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Bloating Can Be Caused By Slow Digestion, Not Eating The Wrong Foods

Bloating Can Be Caused By Slow Digestion, Not Eating The Wrong Foods

Our body is a wonderful thing; it functions without us even having to think about it, from our heart continuously beating, to our lungs filling up with oxygen. The same goes for our digestive system – the whole complex process from the the food entering our mouth to being broken down, sifting out the needed nutrients and getting rid of waste – is something we don’t have to give a second thought to.

However, when this process is disrupted in any way, we can start to see and feel the consequences with one of the main symptoms being bloating around the stomach area. Most of us can identify with that uncomfortable tight feeling but what causes bloating? There are a few reasons, but one common cause is slow digestion.

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How Slow Digestion Can Lead to Bloating

Our digestive system normally runs on a 24-72 hour cycle from the moment we get up in the morning and eat breakfast, all the way to dinner and going to bed. When this complex system is disrupted by being slowed down, excess gas is produced and trapped within the gastrointestinal tract.

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Since the digestive process is not working at its optimal peak, symptoms can occur such as constipation, excess fullness due to the food sitting for longer at each stage of the digestive process, and of course, the tight, uncomfortable feeling that comes with bloating.

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What Other Factors Lead to Slow Digestion?

  • Not chewing food properly: we are told at a young age to make sure we chew our food properly. While many have taken this good habit into adulthood, many of us don’t always take the time to sit and chew food to a sufficient point where the food is broken down enough for our digestive systems to cope optimally. The enzymes in our saliva are there to be mixed well with the food ready to be passed on down to the stomach to start the process. By giving ourselves enough time to chew each mouthful, we are allowing the food to be in an optimal state to start being digested properly. In other words, your digestive system will not have a reason to struggle.
  • pH value of the mouth: the pH level of our mouths are usually slightly alkaline so any increase in acidity or too much alkaline can cause the enzymes to become off balance. It’s important to be aware of the types of foods we consistently put into our mouths in order to keep the pH value at its perfect level.
  • Temperature: some say the temperature in our stomach can slow down digestion, for example, when gulping down iced water but this hasn’t been scientifically proven. However, air temperature is thought to have an effect on our digestion so warmer climates encourage the blood vessels to open up and allow essential hormones to circulate more easily resulting in aiding body processes including digestion. Colder climates are thought to slow down the process but only in extreme conditions – either way it won’t hurt to be at a slightly higher temperature while consuming meals.

How to Boost Up A Slow Digestion

There are many ways to combat a slow digestion but it should involve consistent, healthy habits that allow your body to work at its optimum level. Here are some great habits to speed up digestion and combat that uncomfortable bloated feeling.

  • Avoiding processed and refined foods: unnatural, processed and refined foods consumed on a regular basis can put strain on our digestion because the body takes longer to break it down.
  • Drinking enough water: water is essential for an optimal digestive system and without it the body struggles to flush the intestines, soften stools and prevent constipation and bloating. 
  • Eating enough fibre: fibre is essential for digestion because plays a role in stimulating bowel contractions and moving food into the intestines. Without enough fibre in the diet, the digestive process starts to struggle and takes longer resulting in bloating.
  • Regular exercise routine: exercise optimises the way our whole body works including the digestive system. By having a regular exercise routine you keep your digestion process flowing at a healthy pace.

While slow digestion is a common cause of bloating, it’s always advised to visit a doctor if you suffer from prolonged symptoms to rule out any other causes it could be. Living a healthy, active lifestyle will always go towards an optimum-working body so if you want to get rid of that tight, bloated feeling try picking up some of these habits and see if it makes a difference!

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Jenny Marchal

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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