Bloating is never fun to try. I am sure you must have experienced those uncomfortable moments before when excess air or gas builds up and you r stomach feel like a rock.
Before we offer you some solutions to bloating, let's talk about some common symptoms that often relate to bloating.
Abdominal pain and mild discomfort are the most common symptoms when you are facing bloating and even heartburn or reflux in severe situations.
In Hong Kong, a foodie's paradise, it is easy to over-eat and consumes gas-generating foods such as cheese and animal protein. This greatly increases the chance of gastric juice over-production which leads to reflux and potential heartburn. Research from CUHK in 2021 has shown that about 6.6% of Hong Kong people were diagnosed with Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a situation that causes bloating.
Reasons for Bloating
1. Food intolerances/allergies
Food intolerance is one of the major causes that hinder our digestion of certain types of food. Bloating, as a consequence, will occur when there is excess gas accumulated and when undigested food is stored in the gastrointestinal tract.
One of the rising trends of food intolerance among Asians is "gluten intolerance". Gluten is a common component found in wheat products and it is still uncertain of its potential cause but there are studies showing that the inability of carbohydrate absorption could be a potential explanation for this problem.
Food for Life offers mostly gluten-free products, like our high protein and fibre bean pastas which aim to minimize the risk of gluten intolerance.
2. Poor dietary habits
Poor dietary habits do not necessarily mean eating too many chips or drinking sugary drinks. Modern people often focus on the taste and presentation of what they eat, but neglect the unseen part of the food - the vitamins, minerals, and enzymes, that truly help our body grow and thrive.
Hong Kong, one of the fastest-paced urban cities in the world, has made thousands of citizens compact their eating routine by choosing convenient yet nutrient-void foods rather than nutritious meals.
Taking Baked Pork Chop Rice, a common dish in local restaurants, as an example. A combination of thick pork chop with very limited greens is renowned for its fast serving speed in restaurants but it is obviously not ideal for our health. Thus, some vitamins abundant in greens such as vitamin C and K, can rarely be obtained which also lowers the production of some useful enzymes for digestive health.
Simple ways to alleviate bloating and digestion problems
Move Your Body
Increasing the frequency of physical activities can also lower the effects of bloating as it helps to expel extra gases that have been trapped within the digestive system as well as promote physical flex of the digestive muscles, and improve digestion.
Moreover, doing moderate exercise, like doing push-ups or stretching at home can help lower the water retention in the body. Engagement in physical activities can facilitate blood flow and lymphatic circulation, which in turn helps the body to better maintain a good fluid balance and reduce bloating symptoms.
Have some Bitters!
Swedish Bitters, a kind of herbal tonic, can effectively lower the uncomfortability of bloating and suppressed digestion. It helps by promoting bile flow and enhances the breakdown of food. A better digestive environment can provide a better habitat for vitamins and mineral absorption.
Apart from doing exercise, the necessity of water replenishment is no doubt a must to keep our bodies alive. it is also essential for our bowel movements to be smooth and prevent constipation which acts as a main cause of prolonging the feeling of fullness.
In addition, dehydration might lead to potential electrolyte imbalance which makes water and nutrients harder to transfer and diffuse in the intestines. For instance, the imbalance of potassium (K) within the gastrointestinal environment would affect the regulation of muscle contraction in which physical churning in the digestive system would be hindered and the symptoms of bloating would be aggravated.
Locako Keto Electrolyte
, offers sufficient electrolytes for the body, with only 2 calories per serving and no artificial or simple sugars, this can help your body to quickly and deliciously replenish the missing essentials such as sodium and potassium. It also includes more types of vitamins and minerals like zinc and vitamin Bs, making it a more comprehensive electrolyte.
Read more about our other tips on bloating here: Simple Tips to Beat the Bloat this Summer
Written by Zec Yim, HKU-certified Nutritionist