Bloating is uncomfortable and is a total productivity killer. When your abdomen feels like it’s about to burst, it’s hard to think about much else. Even worse, bloating can result from one or more factors. Bloating may happen when your colon is overloaded with toxins. It may happen as a result of poor diet. Bloating may be caused by harmful organisms. Bloating may be caused by digestive slow-downs. The point is, bloating can result from any number of gut problems, and the most successful method for avoiding bloating is to encourage an all around healthy gut.
The best ways to keep good digestive health can be summed up as follows:
- Keep your system clean and moving
- Create an environment that encourages healthy intestinal flora
- Consume foods and supplements that aid digestion
- Avoid imbalanced gut flora and and other harmful organisms
You can employ the following 5 natural remedies for bloating that will support good GI health.
Natural Remedy #1: Magnesium
Your body uses magnesium constantly for over 300 biochemical functions.   One such function is muscle relaxation. This allows for normal, constant peristalsis (the wave-like movement of the muscles along the intestines that moves food along). Generally speaking, when healthy peristalsis is present, constipation is not present. Keeping your insides free of fecal matter build up encourages an environment conducive to healthy intestinal flora as previously noted.
Good dietary sources of magnesium are almonds, spinach, avocados, yogurt and bananas.
Natural Remedy #2: Citric Acid
Citric acid, also known as Vitamin C, can stimulate bowel evacuation. High doses of vitamin C are typically defined as those that exceed bowel tolerance. (That means if you’ve taken vitamin C and are now experiencing diarrhea – you’ve taken too much.)
In addition to its incredible antioxidant properties, citric acid has been used to alleviate constipation. This helps keep the bowels clean and prevents the buildup of harmful organisms that can cause bloating, swelling, or an immune response.
A word of warning though, high doses of vitamin C can lead to bloating, so it may not be ideal to use it alone as a bowel cleanser.
Natural Remedy #3: Brevibacillus Laterosporus
The probiotic craze has made cultivating healthy intestinal flora a national pastime. Yogurt has been touted as the go-to for this intestinal support resource. Research has found the healthy flora Bacillus to be highly effective as a probiotic. This organism is unique in that it can survive the stomach’s acids. Once past the stomach, it helps establish the healthy colonies that will aid digestion. 
Natural Remedy #4: Enzymes
The body uses enzymes to break down food for digestion. Lactose intolerance, for example, occurs in individuals who do not produce lactase, the enzyme needed to breakdown lactose. The body uses a wide range of enzymes for digestion. Amylase breaks down starch. Protease breaks down proteins and gluten. Lipase breaks down fats and oils. These are only a few of the enzymes needed for complete digestion.
Maintaining healthy levels of digestive enzymes helps prevent food from accumulating and rotting in the bowels. Supplementing with digestive enzymes ensures your body can break down the food and keep your system healthy.
Natural Remedy #5: Organic Herbs
Some herbs can help the body eliminate harmful organisms, yeast (such as Candida) and other ‘bugs’. These bugs can trigger immune response, redness, and contribute to bloating — and more.
Some of the very best solutions come from nature and have been used for hundreds of years. Wormwood has a long history of use for supporting digestive health. Recent research has shown its effectiveness as a remedy for harmful organisms and digestive health.  Anamu is an herb from South America that has shown a powerful ability to help fight off unwanted, harmful organisms. Studies done on the active component of anamu have confirmed powerful support for a healthy human body.  Clove has also demonstrated powerful toxicity to harmful organisms. Research has found that herbals such as close possess some of the strongest, most potent properties available.  Other herbs that have a history of helping the body repel unwanted bugs are simarouba amara (from South America) and black walnut.
Fight Bloating on Multiple Levels
Cleanse your body regularly, make sure you’re getting a healthy amount of probiotics and enzymes, eat a healthy diet, exercise, and use the tools nature has provided. Has bloating been an issue for you? How did you overcome it? Please leave a comment below and share your experiences.
-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DABFM
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