Question: What do you think about fennel seeds to minimize bloating? More importantly, why do I bloat immediately after eating?
Bloating is an inflammatory reaction. Inflammation can occur for a number of reasons, but its main purpose is to protect the body by producing a thick barrier made of new and sacrificed cells, and thus encouraging the release of white blood cells as a greater immune defense.
Here are some possible situations…
Certain foods can cause an inflammatory reaction because they may be indigestible to irritate the intestinal lining (gluten, wheat, grains, starchy foods, fibrous vegetables), may yield man-made toxic or natural toxic defense materials to cause an immune reaction (phytic acid), or may be allergenic to cause puffiness (gluten, wheat, grains, soy, dairy, caregeenan, gums, and other additives).
There could be an imbalance of intestinal bacteria so there is a constant fight occurring within the digestive tract that will encourage a barrier-reaction to keep bacteria “at bay.” It is very possible for the intestinal tract to become permeable when the body’s defense reactions have become exhausted or over-come, thus allowing bacteria and food to be released into the bloodstream, which causes a greater immune reaction AND allows for bacteria to become systemic. (This is a drastic example, but it is very possible and real for a lot of people who are unaware… it’s called Leaky Gut Syndrome).
Dietary stressors that encourages the increased production of Estrogen, which, in excess, becomes a stress-reactive hormone. This reaction is more of an effect of to any sort of chronic irritant, imbalance, toxin, or foreign (indigestible) material, but it should be considered that this [chronic] hormone release can actually affect many other physiological functions such as thinking, moving, breathing, feeling, and understanding.
Do I think supplementing Fennel Seeds will help? Not entirely because it’s simply treating the symptoms and not necessarily the cause. That’s like taking aspirin for a headache when you haven’t eaten all day. I do think that diet is a very large factor in bodily reactions and should be the first thing taken into perspective and evaluated. I know that Saturated Fats, such as those found in coconut oil and dairy/eggs, are very protective to the intestinal tract as the fats help build stronger cell walls, increase cholesterol production which is a natural anti-oxidant and more cholesterol means more steroid hormones (since it’s a precursor) and the body will be able to handle “stressful” situations with greater ease, and, to keep the list short, the fats aid in metabolic and immune function (which I can go into great detail but we’ll leave it at that).
The best approach to bloating is to gain some perspective on why, when, and how bloating occurs. Take two weeks (a week should suffice but the longer the better) – take two weeks to record a diet and lifestyle journal. The journal will have you write down every single thing that you do and feel before/after throughout the day – from waking up, to bowel moving, to eating, to drinking, to working, to schooling, to exercising, to socializing, to sleeping. It’s much easier to take perspective on what choices help or hinder your health when you write them down on paper AND when you consider your physical and mental states previous, during, and post experience, rather than thinking back to “oh, well on Wednesday I think I ate some rice and I probably felt like shit after because I always feel like shit.” Take a (whole)istic approach to your health – don’t just single out the bloating.
If you’d like to discuss this perspective along with other health-related insights, please contact me for a FREE Conversation.