Whether you ate too fast, slurped down tons of sparkling water, or went too hard on fiber, dairy, or anything sugar-free, feeling like you’ve got a balloon inflating in your stomach is the pits. (The only thing worse is accidentally letting it deflate in public.) The next time you’re doubled over your gas-filled middle, try one of these simple, natural, fast-acting remedies.
1. Take Enzymes To Break Down Food
If your gut is punishing you for downing that extra-creamy latte or yogurt bowl, a digestive enzyme can help your body process certain foods you’re not well-equipped to break down on your own.
Different enzymes break down different types of food, so make sure you’re taking the right enzyme for your meal. If you suspect dairy is giving you trouble, for example, try a lactase enzyme. “Lactose is a sugar found in dairy, and lactase is the enzyme that breaks down lactose,” explains Kailey Proctor, M.P.H., R.D.N. If you’re lactose intolerant, you don’t have enough enzymes to break it down, and may experience cramping, gas, and bloating as it passes through your system.
Related: 7 Foods That Can Make You Gassy
Ideally, you want to take enzymes with the first few bites of food, but they may still provide some relief if you’re already dealing with the digestive aftermath of a meal.
2. Get Moving
If you’ve got a bubble in your gut, simply getting up and moving around can help break it up. “Movement helps push gases through your digestive system by quite literally getting things moving,” says Maggie Michalcyzk, M.S., R.D.N.
Whether you do some jumping jacks, squats, high knees, or just go for a walk, a little bit of action can go a long way. Any movement that targets the belly specifically (like twisty yoga moves), is especially good at easing gas.
3. Drink Peppermint Tea
“Peppermint prevents spasms in the GI tract by acting as a relaxant,” explains Proctor. “This then allows gas to pass through your digestive tract.” Try sipping on a mug of warm peppermint tea, or adding fresh peppermint to your water.
4. Sip On Chamomile Tea
If you’re not a fan of peppermint, try chamomile tea instead. “Chamomile has soothing properties that aid in digestion and may ease temporary bloating and gas,” says Michalczyk. Plus, chamomile’s calming quality doesn’t just help settle your digestive system, but also helps you feel generally grounded and relaxed.
5. Chew On Fennel Seeds
This plant has long been used in traditional medicine to support healthy digestion by stimulating muscles in our GI tract.
Michalcyzk recommends chomping on about a teaspoon when gas pops up. Keep a plastic baggie of seeds in your bag for on-the-go gas support, or try roasting and seasoning them for a flavorful, gut-loving salad- and side dish-topper.