The 5 reasons you’ve been feeling more bloated because of the heat

THE sun has firmly got its hat on this week and many people have got a spring in their step as summer vibes sweep the nation.

But for some people the heat can make us feel a little bit uncomfortable around the tummy, with feelings of bloating becoming persistent.

There are many things that can cause bloating, too much food, food intolerances,medical conditions and even the heat.

The Met Office's long-range forecast reveals that temperatures are to be "very warm perhaps hot for a time" for the first part of the week starting June 14.

A Met Office spokeswoman said: “We are looking at what could be hot conditions over the next few weeks, but it’s still very early to tell whether it will be the hottest June yet.

“High pressure is starting to build which should lead to fine and dry conditions, with the occasional showery and thundery outbreaks.

“We’re hopefully looking at what will be a very nice June indeed.”

As temperatures soar, the number of people searching for "how to stop bloating" in Google has also risen.

Compared to last month, searches for the term have gone up by over 350 per cent.

So why do we feel more bloated during warm weather and what can we do about it?

1. It's natural

The first thing to know about being bloated in the heat is that it's 100 per cent natural.

Heat causes blood vessels and capillaries to expand and dilate.

In turn more fluid is then able to fill the spaces between tissue which results in bloating.

This can appear in your abdomen, your ankles and your feet – so it's not ideal if you want to slip into your summer dress or shorts.

2. You're dehydrated

Certified holistic nutrition consultant Stephanie Papadakis and founder of Gut Integrity said that the sort of weather we have seen over the last couple of weeks can lead to dehydration.

She explained that as the body sweats and tries to lower its internal temperature, you lose vital water and electrolytes.

If your body loses too much it tries to keep hold of what it has left.

This retention of fluid can then often lead to bloating.

Rather than downing water to make sure you get enough H2O, Stephanie said you should take sips throughout the day.

She also recommended having drinks like coconut water which are high in electrolytes and can help fight dehydration symptoms such as dizziness.

3. Not enough sleep

Many of us have had sleepless nights due to the hot weather.

One expert said that these feelings of tiredness can lead you to become bloated.

Not being able to sleep, combined with the exhaustion of walking around in the sun all day can leave us feeling fatigued.

Nutritionist Clarissa Lenherr explained that the actions we take when we feel tired could lead to bloating.

She said: "When our energy levels dip, one of the automatic response is to consume food in response, to provide us with energy. And these foods tend to be energy rich and highly palatable foods.

"The common culprits being sweet snacks, salty foods and/or caffeine — all of which alone can be common triggers and together may exacerbate bloating."

4. Fizzed out

As Clarissa explained, caffeine can be a trigger when it comes to bloating and when we are out and about in the sun, it can be easy to reach for an iced coffee or an ice cold can of something fizzy.

This can trigger bloating in normal times – but especially in the heat and even more so if there is booze involved.

Any type of fizzy drink releases serious amounts of carbon dioxide which often make us feel bloated and uncomfortable.

Instead, you could opt for a soothing peppermint or ginger tea which promotes healthy digestion and calms your stomach.

You can also pop a few ice cubes in and let it cool to make a refreshing cold brew.

5. Too much BBQ

For many people, your normal pattern of eating goes out of the window when the sun's out.

This could mean too many Mr Whippy's or a bigger portion at the barbecue grill.

If your diet isn't overflowing with different colours then it could cause bloating.

Focusing on your gut health could help deflate the bloating.

Eve Kalinik, author of Happy Gut, Happy Mind, and Holland & Barrett nutritionist Isabel Tarrant said 'gut bacteria influences everything.

They explained: "The most well-known link is with digestive health, but 70 per cent of our immune cells are inside our gut, so it’s the epicentre of our immune system.'

"A lot of people might deem their gut symptoms – such as not going to the toilet for a week – normal, because they’re used to it. But regular bowel movements are a sign that things are moving through as they should be,’ says Kalinik.

"Gut symptoms would be cramping, excess gas, constipation and/or diarrhoea.’

"It’s a misconception that to be healthy, you have to cut out food groups. For gut health, it’s about enriching your diet and rotating colours," says Kalinik. 

"Darker, colourful foods such as berries, purple carrots, dark chocolate, green tea, spinach and grapes are all rich in polyphenols," adds Tarrant.

"Foods containing prebiotic fibres feed the positive bacteria in our gut, and examples of these are garlic, chickpeas, lentils, artichokes and onions."

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