There are 2 major instigators that cause excess and unnecessary gas in our digestive tracts and lead to bloating:
- Half is from the air we swallow when we eat, drink and chew gum, etc...
- The other half is produced by the bacteria in our gut as it works to digest food.
These are both normal physiological occurrences and our intestines help move the gas through so that it doesn’t get trapped and make us feel uncomfortable. Hence, passing gas is good and holding it in can lead to that uncomfortable bloating sensation. Now that we understand where the gas comes from we can take steps to alleviate it.
STEP 1: Reduce the amount of air we swallow:
- Slow down when you eat.
- Be mindful of what you put in your mouth and how you eat it.
- Avoid chugging carbonated drinks.
- Avoid straws and chewing gum.
STEP 2: Optimize your gut and the microbiome bacteria:
A microbiome is a fancy term that refers to all the bacteria that live in and on us. Healthy bacteria produces less gas during digestion. Research shows that our relationship with our microbiome impacts all aspects of our health and function.
When we have a good (symbiotic) relationship with our gut microbes we have better immune tolerance, a healthy metabolism which leads to adequate weight control, and protection from chronic diseases like diabetes and obesity.
When we have a bad relationship with gut microbes, we become susceptible to various immune related diseases like eczema, asthma, autoimmune disease, as well as localized intestinal problems like gas, bloating, pain, diarrhea or constipation. Ugh!
So How Can We Nurture our microbiome bacteria?
- Remove any irritants to our gut such as antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and some possibly allergenic foods such as gluten and dairy. Not everyone has to avoid these foods forever, but try eliminating them for 3 weeks to see how you feel. Many people are surprised by how much clearer they can think and how much more energy they have.
- Replace those unhealthy foods with nutrient dense foods that are needed to support a healthy gut mucosa (lining). An easy way to do this is to eat from the rainbow. Eat whole foods like vegetables (unlimited) and fruit (2 servings per day) of all colours to ensure you get important antioxidants like Vit A, E, and C as well as important phytonutrients. Many of these fiber-rich foods (bananas, asparagus, eggplant) and whole grains (quinoa, millet, oat bran) are also what we call prebiotics and actually help feed the good bacteria in our guts.
STEP 3: Consider supplementing your gut bacteria with a probiotic.
- Eat probiotic foods that naturally contain active bacteria such as plain 2% probiotic yogurt, kefir or other fermented foods like pickled vegetables, miso and sauerkraut.
- Try a probiotic supplement that contains a variety of bacterial strains and has at least 25 billion CFUs (colony forming units - measurement of many bacteria are in each serving).
It's important to note that a “supplement” and a probiotic will only stay in your gut for about 30 days. That’s why the previous steps are very important because it sets up the right habits to maintain a healthy gut environment all the time.
The well&tight programs provide the tools you need to put you on a path to optimizing your gut health. I look forward to sharing more with you in future well&tight blogs that highlight solutions for sleep issues, hormone and other wellness related obstacles that if addressed will maximize your results on your well&tight journey. If there is a specific topic that would interest you please don't hesitate to contact us and we'll attempt to address it for you in future blogs.
If you have any additional questions regarding gut health, please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or come find me at the weekly well&tight workouts.
Writen by well&tight member and contributor: Dr. Angeline Yee
Bio: Dr. Angelina Yee is a medical doctor trained in both Family and Functional medicine. As a fitness and health enthusiast she enjoys all forms of activity and exploration into physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing. Angelina is a certified yoga instructor and a national body-building champion. She is happily married and a mom to 6 year old twins and a golden doodle named Marvin. Follow her personal wellness journey on IG @dr_angelinayee.