Battle of the Bloat: Paleo Foods to Eat to Avoid Bloating
Feeling bloated? All you need to do is swallow a pill sold as an OTC product in the pharmacy, or stir some powdered fiber supplement into your coffee or tea, and your problems will be solved, right? Not in a million years!
It drives me nuts when I see the media promoting this type of thing; the same old approach of treating symptoms without even a mention as to addressing why they might be occurring in the first place.
But first, what is bloating? For anyone lucky enough to never have experienced it, imagine a pressure within your abdomen that can feel so intense, it’s as though a tube attached to a bicycle pump were placed down your throat and inflated in your belly.
Abdominal bloating is a condition in which the abdomen feels uncomfortably full and tight and may be visibly swollen (distended). Bloating is a common complaint, affecting between 10-30% of adults.1
It’s just awful and, back before I learned about Paleo, I had the joy of experiencing bloating on a regular basis. I ultimately figured out it was being caused primarily by eating gluten and soy. No matter what fiber supplement I took or oat-bran muffin-cake the doctors told me I needed, nothing helped until I stopped creating the situation in the first place. In other words, I needed to stop ingesting the foods that were causing problems so then, and only then, all those uncomfortable side effects finally began to dissipate.
The problem as I see it, however, is that people aren’t made aware of how important what they’re eating is in this, as well as any type of health related scenario. Even worse, we’re told that it’s normal! In fact, I recall seeing a recent article that suggested that bloating is simply part of a woman’s aging process2 as ability to properly digest food and assimilate nutrients will slow during the course of one’s life, so get used to it as there’s not much that can be done. Nonsense!
Again, if we don’t eat foods that we cannot digest, we can sidestep this whole process in its entirety. Bloating can occur when the digestion process is halted.
Foods that cause bloating and gassiness include gluten as well as gluten-free grains, dairy (the proteins in dairy are cross reactive with those in gluten), legumes (the children’s tune about beans being good for the heart, but the more you eat…didn’t come from nowhere!)3
When you begin to implement a true Paleo diet approach, the focus turns to whole, complete, local fresh food that our bodies can properly and easily digest. Wondering what the best Paleo foods to eat are in order to avoid bloating? All of them!
So guess what happens to that bloating, gassiness and other GI disorders that may have become all too commonplace? Say goodbye to them forever!
Unless, that is, you opt to eat said foods again or worse, you eat them without knowing what you’re eating. In the event the latter occurs, there’s no quick fix for getting the toxins out of your system, but the list of real foods below can help soothe your stomach and help you feel better a bit more quickly.
Good to have on hand in case of food poisoning, activated charcoal can help to absorb toxins in the body, which can facilitate your return to your comfort zone.
Naturally high in anti-inflammatory properties, fresh ginger root is also indicated to help soothe the stomach. Chop it up, steep in hot water and serve it up with some lemon in your favorite mug.
BONE BROTH OR CHICKEN BROTH
Healing, soothing and delish to boot, having some homemade broth on hand in the freezer in small portion sizes is a great way to ensure you’ve got something to rely on when something happens that leaves you feeling under the weather. (Keep it in mind for fighting off colds, too!)
Also helpful in calming an irritated stomach, fresh mint can easily be steeped into a hot tea, or even chewed; the most natural substitute for chewing gum, without the cow-chewing-its-cud visual!
One of the basics, yes, but something often overlooked. Increasing water intake, without overdoing it, of course, can help facilitate toxins leaving the body through excretion. Drink up!
Yet one more benefit of following a True Paleo regime is it’s a natural way to prevent bloating, which also means a flatter tummy, too.
 “What Causes Abdominal Bloating? 48 Possible Conditions.” Abdominal Bloating: Symptoms, Causes & Treatments. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 June 2015.
 “Middle Age Bloating & Belly Fat.” LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 28 Jan. 2015. Web. 02 June 2015.
 “Food That Make You Bloat (And What To Eat To Prevent It).” The Huffington Post. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 June 2015.