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Amanda is Healthy Food Guide's nutrition editor with a degree in nutrition and a post-grad diploma in dietetics. She is a member of the British Dietetic Association, The Nutrition Society and The Guild of Food...

Avoiding uncomfortable bloating before your long-awaited summer holiday is easier than you think. Check out our seven quick tips to help flatten your tummy – and boost your confidence

 
1. Slow down when eating and don’t chat while you chew
This will help to reduce the amount of air you swallow, which reduces the number of little air bubbles in the gut.

2. De-stress
Feeling stressed can also lead to us inadvertently gulping air. Find ways to relax so that you can help stop this happening. Drinking chamomile tea is a great natural anti-anxiety aid (its active nutrients affect the same parts of our brains as anti-anxiety medications.

3. Ditch the chewing gum
Gum introduces unnecessary extra air into our intestines. Instead, suck one or two sugar-free mints after a meal to keep breath fresh, if you like. (Don’t have too many, as they contain sorbitol which can cause bloating in large quantities).

4. Swap fizzy drinks for non-carbonated
The pre-formed bubbles in sparkling beverages almost instantly lead to bloating.

5. Eat lentils, pulses and beans regularly
If you don’t eat these foods very often they can lead to bloating because they produce hydrogen and methane in our colon. But eating them regularly helps our systems adapt and lessens the gas.

6. Switch to soya or almond milk
If you’ve had a tummy bug and are finding that dairy causes bloating, you may be experiencing transitory milk sugar intolerance. Instead, swap to non-dairy (fortified) versions. Re-introduce dairy slowly over a few weeks to reduce the risk of bloating.

7. Season with herbs, spices and lemon juice instead of salt
Cutting back to 3g or less of salt per day can help the body release excess stored water, in some cases allowing us to lose up to 1.5 litres in five days. This shows as a loss of 2-3lb on the scales, and an often-visible reduction of bloating or swelling in the ankles and wrists.