Why Your Gut Health Is Making You Bloated

Why Your Gut Health Is Making You Bloated

We’ve all had that bloated and uncomfortable feeling when our tummy is not quite right at some stage in our lives. For some, it is a regular occurrence… So what is the cause of this discomfort? Is it the foods consumed throughout the day, or other lifestyle factors? Emerging research shows the importance of having a healthy gut and how that can completely change your digestive processes. For many, this can be a confusing concept. How can you heal your gut?

Here’s what you need to know about gut health, prebiotics and probiotics and how to get a happy tummy, less bloating and better digestive health!

What's the microbiome? 

Your gut is full of different types of bacteria. Yes, that’s right… bacteria! The balance of this bacteria is known as the gut microbiome and it affects how you feel each day. Having an unhealthy mix of bacteria has been linked to digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome, bloating and other health issues, like obesity, anxiety, and depression. Having a healthy mix can improve immunity and digestion. The mix of gut bacteria is impacted by genes and diseases over the long term. Factors you can control, like the food you eat, also plays a vital role in having a healthy tummy.

What is prebiotics?

Prebiotics are types of carbohydrates that are not digested or only partly digested when they reach the large intestines. This means they are available to feed ‘good’ bacteria, encouraging it to grow in the gut.

Foods containing prebiotics include vegetables include asparagus, onions, and cabbage, legumes, garlic and fruits including bananas, apples, and nectarines. 

What are probiotics?

Probiotics are the ‘good’ bacteria. They are in everyday foods such as yoghurt, milk drinks like kefir, and other fermented foods, including kombucha, kimchi, miso, tempeh, sauerkraut, and sourdough bread. You can also purchase specific probiotic supplements.

How does diet impact tummy health?

Plant-based diets (such as vegetarian and vegan diets) are naturally high in pre and probiotics from fruit, legumes, whole-grains, and seeds. They are associated with a larger variety of healthy gut bacteria. For many people bloating can occur from whey protein. Usually, this is caused by a dairy sensitivity or not consuming with enough water. This is why Blessed Protein is a great alternative for people with tummy sensitivity. Blessed is made from golden pea protein and all essential amino acids, which is designed to assist in preventing bloating and make digestion that much smoother.

Blessed Protein

To create better digestive processes, it is recommended to avoid a diet that is high in fat and sugar from processed foods; and is low in fruits and vegetables. Choosing to have this particular style of eating will reduce good bacteria, and can have a negative effect on gut health. If you are constantly battling with stomach problems, some minor changes in your eating habits could drastically change your digestive processes. It is recommended to stick to a plan and give it some time. The changes might not happen overnight, and you will need to build back the gut bacteria for any previous damage you have done. This is when a supplement could be encouraged to increase the growth of ‘good bacteria’.

What about supplements?

To create better digestive processes, it is recommended to avoid a diet that is high in fat and sugar from processed foods; and is low in fruits and vegetables. Choosing to have this particular style of eating will reduce good bacteria, and can have a negative effect on gut health. If you are constantly battling with stomach problems, some minor changes in your eating habits could drastically change your digestive processes. It is recommended to stick to a plan and give it some time. The changes might not happen overnight, and you will need to build back the gut bacteria for any previous damage you have done. This is when a supplement could be encouraged to increase the growth of ‘good bacteria’.

Researchers are still trying to understand what makes up a healthy gut. We know it’s all about a balance of bacteria, however, everybody has a balance that is unique and healthy for them. It varies from person to person, making the effects of supplements difficult to work out.

Supplements may be beneficial to support the immune system and to help relieve tummy troubles such as diarrhea and bloating. There are lots of different prebiotics and probiotic supplement strains available in the market. Taking certain probiotics may improve one person's gut bacteria balance, but not necessarily help someone else.

A powerful supplement to incorporate into your daily routine is L-Glutamine. L-Glutamine has been proven to boost immune cell activity in the gut. This can assist in preventing inflammation and can also aid intestinal problems. If you are having cramping, spasms and regular stomach discomfort try adding L-glutamine into your routine.

The basics to assist in bloating?

  • • Drink more water - Not only does this have an abundance of other positive repercussions, but it will assist in digestion.

 
 
 
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  • • Add a prebiotic or probiotic to your diet.

  • • Start being more intuitive with your eating. The best way to know what is causing you discomfort is to keep a diary. Flag whenever you have any flare ups!

  • • Avoid triggers - e.g. If you know dairy is causing you problems, avoid where possible.

  • • Incorporate more plant-based elements into your diet. That might mean including subbing out a whey protein for a plant-based protein. Or alternate between the two!

The take-home message…

Research in this area is ongoing and complex. What we know so far is that a balanced diet rich in whole foods and limiting processed foods can have lots of health benefits including providing enough pre and probiotics for a healthy gut. Topping up with a supplement may be beneficial in some cases.

 

 

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