the skin and overall health as it is packed with antioxidants.
In case your bloating exceeds your period days, seek a doctor’s help as it could be a serious health condition that needs medication.
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