5 Natural Ways to Combat Bloating and Inflammation

Written by Danielle Foster
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Bloating and inflammation can make you uncomfortable and diminish your quality of life. While there are medications that can provide relief, there are also many natural ways to combat these issues. In this article, we’ll explore 5 natural strategies that can help reduce bloating and inflammation for improved wellbeing.

1. Add Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Your Diet

One of the most effective natural ways to fight inflammation is through your diet. Certain foods contain antioxidants and compounds that have been shown to reduce inflammatory markers in the body.

Some top anti-inflammatory foods include:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids- Found in fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel as well as chia seeds, walnuts, and flaxseeds. Omega-3s help inhibit the production of inflammatory molecules.
  • Leafy greens - Spinach, kale, and collards contain antioxidants like carotenoids and vitamin C along with folate which assists the body’s anti-inflammatory response.
  • Berries - All berries are packed with antioxidants called anthocyanins shown to have anti-inflammatory effects. Cherries, in particular, may help reduce C-reactive protein and inflammation.
  • Beets - Contain a compound called betalain that provides antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxification support.
  • Broccoli - Contains the compound sulforaphane which inhibits inflammatory cytokines production.
  • Avocados - Rich in heart-healthy fats that improve blood cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation.

Adding more of these nutrient-dense plant foods into your meals and snacks can significantly help lower inflammation.

2. Stay Hydrated with Non-Sugary Fluids

Chronic dehydration stresses the body and activates inflammatory pathways. When you are inadequately hydrated, tissues swell leading to pain, digestion issues, and other symptoms.

Drinking more water is one of the simplest yet effective ways to short-circuit inflammation. Aim for at least 2-3 liters of non-sugary fluids per day. In addition to pure water, herbal tea, bone broth, and diluted fruit juices can contribute to improved hydration.

Proper hydration supports all bodily functions, keeps cells nourished, prevents constipation, and flushes out inflammatory toxins through urine. Combat inflammation by remembering to drink plenty of fluids throughout your day.

3. Load Up on Fiber

A high-fiber diet provides multiple bloating and inflammation relieving effects in the body. Soluble fiber forms a gel-like substance that moves waste smoothly through the intestines, preventing constipation and toxic buildup that can trigger inflammation.

Meanwhile, insoluble fiber adds bulk that pushes this waste along while supplying food for healthy gut bacteria. These beneficial bacteria release short-chain fatty acids that reduce gut permeability and resultant inflammation.

Excellent high-fiber choices include oats, apples, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, artichokes, and dark leafy greens. Aim for 25-35 grams of fiber from whole food sources daily. This nourishes gut flora and promotes regular bowel movements to decrease bloating.

4. Take Targeted Probiotic Supplements

Probiotics are beneficial strains of live bacteria that influence gastrointestinal health and immunity in positive ways. Supplementing with specific probiotic strains scientifically demonstrated to reduce inflammation can be very helpful.

For example, the strains Lactobacillus helveticus and Bifidobacterium longum have been shown in studies to decrease inflammatory biomarkers CRP, TNF-α, and IL-6. Other anti-inflammatory probiotics include Lactobacillus plantarum, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, Bifidobacteria infantis and Saccharomyces boulardii.

Look for a multi-strain probiotic supplement containing at least 10 billion CFUs and several of these bacteria. Take daily as directed to maintain a favorable gut microbiome that inhibits inflammation.

5. Incorporate Anti-Inflammatory Herbs and Spices

Certain herbs and spices not only add flavor to meals but also provide natural compounds that fight inflammation. Turmeric, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, rosemary, oregano, and green tea are examples of botanicals demonstrating anti-inflammatory properties.

Curcumin - Found in the bright yellow spice turmeric, curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that blocks NF-kB, a molecule that stimulates inflammation.

Gingerol - The active constituent in fresh ginger, gingerol inhibits COX-2, an inflammatory enzyme associated with pain.

Cinnamaldehyde - This compound in cinnamon helps activate PPAR-gamma receptors which have an anti-inflammatory effect and help regulate glucose.

Using these and other healing herbs and spices regularly in your cooking is a tasty way to combat chronic inflammation. Their active plant compounds can significantly help resolve inflammatory conditions when consumed consistently.

Conclusion

These methods aid in reducing bloating and inflammation. Bloating and inflammation don’t have to drag you down. By implementing more anti-inflammatory foods, staying hydrated, upping fiber intake, adding probiotics, and using healing herbs and spices, you can nourish your body back to a state of comfort and health.

Consistently adopting these natural approaches can help resolve the root causes of chronic inflammation for good. Don’t resign yourself to feeling bloated and achy - take control of your health by reducing inflammation from the inside out using these evidence-based strategies.

FAQs

1. How long does it take to see results from anti-inflammatory lifestyle changes?

It depends on the individual and severity of inflammation, but most people notice some improvement in symptoms like digestive issues, joint pain, and energy levels within 2-4 weeks of adopting an anti-inflammatory diet and supplements. However, it can take 2-3 months of consistent anti-inflammatory behaviors to resolve chronic inflammation and see full effects.

2. Are anti-inflammatory drugs still necessary if making these natural changes?

Always consult your doctor before discontinuing any medications. That said, these natural approaches can allow some people to lower their reliance on anti-inflammatory drugs, especially when used under medical supervision. But those with autoimmune conditions or severe inflammation may still benefit from certain prescriptions in conjunction with natural remedies.

3. What foods should you avoid to reduce inflammation?

Sugary foods, refined carbohydrates, processed meat, saturated/trans fats, fried foods, alcohol and soda have all been linked to higher inflammation. Limiting or avoiding these types of pro-inflammatory foods is recommended.

4. Are there lifestyle changes beyond diet that can decrease inflammation?

Yes, regular exercise, quality sleep, stress management, and not smoking have all been shown to reduce systemic inflammation. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate activity daily along with 7-9 hours of sleep per night, relaxation practices, and smoking cessation.

5. If I take probiotics, how long until the gut microbiome improves?

Research indicates it can take 2-4 weeks of daily probiotic supplementation to see measurable changes in the gut microbiome’s diversity and health, leading to reduced intestinal inflammation. Consistency is key, so stick with your probiotic regimen.

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Danielle Foster is a dedicated Sports Nutrition & Weight Management Dietitian with a passion for promoting a healthy and active lifestyle. With a solid educational background and a wealth of research and publications, Danielle brings a wealth of expertise to her clients and readers. Her writing not only reflects her extensive academic training but also her practical experience working with athletes and individuals striving to achieve their fitness and weight management goals. Danielle's approachable and informative style makes her a trusted source for those seeking expert guidance in the realms of sports nutrition and weight management.

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