Inflammation, bloating or fat?
Is your stomach bothering you now that bathing suit season is here? Men, are you hesitant to take off your shirt in public? Women, are you embarrassed wearing a bikini or tight summer top?
Before you despair at your “belly fat”, consider what could be the source and some possible solutions.
First this month, we will examine causes of bloating and some solutions to try. Below is an excerpt from Dr Christianson’s recent Newsletter. You may have seen his book, The Adrenal Reset diet in the studio bookcase.
Are you experiencing gas and bloating? If so, it’s no joke and you’re not alone!
Gas and bloating are signs that things are changing in your intestinal flora. These can be good or bad
changes. If you’re on a new diet, which includes plenty of high-fiber foods, these foods are feeding your
intestinal tract with many types of good bacteria. If you don’t have a lot of good bacteria already, the
new bacteria coming in can ‘change the guard’, and knock out some of the old ones. This causes gas and bloating. If you’re eating healthy foods and having uncomfortable symptoms, be assured they will
The foods that cause the most changes in your intestines are beans, legumes and cruciferous vegetables. Of the cruciferous vegetables, broccoli and cauliflower are the biggest culprits. Even though they can cause gas, they also really help your bowel flora, immune system and detoxify the body.
What can you do about the symptoms?
One trick is to add these foods to your diet gradually. Start with the beans and legumes. Consider having a tablespoon per day for the first few weeks. This is usually a small enough amount to avoid problems, but large enough to help your flora transition easily. While you’re doing this, you’ll also want other good starches in your diet. Foods like beets, carrots, rutabagas, turnips, parsnips and potatoes are excellent choices. The more your body adapts, the more you can eat.
Some Tips to Make the Transition Easier
Transitions take a process. One tip is knowing what to add to your diet that will soothe your intestines
and help stabilize the whole process. One of the best are fennel seeds. They’re available at the
supermarket (located with the spices) or health food stores. Place them in a skillet over a low flame
with some sea salt. Roll them back and forth until they just start to get brown and aromatic. Store them
in a container and add a few pinches of the seeds to your meals. They do a good job reducing gas and
bloating. (or more simply, add fennel essential oil to your drinking water)
Another is chamomile. We usually associate this wonderful, gentle herb with helping us sleep. However,
it is useful anytime throughout the day to soothe your stomach. It will prevent spasms and gas from forming in your colon.
Fermented foods are also helpful to work into your diet. We’re seeing more fermented foods on the
market than ever before. A few great examples are sauerkraut and kimchi.
With these steps, gas will pass in ways that last! You’ll have healthier digestion afterward with much
Challenge of the month:
This month, start noticing which foods cause a bloated stomach. Try a few strategies listed in Dr C’s newsletter and also stop into your health food store and ask for some digestive enzymes to take with meals. These will reduce the bloating that can result from foods and our systems lacking the enzymes needed for their proper digestion.
Later this month we will look at inflammation as a cause of “big belly”.
And, as always, be very kind with yourself. Make your self care and health a top priority so that you can be there for others for the long term as well as enjoy your life to the fullest.