The top 3 ways to reduce inflammation and bloating based on science.
First of all, it is important to address why it happens.
Your body’s immune system reacts to certain problems in the body such as injuries, sickness, gut issues or tissue damage to name a few by creating an inflammatory response. This response is from damaged cells releasing chemicals causing blood vessels to leak fluid, creating the inflammation to help repair the problem area.
Bloating can often be caused from or mistaken for inflammation. That’s why I am pairing these two, by focusing simply on inflammation fixes.
1. Stop overtraining and under resting
Two different things that cause the same problem, and that’s an overactive Central Nervous System (CNS). Unless enhanced or have an insane CNS, your body will be actively inflaming to repair damaged tissue from working out too much and to help the CNS recover. There’s no excuse to not train hard, but don’t train too long, and rest A LOT! This issue is a lot more common than expected in individuals that either don’t have rest days, or are so worried about the bloating that they train more thinking it will rid the issue. This is very counteractive to decreasing bloating, since inflammation will only be increased.
2. Fix your gut issues
Some very common ones are acid reflux, irritable bowl syndrome, small intestinal bacteria overgrowth and leaky gut. Your body’s constantly inflaming to protect the gut lining and good bacteria with the immune system at high alert triggering the response. Antibiotics can make this worse, so a low carb high fiber diet or ketogenic style diet optionally paired with a strategic fasting (only where necessary) can help assist in fixing these issues over time. Bad bacteria die off and good bacteria thrive. This paired with probiotic rich foods can help. Some great examples of nutrients and supplements to consume are listed in order of my personal preference based of my own research.
- A Probiotic with at least 3 strands of lactobacillus and 3 strands of bifidobacterium in the supplement. More than 50% of probiotic supplements are rated poor quality, so be sure to buy from a reputable brand.
- Tumeric and Curcumin. This can be purchased as a singular complex supplement.
- Flaxseed (Linseed), Psyllium Husk or Berberine
- Multi Vitamin (something with high levels of Vitamin A and Zinc)
- Omega 3
- Vitamin B 1-12 (buy a complex)
There are of course many others out there to suggest, but in order of importance this is my recommendation. If it’s mild bloating, then I highly suggest just a simple probiotic OR a digestive aid/enzyme such as Flaxseed, Psyllium Husk or Berberine. If that doesn’t resolve the issue, as these are ways to feed good bacteria, then look at inflammation cause through an overactive immune system opposed to bacteria feeding supplements. Nervous system aids are all the other vitamins listed.
3. Inner stress
Similar reasoning to overtraining, if your body’s constantly stressed, cortisol and adrenaline are going to be high recruiting immune system activity ultimately leading to high amounts of inflammation. Fix your mind, then your body, not the other way around. Work on mindfulness activities such as meditation, gratefulness, visualization, breathing, grounding tactics by feeling nature with your skin (proven) and keeping a healthy social life (very important). Inner stress can be assisted with Vitamin C, Ashwagandha, St John’s Wort and B Vitamins. My personal favorite is Ashwagandha due to the recent studies showcasing evidence on decreased stress.
Don’t turn to supplementation until mindfulness practices are implemented first. A proper morning routine and a response to switching from being reactive to proactive in mindset are powerful daily tools to implement. This is a massive topic to be discussed in full on another blog, so stay tuned!
Reduce this stress and bloating response first before even bothering with a fat loss diet. We have finite resources. Use them to get lean and have fun, not to be stressed and inflamed. If the body is focused on stress, cortisol, bloating and inflammation, then you’re limiting the potential fat loss that could be occurring.
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