5 Ways to Beat Bloating

Young women everywhere know what it's like to suffer from that bloated-gut feeling. Your clothes never seem to fit right, and the discomfort can make you feel unattractive.

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According to The Mayo Clinic, bloating can be caused by water retention and gas build-up. Water retention often occurs in premenstrual women. The exact cause for this is unknown but has been linked to hormones.

Build-up of intestinal gas can happen for many reasons, including smoking, stress, infection, disease, and eating too many fatty foods. Fat takes longer to break down than other substances, and consequently causes the stomach to empty slower, giving you the feeling of excess fullness and bloat.

Every woman is bound to experience some type of bloating in her lifetime, however that doesn't mean you have to put up with it. If you're looking for ways to beat the bloat, here are a few things you can try.

Chew food slowly and carefully. Eating too quickly can cause you to swallow food before it's been fully broken down, meaning it sits in the stomach longer and causes gas.

Reduce your intake of anything that contains fructose. This includes high-fructose corn syrup, table sugar, and honey, as fructose causes bloating. Anything containing sugar alcohols such as sorbitol, maltitol and mannitol, which are often found in sugar-free foods, should also be avoided.

Avoid eating processed food to prevent intestinal gas build-up. These foods are too high in sodium, which will leave you feeling a bit heavier than normal. Salt also raises your cholesterol so it's good practice to cut it out where you can.

Avoid carbs. Carbs can make any type of bloating feel way worse. If your stomach begins to feel a little bit expanded, don't make matter worse by consuming whole wheat such as pasta, oats, or barley. Also stay away from carbohydrate-laden legumes such as beans, lentils, and peas. Instead, reach for more digestion-friendly starches such as potatoes, corn, or rice.

Engage in a healthy weight loss plan that includes a healthy diet and regular physical activity to combat water retention that causes bloating. Those who exercise frequently and eat healthy foods report fewer PMS symptoms.