How to beat bloating: the research
70% of people suffer from bloating, and more than 50% do so regularly. Why? Poor dietary choices, food intolerances, stress, hormone changes, IBS, constipation – these and other factors can all cause bloating. Our survey of over 800 men and women, including over 250 users of our acclaimed Debloat & Detox, reveals who suffers from bloating, the common food intolerances, the impact of bloating, and the best tips to ‘beat the bloat’.
What age does bloating start?
Whilst nearly a third of people suffer from bloating as teenagers and in their 20s, the number of people suffering from bloating rises markedly among those in their 30s and is highest among those in their 40s.
Top 10 effects of bloating
Stress and bloating
Our gut health is central to the production of serotonin, which is our ‘happy hormone’. If we’re suffering from bloating and poor gut health, it directly affects our mood and our ability to deal with anxiety and stress. That’s why there is such a focus on diet, nutrition and gut health to relieve anxiety and stress, and it's also why 67% of people say their bloating worsens when they’re stressed. Learn more in '6 signs of an unhealthy gut'.
The impact of bloating
Persistent or even occasional bloating can be debilitating. 66% of people who suffer from bloating say it restricts how they go about their daily life. A third of people will experience mild depression as a result of their bloating, whilst 4 out of 10 people avoid social contact and going out as a result of their bloating.
What causes bloating?
Our survey shows 1 in 4 people are intolerant to dairy, and nearly 2 in 10 people are intolerant to gluten or wheat, but the actual figures are believed to be much higher because so many people live with undiagnosed food intolerances. Discover the 'Signs of gluten intolerance'.
IBS and imbalanced gut microbiome
Imbalanced gut bacteria, where bad bacteria, parasites, fungi and other organisms build up in your gut over time, is a very common cause of bloating and IBS. Our survey showed 46% of people suffer IBS, of which bloating is the most common symptom. Learn about the 'Common and unusual symptoms of IBS'.
PMS & Menopause
Bloating is a common symptom of the menstrual cycle due to hormonal changes that affect the movement of food through your stomach, small and large intestines to your colon (‘motility of the gut’), which can lead to bloating. Hormone changes also have the same affect for women going through menopause, with 60% experiencing bloating through the peri-menopause and menopause, adding to challenges with maintaining a healthy weight and contributing to fatigue. You may enjoy 'How to know if you're starting menopause' and '8 unusual symptoms of menopause'.
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Certain foods and drinks
Our survey highlights the 14 most common foods and drinks that cause bloating, with refined bread the #1 culprit.
When you consider the growth in the culture of snacks, burgers and sandwiches in the last 50 years, the popularity of toast, cereals and yoghurt for breakfast, our thirst for cold refreshing fizzy drinks, and not to mention the huge growth in coffee culture, it is not surprising that three quarters of the population suffer from bloating!
Our bodies are simply not designed to easily digest and eliminate these foods through our stools, leading to bloating, IBS, unhealthy poo, constipation, excessive gas and much more. Learn more in ‘What does your poo say about your health?’.
Debloat & Detox
Debloat & Detox is an acclaimed formula for relieving digestive related bloating. Our survey included 251 customers of Debloat & Detox, and 80% found it to be effective for relieving bloating, excessive wind and gas, constipation, stomach cramps and other symptoms when taking it daily.
50% of people began to enjoy relief from symptoms within 2 weeks after using Debloat & Detox, and 85% enjoyed relief from symptoms within 4 weeks.
If your bloating is a symptom of IBS or other gut health issues, including an imbalanced gut microbiome, Gut Works is recommended as a better alternative to address bloating.
5 tips to beat the bloat
The good news is that you don't need to suffer from bloating for ever - as well as Gut Works and Debloat & Detox, here are 5 important tips to get on top - and stay on top - of bloating.
1. Don't eat when stressed
When your body is anxious or stressed it triggers the ‘flight or fight’ response, which deprioritises and conserves non-essential functions, of which digestion is one. Your stomach acid becomes less efficient in breaking down foods, and your gut motility slows down, leading to bloating.
If you’re feeling tight, anxious or stressed, take lots of deep breaths before eating. Let other people start and until your body relaxes. Even cooking a big meal for lots of people can raise your levels of stress and hinder your digestion of the meal you’ve just cooked! Pause, breathe, take a few minutes before you start eating.
2. Chew and chew again
Your stomach needs to absorb as many nutrients from the food you eat as it can, and the more you chew your food and break it open, the easier it is for your stomach to both digest your food and to obtain the vital vitamins, minerals, amino acids and fatty acids. It’s obviously different for different foods – if it’s a yogurt, take it slowly. If it’s beans or carrots, chew them as much as you can before swallowing. If you can chew it until it feels like baby food in your mouth, that's a good thing!
3. Avoid drinking too much when eating
Your stomach needs the acid within it to break down your food. The more you drink during a meal, the more likely you are to wash away the acid, reducing the effectiveness of your stomach in breaking down your food before it passes into the small intestine. Try to drink as much as you can away from your meals, and as little as you can whilst you’re eating.
4. Add bitter greens to your meals
Try to add bitter greens such as rocket, kale, spinach, watercress and dandelion to as many of your meals as possible. Bitter greens stimulate your digestive juices and help breakdown the foods that you’re eating.
5. Avoid common foods that cause bloating
Refined bread, fizzy drinks, milk, dairy products, alcohol, sweeteners and much more, as shown in our research, can all cause bloating and wider gut health issues, both on their own and in combination. Eliminate foods and drinks from your diet that are common causes of bloating.
Avoid bread, toast and cereal for breakfast and instead opt for fruit, Greek yoghurt, and wholegrain granola with zero added sugar. Try to say no to that cappuccino or latte, and instead treat yourself to a fruit smoothie, herbal tea or just good ice cold water. You may also enjoy 'Best alternatives to caffeine'.
View our range of vegan probiotics and supplements.
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