How to Beat Bloat Naturally

Feeling all puffy--like a puffer fish--is such a bummer.

Holly Lucille, one of the nation's leading naturopathic doctors and host of Veria Living Network's "Myth-Defying With Dr. Holly," has some interesting ways to beat the bloat that makes us all feel occasionally uncomfortable--naturally.

"Believe it or not, the most effective way to reduce bloating naturally starts before food is even consumed with the cephalic phase of digestion," she says. "This is your brain anticipating food. Most people think digestion starts with chewing in your mouth, but it really starts with your eyes and your nose, especially if food is appealing." She says the release of small messaging molecules that is critical for digestion has been found to increase by more than 50 percent--just by the mere sight and smell of food.

 "Additionally, research has shown how chewing--as well as the activation of taste receptors in the mouth--can prompt the nervous system to relay information to the gastrointestinal system to expedite the process of digestion," she says.
 Because we all end up eating way too quickly--thanks to overbooked calendars--we end up with poor digestion, she says. "If you don't take the time to properly prepare and chew your food, then you run the risk of bloating. Your stomach and the rest of your digestive system must make up for what your eyes, nose and mouth could have contributed."

And that's where these things--some of which you probably already have at home!--come in handy:

Peppermint tea: eases digestion and soothes the intestines
* Ginger: known for its anti-nausea effects, it's also a powerful digestive stimulant, encouraging healthy digestion
* Pineapple: it has natural digestive enzymes and can aid in breaking down food into digestible elements
* Parsley: improves digestion and the absorption of proteins and fats
* Yogurt: probiotics aid in all areas of digestion and as well as encourage a healthy immune response