Stomach bloating is when your tummy feels stretched and uncomfortable and is often caused by what you eat. Drinking Fizzy drinks and eating cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower and sprouts, as well as spicy food, are all common culprits of bloating. So what can you do to reduce or even stop bloating? Research has proven taking a ginger supplement may offer a helping hand.
Studies have shown ginger supplements may speed up stomach emptying, relieve digestive upset and reduce intestinal cramping, bloating and gas.
If your bloating also makes you feel cautious, human studies have suggested taking 1 to 1.5g of ginger capsules daily in divided doses may relieve nausea.
More research is needed to conclude whether ginger tea can have the same effect, but many experts say the beneficial compounds in ginger (gingerols) are also present in its tea.
Another supplement which could prove effective when it comes to bloating is turmeric.
Turmeric, a popular spice in Indian cooking, is traditional Ayurvedic medicine and has long been praised for its health and wellbeing benefits, according to Holland & Barrett.
Among its qualities it’s been proven to ease digestion problems, which can mainly be attributed to its curcumin content.
The high street health store says: “Curcumin can help support gut health, including relieving excess gas, abdominal pain and bloating.
“A 2013 trial by the University of Nottingham found cur cumin stimulates the gallbladder to produce bile, an essential substance needed to break down fat in foods.”
Turmeric can be enjoyed in a number of foods but is also available as a supplement.
There is no reference nutrient intake (RNI) for turmeric so you should always refer to the dosage stated on the label.
The World Health Organisation advises to take 3mg per kg of bodyweight of curcminoids, which includes curcumin.
Peppermint oil is also recommended to beat digestive problems like bloating by Dr Sarah Brewer, medical director of Healthspan.
The oil improves digestion and relieve bloating by increasing gastric emptying, stimulating secretion of digestive juices and bile, said Dr Brewer.
She added: “It also has a relaxing effect on the intestinal tract to relieve spasm. Peppermint is therefore taken to relieve bloating, indigestion, intestinal cramps, flatulence and irritable bowel syndrome.
“The results from 12 clinical trials, involving almost 600 people, explored the effectiveness of peppermint oil, fibre or antispasmodic drugs (eg mebeverine, hyoscine, otilonium bromide) in treating IBS.
“The number needed to prevent one patient having persistent symptoms was 11 for fibre, 5 for antispasmodics, and 2.5 for peppermint oil, making it the most effective treatment.”
You can drink peppermint tea as required, or take a peppermint capsule (100mg) per day.