Feel like you look preggo or ate a ginormous lunch? We turned to the gastroenterologists who know how to make bloating go away fast.
They keep a food journal
Frequently, the cause of bloating is related to diet. Many gastroenterologists first recommend taking a closer look at what you’re consuming daily. Benjamin Cohen, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, asks his patients to keep a food diary for a few weeks. By writing down what and when they’re eating and when they experience symptoms, the patients may be able to “find an association between what foods may be triggering the symptoms,” says Dr. Cohen. From there, the patients—and you—can try to eliminate the potential bloating-causing foods to see if doing so fixes the situation. If you’re feeling bloated, check out the other common causes of bloating to be aware of.
They go easy on raw fruits and vegetables
While there is no “magic food that’s going to eliminate everything,” says Dr. Cohen, curbing your intake of raw fruits and vegetables can help ease bloating. Generally, foods like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and brussels sprouts, although healthy, lead to bloating because they can be difficult for your body to break down. “In a way, it’s kind of like you have to cut the roughage out or ingest it in a different form. For example, you can have broccoli in a quiche but not raw,” says Beth Schorr-Lesnick, MD, assistant professor medicine at New York Medical College. Other bloat-inducing foods that gastroenterologists are careful of are beans and “things with outside skins or shells,” says Dr. Schorr-Lesnick, who herself uses Beano before her first bite of these bloating foods. Here are daily habits that prevent bloating and flatten your belly.
They eat and drink supplements
If you’re looking for natural remedies to help ease your bloating, look no further than your spice rack. Dr. Schorr-Lesnick recommends incorporating substances like turmeric, fennel, and ginger into your diet. Things like chamomile tea and peppermint tea have also shown to be helpful in combating belly bloating.
They don’t drink from straws
You swallow a little air when you speak, eat, or drink. But when you drink with a straw, chew gum constantly, eat very quickly and/or smoke, you swallow excess air, says Shawn Khodadadian, MD, founder of Manhattan Gastroenterology. This leads to excess gas (burping and belching) and bloating. So, Dr. Khodadadian, also director of clinical nutrition in the division of gastroenterology at Lenox Hill Hospital, says the first thing he tells his patients is “to try to eliminate any causes of aerophagia or swallowing of excess air.” Always avoid these foods if you’re feeling bloated.