Wedding season is in full flow and as the big day approaches, the last thing a bride wants to worry about is having a bloated stomach. The healthy diet might have been stuck to, but as the pressure builds and tension mounts in the last few hours, it’s easy to snack on the wrong food and drinks in a bid to make life easier. Glenn Gibson, Professor in Food Microbiology at the University of Reading, shares his top tips for ensuring every bride to be beats the bloat and looks their best for their big day:
1. Cut out salty and processed foods
Sodium is one of the biggest culprits guaranteed to cause bloating so it’s best to avoid processed and packaged foods as they contain the highest amount of sodium. Even if you keep your hands off the salt shaker, look out for foods for hidden sodium or simply stick to whole foods and fresh ingredients.
2. Take prebiotics to boost your digestion
Try taking a daily prebiotic food supplement like Bimuno®, which feeds and stimulates good bacteria in the gut. It has been clinically proven to significantly reduce bloating in several human studies. Since gut health is closely linked to Serotonin production in the brain, it may also help reduce stress and anxiety leading up to the big day.
3. Say no to the gum
Bloating occurs when you chew gum as a result of swallowing more air than usual. It becomes trapped in your stomach and small intestines. When you swallow air, the nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide enter your small intestines, placing pressure on the abdomen and surrounding areas.
4. Chew food well and try eating more slowly
Eating quickly can increase the amount of gas we have in our stomach. Just chewing for a bit longer can make all the difference. Think of making the most of each mouthful and savouring the flavours, rather than just gobbling your meals down. Digestion begins from the moment we eat and without proper chewing the foods cannot be well digested leading to a build up of gas and bloating.
5. Avoid carbonated drinks the morning of your wedding
Limit fizzy drinks the morning of your wedding. The air bubbles in carbonated drinks travel to the stomach and create an uncomfortable bloated feeling. If you’re craving something more flavourful, perhaps add lemon to your water, or try a tea.