Why am I so bloated?
Some foods make us bloated. A few of them are pretty notorious. Like beans.
Did you grow up singing some variation of this song?
Beans, beans, good for your heart
The more you eat, the more you fart
The more you fart, the better you feel
So let’s eat beans for every meal!
One reason you might be bloated is because the foods you put in your mouth do not break down right during the digestion process.
Digestion Begins in Your Brain
If you were to start thinking of some of your favorite foods right now, it’s likely that you would start to have extra saliva. (Try it.)
When you walk by a restaurant and smell the delicious aromas, you start to feel hungry, right?
Digestion starts in your brain.
Your five senses send signals to your brain that food is coming. Your brain then tells your digestive system to prepare.
Next Comes How You Eat
The foods (aka: macronutrients) we eat have to be broken down into their individual (smaller) parts so that we can properly absorb and digest them. They’re just too big otherwise—thus the “macro” in “macronutrients.” After your food is broken down into the basic building blocks, your body can then use these for all components of life.
You run into problems when food doesn’t digest (or break down) in the right way.
The first cause of this is not chewing your food well. Don’t zone out, focused on a screen, when you’re eating. Focus on your food and chew it until it’s like a smoothie.
The Biggest Part of Digestion
Another big reason for food not properly digesting is a lack of proper digestive enzymes.
Some high-fiber foods such as fruits and vegetables contain enzymes of their own that work with digestive enzymes to break down foods faster and allow your body to access nutrients quickly for cell reparation and growth. However, when food is grown in soil that doesn’t have enough nutrients, or if that food is processed or prepared with heat, it doesn’t have the enzymes anymore.
If foods do not include this pairing of essential enzymes, or if the body is unable to produce enough enzymes to promote healthy digestion and diverse microbial life, your body may not absorb the nutrients properly.
This could lead to symptoms such as:
- Thyroid issues
- Lackluster hair, skin, and nails
- Mood swings
- Digestive distress
- And depression
Enzyme consumption and production is intrinsically tied to well-being. Certain foods like pineapples, mangos, papayas, bananas, kiwis, and honey have been used in Central and South America for centuries to regulate digestion and inflammation in the GI tract.
Many raw foods (grown in nutrient-rich soil) also have digestive enzymes. Typically, fermented foods are not heated and are another source of beneficial enzymes. These would include sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt, kimchi, and even apple cider vinegar.
Before Considering a Digestive Enzyme Supplement
You shouldn’t just jump to supplementing with digestive enzymes without a proper diagnosis or trying a few strategies first.
My first recommendation for digestive distress would be to relax more, focus on your food, eat slower, and chew more thoroughly. This helps to break down food so you are not as bloated and can also put less stress on your digestive tract.
The second step would be to try eliminating certain troublesome foods from your diet (dairy & gluten, for example) and see if that helps.
Finally, help your body do what it is designed to do. This Gut Health Essentials stack supports a healthy digestive system and diverse gut microbiome with this set of supplements. Protandim® Nrf2 Synergizer® reduces oxidative stress and supports your body’s natural detoxification reactions to help your body remove wastes and toxins. LifeVantage® ProBio™ delivers 6 billion CFUs of beneficial bacteria deep into your intestines, where they’re needed most. This helps balance your digestive system, improve your body’s efficient use of nutrients, and support your immune health. PhysIQ® Prebiotic provides dietary fiber and key nutrients that your good bacteria need to flourish.*
When we can’t digest our food, we can’t provide our bodies with nutrients. When dealing with symptoms of improperly digested food (like feeling bloated,) it’s easy to want to jump straight into using a supplement. But many times I would rather try other strategies first.
A simple change like sitting down for meals could provide a fulfilling way to destress and allow our enzymes to provide break down those nutrients that will speed us on our way. Allowing your 5-senses to prepare your digestive system is another simple change that can help greatly.
If you decide to try digestive supplements, look for ones that support your body’s natural processes like the Gut Health Essentials.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.