7 Ways to Reduce Bloat After the Holidays

By Georgina Hendsbee

Drinking a cup of warm water and fresh lemon juice. The acids in the lemon combined with warm water will kickstart your digestive system ensuring ideal production of digestive enzymes and HCL. This can be done half an hour prior to every meal to assist in digestion and assimilation of ingested foods. You can also have a warm green tea or ginger tea and lemon to also add in other beneficial factors. Ginger will calm upset stomach and enforce enzyme production.  Green tea will add antioxidants to reduce free radical damage caused by disbiosis and an acidic environment. 


Skip the sugar and also “sugar free” products – sugar lowers metabolism and disturbs the immune system. Sugar alcohols not quite the same as some of the zero calorie sweetners out there but it has a lower calories per gram. On food labels sugar alcohol looks like Xylitol, Erythritol, Sorbitol, and Mannitol, these are known to cause stomach upset and acid reflux. Artificial sweeteners like sucrose, sucralose, and aspartame in particular have been associated with mood changes, diarrhea, painful gas and bloating, inflammation, and exacerbate IBS symptoms.


Reduce dairy and simple carbs – cheese, milk, yogurt, breads, and pastas, as these processed foods have many additives and fillers. Dairy and wheat are the two most common foods people in western society are intolerant for. Dairy is an inflammatory food causing systemic inflammation throughout the body even in people who are able to tolerate it.  Wheat naturally has a chemical in it called zonulin which opens the tight junctions within the intestinal tract letting undigested proteins into the blood stream. Once an undigested protein comes across our bodies immune system it tends to create an antibody to fight that particular external protein. The next time that protein gets past the tight junctions and the antibody is activated our body sends out little chemical messengers called which initiate a physical reaction. Some of these messengers will create a physical reaction where the allergen makes contact the second time this can look like a rash, swelling, inflammation, redness, pain or itching. Internally this can cause gas, bloating, acidic environment, diarrhea, constipation, bacteria overgrowth, chronic infection, weight gain or if it is significant enough it can become anaphylactic. The Government of Canada recognizes the most common food allergens as: peanuts, tree nuts, seafood (fish, shellfish, crustaceans), egg, milk, sesame, soy, mustard, and wheat. Sulphite, an additive, is also recognized by the Government of Canada



Make the basis of your diet dark leafy greens and vegetables, healthy fats, proteins, and other complex carbohydrates. Vegetables will be full of vitamins and minerals to promote good health, good fats are important for your brain function and structure of all your cells, protein from plants and animals both carry vital amino acids required for cell growth and repair. You are what you eat may just be a saying but it is right on the dot. If you have goals for 2019 that include growth and health, take a look at your food. When you are choosing your meals think further than… “will this taste good?”. Look at the make up of each piece of food, think about what it took that plant to grow, animal to flourish and how that growth will improve your health. This is called ‘The Food Story’. It’s the energy, time, location, and the people who where involved in creating that product and how they all affect the final story. 

Don’t believe me? Look up food energetics. It is the study of how the energy put on the food effects the energy we take in as we consume it then how that energy effects how we assimilate that piece of food. Sooo cool. 


Reduce added salts and processed foods. Processed foods not only are loaded with chemicals and fillers, they are full of salt. These added salts can create an imbalance of electrolytes causing your body to retain water, raising your blood pressure. When your body has high blood pressure for an extended amount of time if puts strain on your heart and arteries. When your heart and muscles are working harder they then to build muscle. In the case of your arms and leg getting larger muscles may be a good thing but with the cardiovascular system the heart muscles getting bigger reduces space for blood. This increases the change of heart attack, stroke, dementia and kidney disease.  


Take a probiotic supplement – humans carry about 5-10lbs of bacteria in our football field size intestinal tract.  A diet high in sugars, rancid fats (canola & palm oils in cooking oil & processed foods), and alcohol paired with overeating and stress makes for the perfect environment for disbiosis (bad bacteria). The thing with good intestinal bacteria is that is passes through us easily and quickly, which is why it is so important that we create the best environment for the good bacteria to flourish. We have already discussed the importance of vegetables and they have more of a benefit than being the carrier for vitamins and minerals. Vegetables also act as prebiotics. A prebiotic is a food that is high in insoluble fibre, fibre that doesn’t get digested by stomach acids. These fibres feed good bacteria which improve our digestion and our immune system.


Make time to move – take a fitness class or get a yoga membership, the benefits of movement are endless and equally important as nutrition to achieve optimal health. With no bad side effects exercise lowers blood pressure, controls blood sugar, helps control weight, improves balance, lowers cholesterol, relieves pain and stress, and improves sex life. There are no negatives to movement, at all. 



Even the smallest changes can make a difference






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