WE’RE ALL IN THE SAME BLOAT…

A whopping 9,500,000 women in the UK suffer from bloating and the uncomfortable symptoms it can bring. Here at 8 potential causes, and tips to help you out!

  1. YOU CHEW GUM. Sure, the sugar free variety helps teeth and fixes bad breath, but it could also be causing your bloat as about half the gas in the digestive tract is due to swallowed air, so chewing gum is an obvious culprit. In fact, anything that means you swallow more air – smoking, drinking through straws, sucking on pen lids, even having lose dentures – is a no-no. And sorry to sound like your mother, but don’t talk when you’re eating – you’ll be gulping in more air!

  2. YOU HAVE A DESK JOB. In a nutshell: if you’re not moving, neither are your bowels! A sedentary lifestyle can lead to sluggish digestion and bloating. A quick biology lesson: if the gastrointestinal tract doesn’t move food through efficiently, gas builds up in the intestines, causing bloating and discomfort. Amazingly, a brisk 20-30 minute walk four times a week can help. But remember, it’s normal to look slimmer in the morning than later in the day, as you’re essentially fasting overnight.

  3. YOUR HEALTHY DIET. Unfortunately, our tummies can be divas about certain types of foods (we’re looking at you, sprouts). Other culprits? Beans, lentils, pulses, cruciferous veg and even leeks and onions. But why? Some people may produce insufficient amounts of the enzyme that helps digest these types of food, meaning they sit and ferment in your gut. However, cruciferous veg contain lots of healthy fibre, which actually keeps you regular, so cutting them out completely will only backfire. So what to do? Make sure you’re drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day – it helps fibre move through the digestive system. You could also try eating smaller, more regular meals throughout the day to avoid ‘overloading’ your digestive system all at once.

  4. YOU’VE GONE SUGAR FREE. You may think you’ve opted for a healthier diet, but certain sweeteners called polyols can be the cause of a ‘gas leak’. Some people find sorbitol and xylitol really difficult to digest and they can lead to flatulence. Watch out for them in slimming world products and some fruit juices and sugar free gum.

  5. YOU DON’T HAVE ENOUGH ‘GOOD’ BACTERIA. Years of ads showing bloated women magically transformed by yoghurt have taught us that not all bacteria are ‘bad’. But what’s the science behind it? The normal human digestive tract contains about 400 types of probiotic bacteria that reduce the growth of harmful bacteria. Research shows that some people suffer from bloating because they don’t have enough of the good bacteria in their gut. Gut friendly foods include kimchi and sauerkraut. (see our previous blog post for more info on probiotics)

  6. YOU’RE NOT CHEWING PROPERLY. As your mouth is where digestion begins, help everything along by chewing the heck out of each bite – softer food needs roughly 5-10 chews but food can be chewed up to 30 times before swallowing if it’s dense. As saliva helps breakdown the food before you swallow it, the more ‘processing’ you do in your mouth, the easier it will be on your digestive tract, resulting in less bloating around your mid-section.

  7. YOUR PERIOD IS ABOUT TO START. You might notice that you are more bloated about a week before you period starts. We don’t actually know why this happens, but there are things you can do to help. Keep a regular eating pattern, limit your intake of fatty food as well as food high in salt, to help minimise bloating. Steer clear o alcohol, coffee, and other caffeine rich drinks like cola, as they are diuretics (make you wee more frequently) again, encouraging your body to hold on to water.

  8. YOUR PARTY TIPPLE. The alcoholic drink in your hand could be causing your expanding waistband – and not just because of the calories it contains. If you bloat after drinking beer, but you don’t after champagne, it could be that yeast is the reason for your gut troubles. There is a lot of yeast in beer and wine, but little in champagne and neat spirits. As always, drink in moderation, but why not consider swapping your usual pint for a fancier glass of bubbles.

 

 

THE DAILY GIFT OF MEDITATION

The Oxford English Dictionary defines the verb ‘meditate’ as: to focus one’s mind for a period of time, in silence or with the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes, or as a method of relaxation.

There are many different meditation techniques, including: transcendental meditation, prayer, Zen meditation, and Buddhist meditation. Some methods require the body to be absolutely still, or to be moved with controlled deliberation, while other types allow for free movement of the body. While the methods are different, the end goal of all types of meditation is to lead to a mind that is at peace and free from stress by the use of quiet contemplation and reflection. For many, meditation is part of their daily routine.

If practiced regularly, meditation can bring about healing of both the body and the mind.

One of the physical benefits of meditation is a decrease in blood pressure. In addition there can be an improvement in breathing due to the increase of air flow that gets to the lungs.  Practitioners also find that their resting heart rate is lower which takes some of the stress of the heart. Meditation is also said to promote a youthful appearance, and help in chronic diseases such as allergies and arthritis. It can also help in post-operative healing, enhance the immune system by increasing the activity of ‘natural-killer’ cells and reduce the action of viruses.

Ladies may find it reduces pre-menstrual tension, and because evidence shows that chemicals in the body that are associated with stress are lower in practitioners, it can be said to lead to less anxiety for all. Some find it helps decrease depression. This is because it has been found to increase serotonin production which influences mood and behaviour.

Those who meditate say they become less bothered by little things which they previously magnified and turned into serious things. Through meditation, they learn to detach and live in the here and now, rather than worrying about the past or future.

ref: focus-magazines

Practitioners also find that meditation improves their memory and levels of concentration. This makes them more productive. A further benefit is known as ‘Knowledge of Self.’ Meditation allows a deeper understanding of our inner self and some feel that through meditation they gain a better understanding of their life’s purpose and become more self-confident.

the goal of meditation isn't to control your thoughts, it's to stop your thoughts controlling you.

REACHED A PEAK IN YOUR SPORT PERFORMANCE? Here are a few factors that you should consider

Whether playing football in the garden or competing in competitions, sports provide you with a number of benefits both physically and mentally. From improving your self-confidence, to improving cardiovascular health, to simply being a bit of friendly fun, sports can significantly impact your life. Your success and extent of achievements however is dependent on many factors, again, both mentally and physically; it is therefore important to consider as many factors as possible as potential causes if you feel your performance is lagging

Muscular strength and endurance - Every single action in sports, however big or small involves the movement of your muscles.  You can improve your muscular strength and endurance by practicing your particular sport, as well as working out in the weight room. Studies show performing workouts with heavier weight and a lower number of repetitions are better for strength, while working with moderate weight and higher numbers of repetitions is preferable for muscular endurance.

Cardiovascular capacity - Your heart, which is part of your cardiovascular system, is a crucial muscle, because it ensures that oxygenated blood reaches muscles throughout your body that help you run, jump and throw. To improve your cardiovascular capacity, perform cardio exercises such as running, swimming, aerobics or even dancing.

Confidence - Being confident in yourself, your teammates and your skills is sometimes said to be the single most important mental factor in sports performance. Having confidence will give you a positive attitude and help you visualize and achieve success. If you are not confident that you can beat your opponents or improve upon your previous performance, your negativity may prove you right.

Strategic thinking - Thinking strategically means you understand how players interact on the field or court and how you can employ plays that will help you defeat your opponents. By anticipating the moves of your opponents and reacting to plays as they develop, you can greatly improve your chances of winning.

Injury - Whether it is a small niggling injury or something more worrying, continuing to practice your sport could be putting a negative strain on your body and increasing the time it will take to heal! It is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to sports injuries so it is important to seek the help of a chiropractor, a sports masseuse or an alternative treatment.

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