At 60, most women are way past menopause, and we can’t still blame our bloat on PMS. So, what is it that can cause our jeans to barely button on one day and feel okay on another?

The answer may be your food choices. We are all different in what might make us puff up around the middle, fingers and ankles, but there are some foods that make most of us likely to expand.

They are:

  • Raw cruciferous vegetables like broccoli
  • Onions
  • White flour products like pizza and bagels
  • Beer
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Too much fiber too fast
  • Dairy products
  • Protein/energy bars
  • Beans

While this is not a complete list, it does include the more common causes of bloat. You may have noticed that not all of them are unhealthy foods by any means. Broccoli, onions, beans and apples rank high on the list of nutrient rich foods, yet they can make our bellies unhappy.

Food Remedies for You

If you want to explore some food remedies for reducing gas and bloat, here are two of my favorites:

  • 1 cup of raw pineapple daily can tamp down severe bloat and gas in as little as five days.
  • 1 banana a day is filled with prebiotic fiber that aids in quieting gas and bloat.

Keep in mind these are foods that help most women with bloat issues, but no food is universally effective for everyone. Experiment with these two for now and see how they work for you.

Resetting the Belly

Pineapple and banana are simple remedies for gas and bloat. But as we get deeper into the season of spring, my thoughts turn more toward planning my annual Spring Cleanse. Cleansing is a comprehensive way of resting and rebooting your digestive systems after a long winter.

Each year I wait on scheduling the cleanse because it is best done when we can be assured that the weather will be spring-like and the ground will be thawed enough to grow the foods that support a spring cleanse.

Why Cleanse?

There are two main reasons to cleanse: dietary transition and digestive repair.

Cleansing is not a dramatic endeavor, though sometimes the effect can be quite dramatic. Its purpose is to assist you in making a conscious transition from the kinds of food that supports you through the cold months of winter (stews, long roasts, stock pots, etc.) to something lighter and more activating.

Making food choices that synchronize with the weather gives you the energy to either stay warm (Autumn/Winter) or to be more active without overheating (Spring/Summer).

When you plan your food carefully at the cusp of a new season, you give your body a great advantage in adjusting to new weather patterns and surroundings.

Digestive Repair

Do you spring clean your home? While my time spent spring cleaning is not as extensive as my Mom’s used to be, I do take time to ‘shake out’ winter by opening the windows to air things out, vacuum the bed and put the quilts and blankets away as I pull out my warm weather clothing.

We do the same for our body with a Spring Cleanse. In my cleanse, we dig deep into mind/body care and rejuvenation with a dietary and behavioral protocol designed to renew and restore.

We do gentle digestive cleansing through some food choices that date back to ancient cultures. They are easy to prepare and give your digestive system a rest.

The foods included in a spring cleanse give special attention to liver and gall bladder efficiency as these organs can become sluggish from heavy winter foods.

A focused cleanse leads to a decrease in bloating and a deeper awareness of the foods that your body digests easily. When bloat diminishes you feel lighter, all without any harsh chemicals or procedures.

Foods Specific to Spring Cleansing

All you really need to do is look around you. What color is slowly reappearing in your back yard and in the forest? Yes, green! This is the color of the primary foods that help you cleanse your digestive system in the spring.

They are the first vegetables to grow in cold climates – kale, spinach, spring peas, dandelion greens, beet greens, to name a few. Couple these foods with some grains and beans designed to rest the digestive system. That is the essence of a simple spring cleanse.

If you’d like to learn more about seasonal cleanses, visit my blog for posts on cleansing.

Have you ever done a whole foods cleanse? Do you have questions about cleansing? I’d love to know your thoughts on this so please join the conversation below!

Peg DoylePeg Doyle is a healthy eating and lifelong wellness expert, recording artist, motivational speaker and author. She is passionate about the impact of quality food and a balanced lifestyle on women’s health. Her mission is to make healthy eating easy and appealing, using nourishment as a powerful tool for preventing the so-called diseases of aging. You can visit her website here.

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