Feeling more gassy than usual?
We all know that certain foods have a reputation for causing gas ― as the chant goes, “beans, beans, the magical fruit. The more you eat, the more you … ” ― but there are other contributing foods and factors that could be causing problems.
I know what it’s like to come home after a night out and peel off my clothes so I can put on my sweats and let it all hang out! Believe me as a Vata-Pitta- I have been there!
My name is Kerry Harling and I’m the author of The upcoming 25-Day Ayurveda Cleanse and with 74% of Americans suffering from digestive issues (1) – it is no wonder that gas & bloating is right at the top of the list. Ayurveda has many tips and tricks to ease gas and bloating. Moreover, there is not just one type of gas and bloating, but three, related to the Doshas (metabolic body types.)
However, if your gas and bloating are combined with other symptoms, you should see a GI specialist. Those symptoms include vomiting, blood in stool, fevers or illness, sudden weight loss, and for kids, a key symptom is a loss of height growth or weight gain.
There are three Doshas (metabolic types) in Ayurveda: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. To discover your Dosha, take my free quiz here which separates the results of the Dosha in your mind and body. Here are some suggestions to reduce gas and bloating for your dosha.
Vata is made up of the elements of air and space, so with all that air in the system, you can see why this dosha might have the most gas and bloating. Here are a couple of ways Vata types can help be ‘gas free’.
If gas and bloating have become part of your ‘normal’ and it builds up during the day – so that you are literally dying to wear something without a waistband; then this digestive tea is for you.
- Add 1 tsp fennel seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds and 1 tsp coriander seeds to 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, turn off the heat and allow to steep for a couple of minutes. Strain and drink throughout the day. You can add a small amount of honey to sweeten if desired.
- Eat slowly, Vata types tend to eat sporadically and quickly. I invite you to slow down and chew your food at least 30 times before swallowing! I know that is so hard for you to do – but it will be worth it; I promise you!
Pitta is made up of the elements of fire and water. That means you can experience more heating digestive problems such as hyperacidity, acid reflux, ulcers, and loose stools. So, for you, gas and bloating mean excess inflammation. To alleviate your symptoms, try:
- Mixing ¼ tsp cumin seeds with ¼ tsp coriander seeds, ¼ tsp fennel seeds, ¼ tsp chopped cilantro, and ¼ tsp rose petals together. Add 1 cup of boiling water and steep for 5 minutes (uncovered). Strain and discard and herbs and spices and serve cool, lukewarm, or at room temperature (pitta types are aggravated by hot temperatures).
- Do not allow yourself to get too hungry. Eat at regular times throughout the day and NO MULTITASKING while eating. You know I am talking to you! That means no eating and catching up on emails, no eating and texting, no eating and – and anything else. Try just eating as a single task. This may be quite challenging for you, but you can do it!
Kapha has a lot of earth and water elements which makes them a stable sort. However, in digestion this stability can add a layer of sluggishness making them feel like just sitting on the couch. So, with you, we need to heat up your digestive fire (metabolism) to break down all that heavy and slow digestion. Kapha types should:
- Mix ¼ tsp dry ginger with 1 clove, add ¼ tsp dill seeds and fenugreek seeds. Add to 1 cup of boiling water. Steep for 5 minutes, covered. Strain and discard the herb and spice mixture and serve hot.
Note: Pregnant or nursing women and children shouldn’t drink Kapha tea.
- Kapha’s like to snack, I am going to encourage you to eat just three meals a day with your largest meal of the day at lunch-time. Do not eat after 7 pm at night. While snacking for you has probably become something you do to comfort your stress levels – it will ultimately cause more digestive problems. Make sure you eat enough at each meal to carry you through to the next meal though.
A few extra tips:
- Take smaller bites
- Put your fork down in between bites.
- Try using chopsticks; it forces you to slow down.
- Thoroughly chew each bite of food.
- Carbohydrate digestion begins in the mouth; chewing grains thoroughly allows amylase, the digestive enzyme present in saliva, to digest the grains.
- No multi-tasking while eating
- Give thanks for the great food you are about to nourish your body with.
Put Things in Perspective
If you have the unfortunate experience of passing unwanted gas while in the presence of others, remember that although this is embarrassing it is not the end of the world. Everyone passes gas! It is helpful to keep in mind that no one will judge you based on what your body does.
Just say “excuse me” and get on with your day. By handling the situation with grace and dignity, you also serve as a role model for those around you should the situation happen to them someday (and it will!)
If you struggle with digestive issues all the time, or you end your day feeling like you hit by a bus it is important to find the underlying cause – and then we can find a solution that is right for you. If you would like to talk to me, I offer a complimentary consultation where we can chat about your health problems and goals. Just fill out the intake form and you will be directed to my online scheduler where you can schedule a consultation at your convenience.