Imagine going out all dressed up for a dinner date with your friends. Then suddenly, after all the eating, chatting, and laughing, you feel discomfort and heaviness coming from your stomach. When
you feel that sensation as if your tummy is about to explode from gas, there is a chance that you are experiencing bloating.
Bloating is described as the feeling of having a swollen belly after eating. It’s usually caused by disturbance of the muscle movement in the digestive system or excess gas production. More often
than not, bloating provides a feeling of discomfort and can make your stomach look more prominent than usual.
But in the ancient Indian healing approach called Ayurveda, it is believed that bloating is caused by an imbalance from a person’s Vata dosha. This over 5,000 years of alternative healing teaches
that Vata is one of the three Doshas or vital energies in our body that are responsible for our overall health and well-being.
Elements of space and air are dominant in our body’s Vata Dosha, that is why during a Vata imbalance, our body experiences bloating and other digestive problems. Here’s how to treat bloating the
Ayurveda believes that overproduction of gas in our stomach is not the only reason behind bloating. The Vata imbalance is also caused by entertaining harmful and not-so-fresh foods like fried
food, processed meats, and cold foods.
It is essential to be mindful of what you eat. The key to balancing Vata is by eating on a seasonal basis. It means
that you have to match what you eat with the current season as it also affects the digestion.
During summer, our digestion is weaker, that is why our body craves for lighter food, which is easier to break down. This is the season where we should indulge in light and fresh foods, including
fruits, vegetables, and generally cooked food. On the other hand, our body tends to look for soups and stews when the temperature drops down.
1. Hot Water in The Morning
Make it a habit to drink a cup of warm water first thing in the morning. Our Ayurvedic body clock suggests that our digestive fire is naturally low the minute we wake up. Drinking hot water gives
our agni a signal to jumpstart the day.
A cup of hot water in the morning also prepares our digestive system to entertain food and at the same time, stimulate bowel movements. You can practice this daily, not just when you are feeling
2. Avoid Gas-Producing Foods
Now that we know that the imbalance in our Vata dosha causes bloating, we should keep in mind to stay away from foods which usually trigger gas production. These include
Brussel sprouts, broccoli, potatoes, cauliflower, peas, beans, and cabbage. Cut them out of your diet immediately and reintroduce them to your digestive system once you feel less gassy.
If you really can’t avoid gas-producing foods mentioned above, make sure to cook them properly and add more spices to balance the flavor.
3. Cook Your Veggies
While some people find raw salads beneficial to their diet, others may end up having a bigger belly and may feel bloated after eating fresh vegetables. Don’t get this wrong, salads are healthy,
but raw vegetables are giving our digestive system a hard time to process. If you are continually feeling bloated after eating veggies, try cooking it by steaming or sautéing correctly before
Remember, Ayurvedic medicine believes that our digestive system is composed of the element fire. So putting raw food will extinguish the fire. Cooking your vegetables properly is like helping
your digestive system to pre-digest them before it even reaches your mouth.
Cooking your veggies will help your digestive system to work less and convert the food nutrients easily.
4. Spice Up Your Food
Herbs and spices do not just give color and flavors to your diet; it is also beneficial to your digestive system, especially when you are feeling bloated. Try adding ginger, ajwain, coriander,
fennel, or cumin to your daily meals to increase your digestive fire and prevent gas production.
5. Slowly Chew Your Food
Ayurveda believes that our overall digestive health does not only depend on the food we eat but how we eat it. Chewing your food fast leads your digestion to suffer and may lead to bloating. Your
stomach can only digest liquids.
Sit down and take your time when you eat. Aside from enjoying the flavors of your food more, chewing slowly will make a massive difference to your digestion. Ideally, we should chew our food up
to 30 times per bite to slow down the tendency to inhale food and produce gas.
6. Fennel Seeds After Meals
Do you notice when you dine in Indian restaurants, they usually have a stash of fennel seeds mixed with candy at the cash register? It is because chewing and swallowing at least one teaspoon of
fennel seeds after meals every day can help relieve the uncomfortable feeling of bloating.
Fennel seeds are also beneficial to boost your digestion and prevent post-mealtime gas. You can also mix the fennel seeds with a warm glass of water and drink it after meals.