25 January 2013

How to reduce gas as a vegetarian

 If you've ditched the meat and befriended the vast array of vegetables, fruits, and grains, then you're most likely no stranger to the uncomfortable (and rather embarrassing) occurrence of intestinal gas. To the relief of vegetarians and vegans alike, we all have solutions to combat our common belly bloat.

1. Drink more water and/or tea
As if water wasn't crucial to optimal health already, try drinking at least two cups of water upon waking in the morning. Water, usually in the form of tea, does a wonderful job in flushing out excess sodium in the body after urination.

2. Eat slowly
Eating too quickly at meals can cause you to swallow air, thus causing bloat and gas. Pace yourself while you eat by chewing your food thoroughly, sipping on warm tea on the side. Eating quickly can also mean that you're most likely swallowing large pieces of food which will make your body work harder to break it down.

3. Eliminate problem foods
Although common "problem foods" are all over our kitchens there may be some that make us gassier than others. Find out which foods those are and limit them in your diet.

4. Make sure you're not overeating
Are you eating because you're hungry or because there's still food on your plate? Put down the fork for a second and listen to your body.

5. Go for a walk after meals
A few minutes after a meal can be followed with a light walk. Physical movement will allow your body to naturally get rid of any trapped air inside. The walk back home should make you feel light and less weighed down.

6. Consider 12-hour fasts, if necessary
 If you've tried many of the above tips and none of them worked for you, then you may want to try fasting for 12 hours during the night. For instance, if dinner ends at 9PM then breakfast should be 9AM the next morning. In other words, no snacking after dinner. Drink water and give your body a break from digesting food all the time. Not only could the digestive state cause bloat and gas but it can also make you feel lethargic.

7. Turn to herbs and certain foods for a natural relief
Camomile, ginger, peppermint; cucumbers, bananas, avocados, yogurt, and berries... these are the herbs and foods that will aid in digestion, electrolyte balance, and/or enzymes to help your body rid itself of gas.

8. Get into enzymes
Enzymes will help your body digest and use energy quicker than it would normally do. Raw fruits and vegetables are brimming with naturally-occurring enzymes but if you want an added boost, then you can go to your local health food store and purchase an enzyme supplement.

Joanna Tenderro | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Google+
San Diego, CA Born and raised in San Diego, CA, Joanna has been vegan since mid-2010 and is passionate about nutrition, animal rights, eco-friendly living, and yoga. She's studying to major in the field of nutrition to counsel and educate those around her about living and eating healthy... the vegan way.

Photo credit:cc:flickr.com/photos/cookbookman