PSA: bloating of the stomach certainly isn't a sexy topic of conversation come Christmas time (well, any time for that matter…). However, did you know that 87 per cent of Aussie women experience digestive discomfort, like bloating*?
And while the myriad causes of bloating range from things like stress, pregnancy and the lead up to your period, along with food intolerances and yo-yo dieting, the silly season can also bring on its own unique set of gut-busting triggers.
No really – experts suggest that even drinking your favourite Christmas cocktail through a straw can bring on the bloat. Not only that, but indulging in foods you wouldn't normally eat (read: three generous servings of Nan's Christmas pudding…), can leave you feeling heavy, gassy and just plain uncomfortable.
Sidelining the straw in that summertime Aperol Spritz (salivates) aside, commit these bloating remedies to memory ASAP. Because ain't nobody got time to feel bloated and in pain when the summer sunshine sets in.
^^ See? Even six-packed Sam Wood BLOATS.
Prep your body for festive feasting
Maintaining a diet conducive to beating the bloat isn't going to be an easy feat come Christmas Day. Instead or restricting yourself of the festive season's delicious dishes, prepare your body in the holiday lead-up.
According to accredited practising dietitian Melanie McGrice, good gut health is all about eating a diet rich in fibre, along with prebiotics from vegetables, legumes and fruit, and probiotics from foods like a probiotic-packed yoghurt.
Although, it is worth noting that not all yoghurts are probiotic, which is why it's so important that you check food labels for one that is proven to aid digestive comfort**.
Our go-to? Activia Probiotic Yoghurt; loaded with more than 4.4 billion exclusive Bifidus ActiRegularis probiotics per serve, this pot of gut-health goodness has been scientifically proven to help improve digestive comfort** in your stomach. Surviving through the stomach and reaching the intestines alive, the Bifidus work to help restore the imbalance in your gut that may have been caused by poor diet.
^^The easiest way to get more probotioc-packed yoghurt into your diet? Add it to your favourite smoothie (and reap the delicious benefits).
Yep, stretching in the name of bloating can quickly alleviate stomach pain and discomfort caused by bloating. How? Well, by practising twisting yogic postures, you are encouraging circulation as well as assisting things to move throughout your body.
That said, yoga can also ease stress – something that can be responsible for a sore, bloated gut in the first place.
"Stress has been found to make nerve-endings in the digestive tract more sensitive, causing greater levels of discomfort," McGrice explains.
^^Yoga, necessary. Super-cute, agile baby goat, optional.
Watch your alcohol intake - and drink plenty of water
Summertime calls for days spent at the beach, not to mention sunshine-soaked afternoon beers and barbecues with friends. But this can also mean that your alcohol intake sky-rockets, and your water consumption subsequently plummets.
As DrinkWise Australia informs us when you drink alcohol, it increases the acid in your stomach, which not just irritates your stomach lining, but can produce gas in your stomach, causing bloating and cramping.
Plus, a lack of water can leave your body dehydrated, which can lead to bloating and constipation.
Better Health Victoria recommends women should be drinking 2.1L (8 cups) of water a day; men, 2.6L (10 cups). Make sure you keep your alcohol intake in-check over the silly season, and up your water intake to cater for your higher alcohol consumption.
^^Martini-drinking in MODERATION is key, people.
*Fiftyfive 5 U&A study 2014. (n=1000) Sample nationally representative, women 17-80 years old.
**By consuming 2 pots of Activia 125g/day during four weeks and maintaining a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.
Brought to you by Activia