A bloated stomach most commonly happens due to difficulties with digestion, causing trapped wind and excess gas. For some people this usually only happens after eating a big meal or a heavy alcohol-filled night, but for others it can be a more regular occurrence. “The occasional fry-up or boozy night is unlikely to give you anything more than a short-lived stomach upset,” said the NHS. “But overindulge too often and you could be storing up trouble for yourself.”
Follow these six simple diet tips to improve your gut health and digestion:
Fill up on fibre
Fibre can helps the body to digest food by bulking up the stools and making them easier to pass, but according to the NHS most people in the UK don’t get enough.
Aim for 30g of fibre a day, which you can get from wholemeal bread, brown rice, fruit and veg, beans and oats.
Drink plenty of fluids
Water encourages the passage of waste through the digestive system and helps soften poo.
The NHS recommends drinking glass of water with every meal, but avoid caffeinated drinks as they can cause heartburn and fizzy drinks as they cause bloating.
Cut down on fat
Fatty foods and fried foods are harder to digest and can cause stomach pain and heartburn, so cut down on these to ease your stomach’s workload.
Replace them with lean meat and fish, which you should grill rather than fry. Also swap full-fat milk for skimmed or semi-skimmed.
Go easy on spices
Some people find spicy food can cause stomach problems, but milder spices like garlic and onion can also trigger digestive woes.
Avoid them completely if you already have stomach problems or heartburn, as they will worsen it.
Try eating yoghurt
Probiotic yoghurts contain ‘friendly bacteria’ which have been linked with helping symptoms of IBS and diarrhoea.
You can also take probiotics as supplements, in addition to yoghurts and yoghurt drinks.
Beware triggers of gut problems
Take note of when you feel bloated and what you have eaten to work out what might have brought it on.
It could be you have an intolerance to something like lactose or gluten, in which case you may need to cut those foods from your diet.
Always talk to a GP first before cutting any food groups from your diet.