Oh the dreaded bloat. As a culture us Brit’s are not good at talking about our digestive health, or much other than the weather to be frank. It would appear that at some point in our childhood it is drummed into us to not discuss our bathroom habits and while that is all very well it seems that as a result there are far too many people suffering digestive discomfort in silence. Bloating is now endemic in today’s society and I have a sneaking suspicion that modern western diets laden with processed foods and refined sugars have more than a little to do with it. It is estimated that between 7-10% of the population have IBS in varying degrees of severity, this rate of incidence increases by 1.5 for young women. Gastrointestinal disorders are frequently linked to poor diet, stress and bad eating habits, all of which are prevalent in our culture today. I myself used to be regularly plagued by the dreaded uncomfortable fullness associated with bloating as well as the added rotundness of my belly which always seemed to strike exactly when I was planning on wearing anything remotely slinky. Until I began my love affair with kefir.
One major cause of bloating is an intolerance to lactose. Now please, please don’t confuse intolerance’s with allergies, real allergies are actually exceptionally rare affecting just under 2% of the population. A food allergy will cause a severe and often dangerous reaction normally extremely quickly when consumed as the body’s own immune system goes into attack mode while intolerance’s, though often uncomfortable and unpleasant are likely to be much less severe and generally limited to digestive symptoms such as the dreaded bloat.
If you suffer from an intolerance to lactose you might find a daily dose of kefir very beneficial. Stick with me here I know drinking a dairy drink sounds counterproductive but the enzymes in kefir actually digest 99% of the lactose in the kefir. And it doesn’t stop there, those same enzymes when ingested regularly can help your body’s own ability to process lactose. In a recent study participants reported having little or no symptoms associated with lactose intolerance after drinking kefir. In fact, drinking kefir reduced flatulence frequency by more than half when compared with milk, no more awkward post-latte pumps!
As I mentioned earlier cases of IBS are on the rise. While IBS is not actually a disease, rather a grouping of symptoms that is not much comfort to anyone who has experienced the excruciating cramps, dashes to the bathroom and uncomfortable bouts of constipation which plague sufferers. A recent study conducted with participants with varying degrees of severity of IBS whereby they were given probiotics, sufferers reported a significant reduction in the symptoms associated with their IBS.
As well as not feeling the most glamorous bloating can make you feel sluggish and lethargic and with summer upon us you want to feel your best so grab a daily kefir and kiss goodbye to the bloat!
Let us know how kefir has helped you and if you have any other handy hints for beating the dreaded bloat.
Team Yorlife x