1. Food combining
'Whenever I feel sluggish or bloated, I switch to Food Combining,' says top aromatherapist Glenda Taylor. 'Thisis when you only eat certain foods together that are similar to digest – so, for instance, you don't mix carbs and protein in one meal. Nuts and veg (apart from potatoes) are neutral, so you can eat them any time, while fruit has to eaten alone. You feel the difference just one day – lighter and more energetic!'
2. Massage it!
This is a great way to calm the bloat and ease the gas from your system. 'Add a few drops of grapefruit and juniper essential oils to 1tbsp jojoba oil, then massage it over your tummy in a clockwise motion, going progressively deeper – it really helps,' says Glenda.
3. Hold the fruit
It could be your gut nemesis. 'Some people just can't eat fruit together with other foods,' says research herbalist Monica Wilde. 'Fruit is digested more quickly than meat, for example, and the stomach can start to empty too soon into the gut, causing wind discomfort and bloating.' Try skipping the fruit dessert.
4. Chew fennel seeds
'Digestive bloating may be helpedby consuming fennel seeds,' says herbalist Tipper Lewis. 'Best after a meal, you can literally eat a teaspoon of them or make them into a tea!'
5. Drink mint tea
'Peppermint has an anti-spasmodic and calming effect. This helps any gas that may be present in your gut to escape, leaving you less bloated,' says nutritionist Shona Wilkinson. Result!
6. Take turmeric
A scant teaspoon of turmeric added to yoghurt is a great post-meal tummy settler. But for those who like ongoing anti-inflammatory support, a tea with a blend of digestion-loving herbs is a good idea. Choose flavours such as turmeric or cardamom or opt for green tea.
7. Oil your insides
'A yeast infection like candida causes bloating,' says Monica. 'If that's your problem, try cutting sugar from your diet, consume more leafy greens and take 3tbsp coconut oil a day. It contains caprylic acid, which kills candida.'
8. Chew mindfully
'I bang on about this constantly, but if you're inhaling your food you won't be breaking it down properly, which can cause bloating. You really want the food to be liquid in the mouth before swallowing,' says nutritional therapist Eve Kalinik.
9. Calm with clay
Sounds odd, but it works. 'My failsafe remedy for the gut is detox capsules, which contain clay to absorb excess gas and psyllium to ease bowel movements,' says pharmacist Margo Marrone. 'I guaranteea flatter tummy within 24 hours.'
10. Fermented foods
This is such a huge trend right now.'I strongly recommend them to combat bloating,' enthuses nutritional therapist Claire Barnes. 'Fermented foods contain many strains of beneficial bacteria.' Cottage cheese, natural yoghurt, kefir milk, miso, tempeh and sauerkraut are all good sources. 'Alternatively, you could take a probiotic to reduce the likelihood of bloating.'
11. Grab some ginger
Pilates guru Lynne Robinson has a flat-tum cure. 'You can imagine that, asa Pilates teacher, I'm expected to have a flat stomach – bloating is not an option!' says Lynne. 'However, I am human and partial to the odd curry. If I think my digestive system might be challenged by what I've just eaten, I'll make hot water with slices of fresh ginger.' Good move, as ginger is a great gas disperser!
12. Beat it with bitters
Sluggish digestion means food is never properly broken down, which sparksa tight, gassy and inflated tum. 'Taking a herbal bitters mix – with dandelion root, milk thistle and gentian in the blend – 15 minutes before a meal stimulates saliva and stomach acid to help improve digestion,' says Monica. Sip it as an aperitif – 5ml in a little water with a chunk of ice.
13. Eat porridge
Constipation bloats likenobody's business. 'Including oats in your diet gives you fibre and bulk that aids regular elimination,' says Shona. 'Have porridge for breakfast with flaxseeds and berries!'
14. Have a drink!
Water, of course! 'Drink a glass 30 minutes before each meal,' suggests Shona. 'Good hydration allows your body to make hydrochloric acid that breaks down food and releases enzymes, which aid digestion. The 30-minute gap will make sure that there is no water in your stomach to dilute the hydrochloric acid.' Simplest prevention ever!