Stress. When you are under stress your body shuts down blood flow to your digestive system diverting energy to where it is needed. It’s tricky because often the foods we eat are a source of stress to our bodies. To reduce stress try eating in an undistracted environment with candle light and avoid offending foods (i.e. sugar, alcohol and bad fats). Also, exercise, meditation and journaling are very effective at reducing stress.
Lack of HCL and/or digestive enzymes. If your stomach is not producing enough stomach acid or your pancreas cannot keep up with the demands for enzymes, the foods we consume are unable to break down efficiently and this will cause bloating and gas. Highly processed diets are already lacking in enzymes and cooking will kill naturally occurring enzymes in foods. Consuming more raw foods and incorporating a digestive enzyme with HCL will help to rebalance this deficiency. However, if you experience burning or pain before, during, or after eating, do not supplement with HCL.
Overeating. As mentioned above, overeating can overtax your pancreas rendering it incapable of keeping up with your enzymatic needs. Also, your stomach becomes distended and the result is you feel bloated. Eating smaller meals, taking the time to enjoy each bite, chewing your food thoroughly will slow down the amount you consume and allow for your stomach to signal your brain that it is full (it can take up to 20 minutes for this signaling to reach the brain). Next time you take a bite of food, try chewing it 20 times before swallowing and see how long this takes…you might be surprised just how little chewing you normally do. Consider that your stomach doesn’t have teeth!
Food Intolerance. Bloating right after eating can be a sign that your body has an intolerance to that food. The biggest culprits? Gluten and dairy are most notable, but even fruit and vegetables can be the cause. The best way to determine the foods you are reacting to is to do an Elimination Diet by eliminating highly allergenic foods and re-introduce them slowly noting any reactions. Alternatively, there is a blood test that you can ask your doctor to have done, but it can be costly and it will be limited to only those foods that you have consumed recently. Little known fact: Often the foods that we crave the most are the ones to which we are most intolerant.
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