I have no problem talking about "embarrassing" topics like gas and bloating, because I know how uncomfortable and potentially humiliating both can be.
We get a lot of questions from our readers like...
"Isabel, I am eating all of the right foods recommended in my Beyond Diet weight loss plan, but my stomach is a mess! Is it just my body getting used to the change, or is there something else I can do to help?"
There are a few reasons why your stomach and digestive system may be a little out of sorts, even when you're eating all the "right" foods.
First, you may be increasing your fiber content, which is a great thing, but may take your body a few weeks or months to become accustomed to (patience is key here).
Second, you may not be drinking enough water to help your bowels move properly. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate and if you're someone, like me, who loves their coffee, you need even more hydration.
And third, you may not be digesting your food properly. This may be a result of not chewing your food well or your body is not making the right amount of digestive enzymes. This is something I know a LOT about because I have spent the past four years studying and testing the effectiveness of digestive enzymes.
My first real encounter with serious digestive problems was in college, during the exact time I started changing my eating habits to where they are today. I had heard from several health professionals that my body needed time to adjust, and they were right. After months of slowly changing my eating habits, I began to see some real positive changes in my digestion. I felt less bloated, my stomach was not as "pooched," and I didn't automatically feel gassy after every meal. It wasn't quite 100%, but definitely a marked improvement.
My digestive health continued to get better and better as my eating habits got better and better and as I continued to lose weight. Awesome!
Now let's fast-forward almost 10 years later. I'm now married and pregnant with my first son. My stomach was starting to feel that same gas and indigestion that I remembered so well from my college days. Oh well, no big deal. I was pregnant and I expected to be a bit out of sorts.
Here was the issue...AFTER my son was born, my stomach was still a mess.Hmm... What was the problem??
After much research, much trial and error, I discovered that regardless of how extremely clean and healthy I was eating, my body was just not producing a sufficient amount of digestive enzymes. Without digestive enzymes, your body cannot assimilate the food you eat, and this results in gas pains, bloating, and constipation.
I soon found out: You are NOT what you eat, you ARE what you DIGEST.
And I was not digesting!
No matter how well you are eating, if your body does not have the ability to digest those foods, you will continue to experience uncomfortable gas and bloating.
Below are 3 very important tips to get your body digesting your healthy food and get rid of any uncomfortable gas, bloating, or indigestion:
- Raw foods. I am not a proponent of an entirely raw diet. That is just unrealistic for me and may be for you too. But it is essential that you include a lot of raw foods into your eating plan every day. A good rule of thumb is to make sure you have 1 raw food item in every single one of your meals. This could be a raw fruit with breakfast, raw vegetables and nuts as your snack, and raw veggies in your lunch and dinner salad. Whenever I make any of my meals (including snacks) I ask myself, "Where is the raw food item in this meal?" and most times it is an apple, almonds, cucumbers, carrots, or whichever fruit and veggie is abundant in our house at that time.
- Chew, chew and then chew some more. Once my first son was born, what I didn't realize was each meal became a race against time. Instead of sitting at the table and chewing my food thoroughly, I was standing at the kitchen counter "inhaling" every bite I could fit in while the baby slept (new moms, you know what I'm talking about here). Parents have much less time for themselves, and unfortunately my digestion was suffering because of it. Whenever possible, sit down to have your meals and CHEW your food thoroughly. A good trick is to put your fork down several times during the meal which will naturally slow you down.
- Take a quality Digestive Enzyme with every meal. This was a suggestion given to me by my then chiropractor who is also a board certified physician. He said that even with the right foods, my own digestive enzymes may need some assistance. What I didn't know then is that everyone's digestive enzymes naturally decline with age and that my digestion problems was primarily the result of lack of enzymes in my body to properly assimilate the food I was eating.
Since that day, I have been using digestive enzymes every day with each meal. But I should tell you, finding the right one was no easy feat. Some were good, some were bad (and a waste of money), and I never found one that was right where I needed it to be...an effective combination that would take care of digesting proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
It just so happens I know some really trustworthy folks who approached me not too long ago about what I would really want in a digestive enzyme product. I was actually honored that they came to me, even though I know them pretty well. They know how unbelievably strict I am with the quality of anything I recommend and really respected that. So I worked with them on formula after formula until I was 100% satisfied with their formulation. Do you know how I knew I was fully satisfied? I did all of the testing on myself. Yes, I always use myself as the human Guinea pig before I make any recommendations to you.
The company that I worked with is named BioTrust and the digestive enzyme product that resulted is called AbsorbMax. I now take AbsorbMax every day with each meal (3 a day). Even after I was 100% sure, I still waited 90 days of consistently using the product before I allowed myself to tell anyone about it. I am super excited to finally share this information with you!
If bloating, gas, or indigestion is a frustrating issue for you, I strongly recommend using the 3 tips I shared with you and making digestive enzymes an integral part of your healthy routine. These tips, along with using AbsorbMax with each meal will help you put an end to uncomfortable bloating once and for all.