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Can mindful eating help with bloating?

There can be many underlying drivers for bloating including small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), bacterial imbalances & food sensitivities. However, a good place to start is to look at how well you're digesting the food you're eating as this can have a big impact on bloating symptoms.

Our digestive system doesn't like to be in a stressed state when we eat as it cannot do its job properly. You could be eating the most nutritionally perfect meal but if you're eating it when stressed &/or on the go you won't be absorbing as many nutrients from it. We need to be in a relaxed, parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) state when we eat. Eating in a more mindful way can be really beneficial to get into this state and be supportive of the whole digestive process.

This doesn't need to involve mediating before we eat, it can be as simple as doing one of the following...

  • Taking a few deep breaths before eating (taking a longer exhale, than inhale)

  • Chewing each mouthful properly (should be the consistency of baby food when you shallow)

  • Putting the fork down between bites

  • Eating your meal at a table without distractions and devices, rather than eating in front of the TV or on the move

  • Smell your food and think about it (where's it from, what's its origins, what does it taste like?)

My particular favourite is chewing. Chewing your food properly can often be a game changer for my clients with their bloating symptoms. As a first step, I recommend being aware if you're chewing each mouthful properly and then building up from there e.g. if you're currently chewing each mouthful three times, next time try six times and so on. You might be surprised what impact this simple process can make on your digestive health!

Let me know how you get on.

Michelle x



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