Experts suggest that you can beat bloating and flatten your stomach with natural solutions such as activated charcoal, bitter greens, and celery.
Abdominal bloating occurs when the gastrointestinal tract is filled with gas or air. It is often described by people who experience it as feeling full, tight, or swollen in the abdomen. Oftentimes, it is accompanied by pain, excessive gas or flatulence, frequent burping or belching, or abdominal rumbling or gurgles. (Related: Stop bloating, belching and flatulence: Top natural remedies for abdominal gas.)
In the article, Sydney-based natural health expert Amie Skilton said that there are some natural alternatives that can help beat bloating aside from the countless medical solutions.
Three lesser known cures which have been found to calm and relieve a bloated and gassy gut revealed in the article are activated charcoal, bitter greens, and celery.
Surprisingly, charcoal has been found to ease pain caused by gut gases. It works by soaking up harmful, uncomfortable acids and gases that can accumulate in the stomach, and removes them from the body. These substances are often responsible for indigestion and acid reflux.
Activated charcoal is a fine black powder that is highly absorbent and is made from natural materials such as coconut shells, wood, peat, and bamboo. It is heated up until it becomes porous, so that it can soak up chemicals, acting like a sponge. It works by trapping toxins and chemicals in its millions of tiny pores. However, it is not advisable to be used when petroleum, alcohol, lye acids, or other corrosive poisons are ingested.
Health and wellness enthusiasts like Skilton believe that charcoal tablets can be effective in relieving some symptoms linked with bad bloating.
“If someone is really gassy, this can absorb any biotoxins that are sitting in the gut,” Skilton said.
However, she added that it only provides symptomatic relief. She also recommends seeing a practitioner to fix any gut imbalances.
Activated charcoal is available in liquid, powder, and tablet forms. The liquid and powder forms are commonly used in cases of poisoning, while the tablets are usually used to relieve more general health issues, including digestive problems.
Green leafy vegetables are widely known to have a lot of health benefits and are also found to be good for the stomach.
Starting a meal with a lot of rocket leaves, chicory, or radicchio served with extra virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon can help with digestion, according to Jeannetter Hyde, author of The Gut Makeover.
“Bitter leaves can help you digest your food better, leading to less bloating down the disgestive tract,” Hyde said.
Skilton also believed that eating more greens, especially the denser ones, can help alleviate bloat caused by constipation.
“Bloat from constipation can be addressed by kale, spinach, watercress, broccoli, rocket, charred silverbeet, leafy greens from the top of beetroot, dandelion greens, and endive,” the nutritionist told The Daily Mail.
Meanwhile, celery, a known superfood, is especially helpful when retaining fluid and feeling really puffy. It is naturally full of water which means that it helps get the system moving by flushing excess fluid.
Linda Booth, a digestive health expert, believes that it is also great for women who experience uncomfortable bloating as part of their cycle.
“It's good for hydration and getting your digestive system moving, helping to combat that unwanted bloat during your period,” Booth said.
Aside from making juice out of celery, Skilton recommends sprinkling celery seeds over your salad as an easy way to eat the vegetable.
“Celery is a natural diuretic that assists the kidneys in shifting excess fluid,” Skilton said.