5 Ways to Reduce and Prevent Bloating

As a Yoga teacher and Ayurvedic lifestyle consultant, I find it interesting to see just how many students believe that their digestion is fine, even as they suffer from frequent gas and bloating.

In Ayurveda (the sister science to yoga) the ancient medical system of healthy living from India, your state of digestion is considered the key indicator of good health and regular persistent gas and bloating are signs that your digestive system and overall health are in need of some support. Fortunately, there are many natural, efficient home remedies you can borrow from the Ayurveda and Yoga to both reduce and prevent bloating.

1. Eat only cooked foods

In Ayurveda, the digestive system is described as being like a fire (agni). Like a physical fire, whenever you put cold water or food into it, what do you think happens? You guessed it: It extinguishes or dampens.

It’s amazing what a difference I’ve found it makes to eat cooked versus raw foods. Doing so allows the stove to “predigest” your food before it reaches your mouth, which means your digestive fire does not have to work as hard to process and convert your food into nourishment for your body which can leave you feeling lethargic and depleted.

2. Eat earlier and lighter meals

Dinner should be supplemental – a little extra – not the main event. You will wake up feeling lighter and energised the next day when you keep dinner supplemental. You’ll make your body’s job easier. You’ll have fewer aches and pains as you age, and you won’t get overweight, tired, and overwhelmed. That’s a big payoff for a small meal.

Try to eat your last meal of the day by 6 or 7 pm at the very latest, I aim for 6pm but for some you, you are just getting home at this time work on at least three hours before bed. For dinner, prefer lighter meals like soups and warm salads to solid foods, as more water content is easier to digest. Eat more green and non- starchy root vegetables and less grains, legumes, meat, or dairy, try to have a substantial lunch with these foods instead.

After dinner, close your kitchen and don’t snack.

3. Add digestive spices to your food

Ayurvedic spices can also be used to increase your digestive fire and help prevent gas when consumed regularly with your food. In particular, cumin seeds, ajwain (bishop’s weed) seeds, fennel seeds, freshly grated ginger, and hing (asafetida) are potent digestive spices.

If you want to cook with them, heat up some ghee (clarified butter that has many medicinal benefits, including helping prevent gas). Then add ½ teaspoon of cumin, ajwain, fennel seeds, and a small pinch of hing. You can then grate fresh ginger into the pan. Stir for about 30 seconds and then add this combination to your vegetables, meat, or beans.

If you’re not cooking, you can put cumin, ajwain seeds, fennel seeds, and a couple of pinches of hing into a blender to create a table spice that you can later add to your savoury dishes.

4. Move your body

Physical activity can get the bowels moving more regularly, which can help to release excess gas and stool. Getting the bowels to move is especially important if a person is feeling constipated. A walk around the block can provide fast relief from gas pressure.

Certain yoga poses can position the muscles in the abdomen in a way that encourages the release of excess gas from the GI tract (Gastrointestinal Tract). These poses can help reduce bloating, Simple Lying Twist, Wind Expeller Pose, Child’s Pose, Happy Baby Pose.

Another Ayurvedic tool is Abhyanga, Ayurvedic Self Massage of the body with oil. Often infused with herbs and usually warm, the oil is massaged into the entire body before bathing. It can be beneficial for maintaining health, benefits of Abhyanga into a routine are; Nourish and replenish the skin, Tone the muscles, Calm and sooth the nervous system, Revitalise and energise cells, Tune-up the functioning of internal organs, Optimise the ability to remove toxins.

5. Sip on CCF tea

A Three Seed Blend That Promotes Healthy Digestion*

  • Strengthens the digestive fire without aggravating pitta*
  • Supports gentle cleansing of natural toxins*
  • Promotes a comfortable post-meal experience*
  • Supports proper function of the urinary system*

Cumin, coriander, and fennel are famous digestive spices, and when brewed together as a tea they make the perfect addition to an Ayurvedic lifestyle. CCF Tea directly stimulates the digestive system, supporting the body’s natural ability to breakdown ama, or natural toxins, in the GI tract. Because it enkindles agni (digestive fire), CCF Tea is great to enjoy before, during, or after meals to encourage absorption and assimilation of food nutrients. CCF Tea also serves as an integral part of an Ayurvedic cleanse because it provides support for the natural detoxification process. This delicious tea is gentle enough for daily enjoyment, and traditional Ayurvedic households will keep a fresh batch brewed at all times for sipping throughout the day. CCF Tea can be added to a thermos to take on the go, or stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Usually you’ll want to enjoy your tea warm, but in the summer try letting it cool to room temperature and add a squeeze of lime for a refreshing Ayurvedic tonic.

Adding these 5 simple natural habits to your life will definitely aid in reducing if not eliminating bloating. If you feel like your body and mind need a cleanse (detox) and would love to do so with my guidance and the support of a community doing it together then you can find out more about my 21 Day Yoga & Pilates Detox here.

Lainie Jenikins

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