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Old 06-20-2007, 04:18 PM
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Default Lose the Bloat, Find the Beach!


Everyday bloat is downright uncomfortable! It's commonly caused by water retention or gas -- a build-up of air in the intestines and stomach that can give you the feeling of a distended abdomen.
If your condition is chronic, speak with your doctor to make sure it's not a serious GI concern such as celiac disease (gluten intolerance), Crohn's disease, or ulcerative colitis. Other less serious issues to investigate include lactose intolerance, constipation, and/or irritable bowel syndrome.
If you're certain it's everyday bloat, these 7 tips can help you feel significantly better:
  1. Avoid carbonated beverages -- drink plenty of flat water instead.
  2. Avoid salty foods, since excessive salt retains water.
  3. Limit sugar alcohols. Sorbitol and maltitol, frequently found in sugar-free foods and sugarless gum, can exacerbate gas and discomfort in people who are super sensitive.
  4. Limit gas-producing foods, specifically broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, beans and cabbage. When you do eat them, try taking Beano, an over-the-counter supplement which can help your body digest them.
  5. Don't overdo the amount of fiber in your diet. Fiber is incredibly important, but too much can exacerbate bloat in people who are sensitive. Thus, be sure to increase the amount in your diet gradually and drink plenty of water to help wash it down.
  6. Avoid large meals heavy in carbohydrates and fat. Instead, eat low-volume meals throughout the day (and eat every four to five hours).
  7. Be sure to incorporate some type of protein with each meal and snack. Protein acts as a natural diuretic and helps your body get rid of extra water.
Some examples of low-volume meals containing protein:
  • 8 ounces nonfat yogurt with one cup fresh berries
  • 4 egg-white omelet with sautéed spinach and mushrooms
  • 2 cups vegetable salad topped with 5 grilled shrimp
  • 4 ounces turkey or ham sandwich on whole wheat bread
  • One apple with small handful unsalted raw almonds
  • 4 ounces turkey/lettuce rollups with one cup baby carrots
  • One cup whole grain cereal with half-cup skim milk and ½ banana
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