Want to avoid bloating? Stay away from these 5 foods

After eating and drinking, food and liquid take up space in the stomach and intestines causing them to expand. You can start by eating smaller portions, but there are also foods that trigger bloating more and make it difficult to fit into your jeans.

Greens: Broccoli & Cabbage

Greens contain raffinose, an undigested sugar. Raffinose passes from  the stomach to the upper intestine undigested. In the lower intestine,  bacteria break it down which produces gas and makes you feel bloated. However, that does not mean that greens should be avoided. Eating them regularly provides the body with fibre and nutrients which results in a healthier digestive system, making it less prone to bloating. Thus, you just need to control the quantity. Steam cooking can also reduce these effects as it softens fibre and extracts water from the greens, resulting in less space being taken up in the gastrointestinal area. 

Legumes

Beans including peas, lentils and soybeans are related to gas. They contain high levels of proteins, sugars and fibre that cannot be absorbed by the body. When they reach the large intestine, gut bacteria decompose them, generating gas and causing bloating. A good way to control this procedure is by combining legumes with whole-grain rice and quinoa, which will allow your body to accept them more easily.

Dairy Products

If you are lactose intolerant, consuming cheese or milk in can result in bloating and increased gases. Intolerance to lactose occurs because the body lacks the enzymes that break down lactose. Even if you are not lactose intolerant excessive consumption of dairy can create similar effects in some people. Alternative products that can be consumed are lactose-free options such as coconut or almond milk.

Salty Foods

Food that contains high sodium results in water retention, leading to bloating. However, avoiding sodium is not as simple as just cutting down or eliminating salt completely from your diet, as in fact our bodies do require a certain amount of salt. However, most processed and packaged foods such as breads, pastries and sandwiches contain very high levels of salt, so without even realising it you can consume high levels of salt. It is recommended to always read the labels on products you buy to help control the levels of salt you consume.

Apples

Apples contain fructose and sorbitol; sugars which quite often cannot be tolerated. They also contain fibre. Combining these two results in gas and feeling full. Nevertheless, this does not mean that they should not be consumed, as apples are a source of vitamin C and protein. They are linked to reducing heart disease and respiratory problems. Thus, eating them between meals and in moderation is recommended, to avoid any gastrointestinal related issues.

The 7 Best Foods To Avoid Bloating

Bloating is one of the most common and uncomfortable symptoms of dyspepsia, commonly known as indigestion. Whether you feel bloated at night, in the morning or throughout the day, here is a list of the best foods to help you avoid feeling gassy and bloated.

1. Chamomile & Peppermint tea

Both chamomile and peppermint relax the gastrointestinal muscles, dissipating the gas responsible for bloating. Chamomile also has an overall relaxing and soothing effect, helping to ease your irritated stomach. Both are particularly good if you feel bloated at night, because they  also help you get to sleep.

2. Ginger

Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory agent that aids digestion and can soothe your irritated stomach. It allows the muscles of the digestive system to relax, helping to clear any gastrointestinal distress. Enzymes like zingibain absorb proteins in the stomach, and speed up the movement of food to the upper small intestine. As an added bonus, ginger helps strengthen the immune system and can be used as a remedy for colds, cramps and travel sickness.

3. Potassium rich foods

Food that is rich in potassium such as bananas, oranges, kiwis, pistachios, and avocados prevent water retention as they regulate the sodium levels in the body. At the same time bananas and kiwis contain soluble fibres which prevent constipation, limiting the likelihood of feeling gassy and bloated.

4. Papaya

Papaya contains an enzyme that breaks down proteins in the gastrointestinal system, preventing bloating and helping you to avoid an irritated stomach. Tropical fruits also possess anti-inflammatory properties and are rich in fibre. Papaya can be eaten fresh, as a plain fruit, or in smoothies making it a quick and easy breakfast option.

5. Probiotics

Probiotics are a well-known natural remedy for dyspepsia, they contain bacteria and yeasts which help regulate the digestive process. It has been found that they can restore the natural balance of bacteria in the stomach and intestines, especially after antibiotics have been used to treat illness. Probiotics can be found in certain types of yoghurt or as a supplement and really are a must if you wish to avoid gastrointestinal distress.

6. Asparagus

Asparagus allows the body to remove excess water eliminating any bloating in the stomach. It is enriched with prebiotics that promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut; vital when trying to avoid feeling gassy and bloated. Asparagus is particularly beneficial during pregnancy; not only can it relieve the symptoms of bloating, but it also contains folic acid, which promotes healthy development of the foetus and reduces the probability of birth defects. Who really needs gastrointestinal distress during the stress of a pregnancy?

7. Fennel Seed

In eastern culture the fennel seed has been used to treat indigestion symptoms for thousands of years. It belongs to the group of carminative herbs that includes coriander and peppermint. Many of these herbs and spices can be thrown into home cooked meals, making carminative herbs an easy way to promote healthy digestion and prevent a bloated stomach at night.

Everything You Need To Know: Candida/Candidiasis (Yeast Infection)

If you are forever plagued by symptoms such as thrush, bloating or fatigue, chances are you require an anti-fungal treatment, possibly due to the frequently talked of Candida yeast infection.  We take a look at everything you need to know about Candida, including its symptoms, causes and treatments.  Read more to figure out why this little yeast is getting so much attention!

What is Candida?

So what’s agreed on is that Candida, is a fungus, in the form of yeast.  It lives in your mouth and intestines in relatively small amounts aiding digestion and absorption of nutrients. In excess, known as candidiasis (a yeast infection) can lead to uncomfortable and potentially severe symptoms affecting areas of the body such as;

  • Skin
  • Genitals
  • Throat
  • Mouth
  • Blood

What are the symptoms of Candida?

Symptoms depend on what part of the body is affected and there are also some differences in opinion about what the symptoms extend to.  Commonly agreed symptoms include:

  • Digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, or diarrhoea
  • Cracking, redness, discomfort or white spots inside or around the mouth, tongue and lips
  • Vaginal infections, itching, soreness or discharge
  • Skin and nail fungal infections (such as athlete’s foot)
  • Tiredness or fatigue

What causes Candida?

Many agree that prolonged use of antibiotics, birth control, decreased digestive function, stress, steroids or impaired immunity can bring about Candida.

Treatment for Candida?

Treatments will vary and is dependent on many factors, including; which area of your body the yeast infection is affecting, your age, general health and/or the severity of the infection.  Fortunately, most Candida infections can be treated easily.  Typically, this is with anti-fungal over-the-counter medications, in the form of creams, tablets or mouthwashes, which can usually clear up the infection quickly, within 1-2 weeks.

Magastic is a natural supplement to help restore digestive function.  It contains mastic gum which is shown not only to be anti-fungal but also anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory.  Read more here:

Magastic

Digestive Problems During Pregnancy

Pregnancy can disrupt the physiological processes of the body, with the gastrointestinal system being one of the most common. Digestive problems like indigestion, heartburn, nausea, flatulence, haemorrhoids and constipation all often occur during pregnancy. All these issues and how you can ease or prevent related symptoms are going to be discussed below.

Indigestion When Pregnant

Being pregnant means that high levels of hormones are produced,most of which relax the muscles in the body, including those of the gastrointestinal system. During pregnancy, progesterone is one of the most common hormones that the body produces more of. This hormone acts as a muscle relaxant, particularly for the uterus muscles,thus avoiding premature labour. This relaxation has a direct effect on the digestive system, causing indigestion accompanied by bloating, feeling full, discomfort in the chest or stomach and heartburn. As the baby grows, pressure is created in the stomach which can worsen the above symptoms.

Who is more likely to experience indigestion:

  • Women who have suffered from indigestion before getting pregnant.
  • Women who have been pregnant before.
  • Women at the later stages of pregnancy.

How to avoid and relieve indigestion and its symptoms:

  • Eat small meals throughout the day.
  • Avoid large portions.
  • Eat dinner at least 3 hours before going to bed to avoid indigestion at night.
  • Avoid extra pressure on the stomach after a meal.
  • Do not lie down for at least an hour after a meal.
  • Drink a glass of milk, which can help to ease any symptoms.
  • Avoid fatty and spicy foods which can irritate and take longer to pass through the digestive system
  • Avoid caffeine as it also affects digestion.
  • Avoid chocolate and fruit juices as they could be trigger factors.
  • Avoid bending over.
  • If symptoms persist the GP may prescribe you an acid-suppressing medication like omeprazole or ranitidine.

Heartburn When Pregnant

Heartburn is a digestive problem that pregnant women often experience. Progesterone is again responsible for this discomfort as it affects the oesophageal sphincter. This muscle is found at the top of stomach, and is designed to prevent the contents of the stomach, including stomach acid, moving up into the oesophagus. When that muscle relaxes, the stomach acid that is used for digestion, can move up to the oesophagus causing pain and discomfort. This is known as heartburn. Moreover, as the baby grows, it squeezes the stomach thus further displacing the acid. This is why, many women are suffering from heartburn during the second and the third trimesters.

How to avoid and relieve heartburn:

  • Eat smaller portions.
  • Eat slowly and chew your food well.
  • Stay upright after meals and avoid laying down in bed or on the couch to help digestion.
  • Avoid drinking while eating.
  • Drink peppermint or ginger tea, which can soothe the digestive system.
  • Wear loose clothes.
  • Keep a journal with foods that cause you heartburn and avoid them.

Constipation When Pregnant

40% of women will suffer from constipation at some point during their pregnancy. Progesterone is once again responsible for this symptom.  Normally, the bowel moves stools and waste products as the muscle that lines the bowel contracts and relaxes; a process known as peristalsis. Increased levels of progesterone, however, make it difficult for the bowel muscles to contract, making it harder for the stools to move along, thus leads to constipation.

What causes constipation:

  • Hormonal changes: increased production of progesterone.
  • Increased pressure in the intestinal area as the baby grows.
  • Increased levels of iron taken from supplements.
  • Lack of fibre intake.
  • Lack of fluids, including water.
  • Lack of exercise.

How to avoid and relieve constipation:

  • Drink water as this helps keep the stools soft.
  • Have a warm drink.
  • Exercise: Gentle exercise like yoga stimulates peristalsis.
  • Magnesium or Vitamin C supplements draw water in the bowel, stimulating peristalsis.
  • Maintain a healthy gut flora.

Nausea & Vomiting When Pregnant

Almost 90% of women will experience a form of food aversion, nausea or vomiting during pregnancy. Most of these symptoms are experienced during the first trimester. Nausea is a result of the hormonal changes in the body.

The most common food aversion that pregnant women face, is to protein. From an evolution perspective, scientists suggest that nausea is a mechanism to protect the baby against toxins and dangerous substances that could harm it. For instance, meat could contain bacteria or parasites that could put the baby in danger. Food aversion in smoky and spicy foods can also be explained using the same approach, as flavoured foods can mask the smell and taste of spoiled meat.

Nausea usually gets worse when blood sugar becomes low. However, during pregnancy, blood sugar levels tend to be high as the developing foetus requires a good supply of energy to grow. Thus, when a woman is experiencing nausea, it could be a sign that the body requires more energy.

How to avoid and relieve nausea:

  • Eat carbohydrates like cereals, crackers and bagels.
  • Avoid high fat foods.
  • Eat or drink ginger; known for reducing nausea.
  • Eat creamy food like avocados, yoghurts and cottage cheese.
  • Drink smoothies with coconut milk.
  • Take cod liver oil.
  • Iron supplements can often cause nausea. Take them with food or two hours after having a meal.

Haemorrhoids When Pregnant

Increased pressure in the veins of the anorectal area during pregnancy can cause haemorrhoids. Constipation can also be a factor. Haemorrhoids are swollen veins found in the lower rectum and around the anal area, which can either be internal or external. Haemorrhoids are associated with pain, severe itching at the opening of the rectum and difficulty in sitting. If haemorrhoids are left untreated, they can become worse as the pregnancy progresses, especially during the pushing stage of birth.

How to avoid and relieve haemorrhoids:

  • Avoid constipation.
  • Avoid standing still or sitting for a long time.
  • Use topical creams available in pharmacies.

What Is Indigestion (Dyspepsia) And How To Treat It

What is Indigestion (dyspepsia)?

Dyspepsia is more commonly known as indigestion. Most people are no strangers to having troubles with digestion. It can have a number of causes, so identifying the cause of your indigestion isn’t always easy. However, one thing is for sure: it is not a pleasant condition to put up with.

Indigestion can include both discomfort in your abdomen and heartburn, neither of which are very nice to experience. You might feel sick, bloated or gassy and you just want the feeling to go away. People often suffer from regular indigestion and identifying why it’s happening can take time. For some people, this might never happen.

However, having a better understanding of indigestion can help you to address it. You can begin to treat the primary cause of your dyspepsia instead of its symptoms. Even if you can’t get to the bottom of what’s going on, you can find the right treatment to help you.

For some people, medication or even surgery might be right. For others, it could be a natural treatment like Magastic Extra. Indigestion occurs when your digestive system isn’t functioning as it should be. There correct treatment or lifestyle change can help to get it back on track.

The Symptoms of Indigestion (Dyspepsia)

Dyspepsia can be presented by a number of different symptoms. Most people recognise it when they feel pain or discomfort in their abdomen after eating; it’s common to feel bloated or full and like the last meal you ate is just sitting in your stomach. Indigestion often comes with heartburn, which can feel like burning behind your breastbone.

Indigestion can cause you to experience belching or flatulence due to excess gas. It also can lead to nausea and sometimes food or stomach acid coming back up. Some people find that indigestion makes them vomit if they’re feeling particularly bad.

People who experience regular indigestion might have to look out for other symptoms. For example, they might start to lose weight unexpectedly. Some people might vomit regularly or experience difficulty swallowing.

These more serious symptoms could require a trip to see your doctor, as they could indicate more serious conditions, such as a stomach ulcer or even stomach cancer. Undergoing an endoscopy can help to identify potential problems. However, most people don’t have anything to worry about when they experience indigestion.

Types of Dyspepsia

There are two main categories of dyspepsia: organic and functional, which each have different causes. The organic causes of dyspepsia include:

  • Stomach ulcers
  • Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease
  • Gastric or oesophageal cancer
  • Pancreatic disorders
  • Food and drug intolerances

Other infectious or systemic diseases

Functional dyspepsia can have a large range of causes. Identifying which one is resulting in regular indigestion can be difficult. It could be that the stomach isn’t able to accommodate a meal, in which case something could be impairing the ability of food to move from the stomach to the small intestine.

Regular dyspepsia could be caused by the H. pylori bacteria, which can cause stomach ulcers. Some people can also find that their digestion is affected by their mental health. Stress and anxiety can lead to a range of digestive issues.

Within these two primary types of indigestion, there are several causes that are common or important to watch out for.

Side Effects of Medication

Many medications have side effects, and digestive issues are certainly not uncommon. There are some types of medication that can suggest you might need to watch out for indigestion. For example, nitrates can cause the relaxation of the oesophageal sphincter: the muscle between your stomach and oesophagus.

When this happens, stomach acid can go in the wrong direction. NSAIDS, which include ibuprofen and aspirin, can cause issues. It’s advisable not to take them if you have existing digestive problems. Although some medications cause indigestion, it isn’t always possible to find a better one, so treating the indigestion is often the best thing to do.

Psychological Issues

Mental health can be a factor in indigestion and other digestive issues. Stress and anxiety can both cause people to have stomach discomfort. Ruling out physical causes of regular indigestion is important. However, it’s also necessary to consider the psychological issues that can lead to problems. Addressing these causes by improving mental health can lead to improved physical health.

 

Helicobacter Pylori Infection and Stomach Ulcers

Helicobacter pylori or H. pylori is a bacterium that can infect the stomach. It is a common infection, which can lead to stomach ulcers and, in rare cases, even stomach cancer. It’s only relatively recently that H. pylori was proved to cause stomach ulcers, which many still believe they are caused by stress.

These bacteria don’t always lead to indigestion, but they can be a cause. Taking antibiotics will get rid of the infection to relieve the symptoms.

If left untreated, H. pylori can lead to stomach ulcers, which are sores on the lining of the stomach or small intestine. Their cause isn’t always H. pylori infections, but it is the most common cause.

Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD)

GORD is a common cause of digestion issues. It occurs when the oesophageal sphincter isn’t able to prevent stomach acid from moving into your oesophagus, causing acid reflux. It's worth remembering that many people experience a bit of acid reflux without having GORD. For example, you might get it when you’ve overeaten or had spicy food.

However, it becomes a problem when it occurs on a regular basis. If acid reflux happens often, it can cause inflammation in the lining of the oesophagus. Sufferers can experience heartburn, among other symptoms.

Stomach Cancer

Occasionally, indigestion on a regular basis might be a symptom of stomach cancer. Cancerous cells can cause damage to the stomach lining, exposing your stomach to acid. However, this isn’t particularly common, particularly for younger people.

How to Treat Indigestion

People often find it frustrating to find the right treatment for their indigestion. It helps if they can identify the cause and address it. However, it isn’t always easy to find out what’s causing regular indigestion. Even if the cause is discovered, waiting for a diagnosis can take a long time and you might feel miserable in the meantime.

There are several ways to begin treating indigestion, both on your own and with the help of your doctor.

Diet and Lifestyle Adjustment

For some people, adjusting their lifestyle can help them with their indigestion problems. Obesity can be one factor that influences how often indigestion occurs. If you are very overweight, it can put pressure on your stomach and acid can be pushed back up more easily.

Diet can also be a factor, as well as other lifestyle choices, such as smoking. What you eat and drink also matters: there can be certain foods or drinks that give people indigestion. and these are different for each person. However, common culprits are fatty or spicy foods, caffeine and alcohol.

An improved diet can help to cut down on problems with indigestion.

Over-the-Counter Indigestion Treatment

There are several solutions that many turn to which are available from your local pharmacy. You can buy antacids to help relieve indigestion. If you’re not sure what might help, your doctor can recommend something, or they might also prescribe something stronger.

Many people will also prefer to use a more natural treatment like Magastic Extra.

You can choose a treatment to relieve the symptoms of indigestion when you experience it. You can also use a digestion aid that will help you to maintain healthy digestion and metabolism.

Managing Your Mental Health

For many people, addressing the psychological causes of indigestion can be important. Feelings of stress and anxiety can be one of the factors that lead to digestive issues. When this occurs, it’s important to deal with the causes as well as the symptoms. Finding ways to manage stress can reduce the frequency of indigestion

Persistent Dyspepsia

Some people may experience indigestion frequently, which can be disruptive to your lifestyle. In some instances, a prescribed medication might be the best way to treat dyspepsia. These can include proton pump inhibitors and H2-receptor antagonists. These medications can be a solution if antacids and other over-the-counter treatments aren’t working.

Magastic Extra for Indigestion

Magastic is a solution for those who prefer a natural approach to treating indigestion. It supports healthy digestion and metabolism using natural ingredients like mastic gum, which several clinical studies have suggested that this helps to relieve the symptoms of indigestion.

Magastic also contains zinc and vitamin B6, which both aid healthy digestion. Magastic Extra is designed to offer a natural way to help with the symptoms of indigestion. The chewable tablets and liquid formula are both fast-acting and taste of garden mint. They are suitable for vegans and vegetarians, as well as those with a variety of food allergies and intolerances.

Indigestion can be difficult to deal with. However, understanding what it is and its causes can help you to address it. 

 

 

Everything You Need To Know: Helicobacter Pylori

Whether you suffer from stomach discomfort or a simple thirst for knowledge has brought you here, this article will provide you with everything you need to know about Helicobacter Pylori.

What is Helicobacter Pylori?

Helicobacter Pylori, often referred to as H.pylori, was first discovered by two Australian doctors, Barry Marshall and Robin Warren, in the early 1980’s. Marshall was so determined to prove the connection between the bacteria and stomach ulcers - previously thought to be caused by stress - he drank H. pylori to infect himself. He soon developed symptoms of gastritis, which is the main precursor to peptic stomach ulcers. At first, the medical profession was sceptical about Marshall’s findings, however, it is widely accepted that the majority of stomach ulcers are caused by H. pylori.

Helicobacter pylori is a spiral shaped bacterium that grows in the gastrointestinal tract, including the duodenum (the upper section of the small intestine). The shape of the bacterium has evolved, enabling it to penetrate the mucus lining of the stomach wall, and avoid the harsh acidic environment of the stomach. In addition to this, the H. pylori bacteria secrete the enzyme urease which converts urea, a  chemical commonly found in the stomach, into ammonia. Ammonia reduces the acidity of the area surrounding the bacteria, further facilitating its survival.

How do you get Helicobacter Pylori?

Helicobacter Pylori infections are very common; nearly half of the British population have H. pylori present in their stomach. Most people become infected during childhood, however, the way in which the bacteria arrive in the stomach can differ. It can be passed from person to person through direct contact with saliva, or through the consumption of contaminated food or water. Without appropriate treatment, the bacteria remain in the stomach throughout life and can lead to serious consequences.

There are many ways to discover if H. pylori is present in the stomach: 

  • Breath Test: This is probably the quickest and easiest test. It involves swallowing urea, and then checking your breath after ten minutes for high levels of carbon dioxide. H. pylori breaks down urea in the stomach, which then releases carbon dioxide that shows up in a breath sample.
  • Blood Test: This test measures the antibodies that are produced by our immune systems in response to H. pylori bacteria. However, the test cannot tell you if you’re currently infected with the bacteria, only that it has been present at some point.
  • Stool test: A faeces sample is examined for H. wpylori antigens. This test can be used to diagnose infection or to discover if a course of treatment has been successful.

Symptoms of H. Pylori Infections

  • Stomach ache
  • Heartburn
  • Diarrhoea or constipation
  • Abdominal distention
  • Frequent belching
  • Constant feeling of hunger

Many of these symptoms are associated with various different medical conditions, so if you have any doubt speak to your GP or pharmacist to arrange a H. pylori test.

What problems can H. Pylori cause?

Despite the fact that most H.pylori infections show no symptoms, some of the medical conditions associated with the bacteria can be very serious.

Gastritis and peptic stomach ulcers are the medical conditions most associated with Helicobacter Pylori. Once established within the lining of the stomach, the bacteria start to weaken the protective mucous lining of the stomach wall and the duodenum. This allows stomach acid to damage the vulnerable stomach wall, causing irritation and eventually leading to a peptic stomach ulcer.

Symptoms of Stomach Ulcers:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Heartburn and acid reflux
  • Unexplained weight-loss
  • Dull pain in the stomach

In a lot of cases, the pain of a stomach ulcer is most intense in the middle of night when the stomach is empty. This can lead to a lack of sleep, which only adds to the discomfort of an ulcer. The above symptoms are associated with many stomach related conditions, highlighting the importance of consulting your GP or pharmacist if you have any doubts.

Peptic ulcers have been found to be a precursor to gastric cancer, which means that H. pylori infections significantly increases the chance of developing stomach cancer. This type of cancer is the fourth most common cancer worldwide, and is expected to be the cause of death for over 10,000 people in the United States alone in 2016. Although the statistics show that 80% of stage 1 stomach cancer patients survive for at least five years after diagnosis, the problem for many is that the cancer is not diagnosed at this early stage. The commonality of the symptoms mean that many people avoid seeking medical advice, which allows time for the cancer to develop and become more aggressive.

Treatment for H. Pylori Infections

  • Antibiotics
  • Altering your diet
  • Mastic Gum

Mastic Gum for Helicobacter Pylori

In order to treat the infection, you need to try and kill the bacteria. The good news is that H. pylori infections can be tackled using a product that has been used for hundreds of years and is 100% natural: Mastic Gum.

Mastic gum is a resin harvested from the mastic tree, found only on the Greek Island of Chios. It was Hippocrates, known to many as the father of medicine, who first identified the medicinal properties of mastic gum. The antibacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties of the gum, combined with its anti-oxidants, makes it very a powerful tool for fighting H. pylori infections. This has been confirmed by a number of recent studies.

Helicobacter pylori infection, although common, can become a serious problem if you are unaware that you are infected. If you think that you have the bacteria present in your stomach it is important that you seek medical advice from your doctor so that you can be correctly diagnosed. If you are unfortunate enough to be infected with H. pylori, remember that it can treated naturally using mastic gum. For more information on mastic gum follow this link:

Magastic Extra - Natural H Pylori Treatment