1. Boost your fibre
Why is fibre so important? It keeps everything moving through the digestive tract so food doesn’t pile up and leave you bloated. Women need 25 g of fibre a day (that’s equivalent to about one serving of high-fibre cereal, one cup of raspberries, one cup of broccoli and half a cup of navy beans). The reality is most get only about half of that. Some of my go-to fibre-filled favourites are oatmeal, figs and pears.
2. Eat more probiotics
Clean out your gut and banish gas by snacking on probiotic-rich foods like yogurt and kefir (a fermented dairy drink). These “good” bacteria improve digestion and break down food more effectively. For best results, eat a serving of probiotics a day for at least two weeks.
Try it: Add kefir to your morning smoothie or pack plain yogurt in your lunch.
Read more: The health benefits of fermented foods
3. Make rice a carb of choice
Some foods cause bloating because of the way your body breaks them down. These foods typically arrive in your large intestine intact, and the digestion process can result in bloat-inducing gas. Trigger foods are different for everyone, but a common culprit is carbs. Avoid the issue altogether by swapping carbs like potatoes, corn and pasta for brown rice — it’s the only starch that doesn’t cause gas.
4. Chew on fennel seeds
The seeds of this herb, long celebrated for its digestive properties, are genius emergency bloat busters. Chewing on them helps melt away gas bubbles that build up in your gut and cause bloating. Try to keep a supply with you at all times — you can store a little baggie in your purse. Better yet, pop half a teaspoon before eating any meal that you know is a trigger for you.
Bonus: Fennel capsules or tea are also a natural remedy for heartburn and help boost milk production when breastfeeding.
5. Get smarter about dairy
As you age, your body produces less lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose, the sugar found in dairy. This means it gets harder to digest some dairy products, which can lead to bloating. But not all dairy products cause symptoms — some, like hard cheeses, are lower in lactose than others, like milk. And cultured dairy, like yogurt and kefir (see #2), contains gut-friendly bacteria that help digest lactose for you.
Tip: If milk is a trigger food for you, consider lactose-free varieties.
Try this bloat-busting yoga move!
The best pose to relieve tummy troubles: the wind reliever. It helps get rid of stubborn gas that just doesn’t want to leave your system. Lie on your back, hug one knee to your chest and hold for 30 seconds.
Dr. Oz is a renowned heart specialist, North America’s favourite health guru, and the host of The Dr. Oz Show, which airs weekdays at 2 p.m. ET and 3 p.m. CT on CTV (check local listings).