A bloated stomach is most commonly caused by problems digesting certain foods and drinks. When the digestive system struggles to break down particular foods, it can cause excess gas, trapped wind, stomach cramps and swelling. Some people experience stomach bloating due to a food intolerance – for which it is advisable to see a doctor. But many others feel bloated simply due to consuming foods that the body naturally lacks the enzymes to digest properly.
Common foods the body typically has difficulty digesting include vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, sprouts, beans and cauliflower.
Cutting down on bloat-inducing foods is one way to prevent a bloated stomach – although if you decide to cut down on certain vegetables ensure you still get your five-a-day from other vegetables.
But it’s also possible to relieve a bloated stomach by including certain vitamins and minerals into your diet that can help to promote digestion.
One mineral which is essential to the digestion process is manganese.
Manganese helps make and activate some of the enzymes in the body, which help to carry out chemical reactions such as breaking down food.
“Manganese helps activate many enzymes in metabolism and plays a role in a variety of chemical processes in your body,” said medical website Healthline.
“It helps with protein and amino acid digestion and utilisation, as well as the metabolism of cholesterol and carbohydrates.”
Manganese is found in a variety of foods and drinks, including tea, bread, nuts, cereals and green vegetables like peas and runner beans.
The NHS states that most people should the able to get all the manganese they need from their daily diet.
Supplements of manganese can be taken if you don’t get enough of the mineral from your diet, but make sure you don’t take too much.
“Taking high doses of manganese for long periods of time might cause muscle pain, nerve damage and other symptoms, such as fatigue and depression,” warned the NHS.
“For most people, taking 4mg or less of manganese supplements a day is unlikely to cause any harm.
“For older people, who may be more sensitive to manganese, taking 0.5mg or less of manganese supplements a day is unlikely to cause any harm.”
Manganese also helps the body to utilise a number of vitamins, such as choline, thiamine, vitamin C and vitamin E, and also ensures proper liver function, according to Healthline.
Thiamine, also known as vitamin B1, helps to break down and release energy from food, while keeping the nervous system healthy.
Choline is a nutrient that is similar to the B vitamins, in that is is used in many chemical reactions in the body such as metabolising food.
Speak to your GP first if you are considering taking manganese or any other supplements.
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