Do you feel like a bloated balloon every month? You're not alone. Many women suffer from bloating and other digestive issues related to their hormones. Luckily, there are some natural ways to decrease the amount of bloat you experience each month. Thankfully, there a number of holistic strategies that can help get your gut health back on track and help regulate your hormones. Dr. Sonza Curtis ND, PAC, IFMCP, an expert on gut health, thyroid, sex hormones and is certified by the institute of Functional Medicine, is providing useful resources and tips for a flatter tummy and methods for flushing your system out. 

Although hormonal bloating is PMS induced, Dr. Curtis explains that there are a list of factors can work as triggers and amplify normal symptoms. She instructs, "First, it's important to understand the causes that might instigate hormonal bloating: unhealthy food habit (a diet rich in sugar, dairy, gluten, and highly processed junk food), poor gut health, lack of exercise and movement, stress, anxiety, and lack of sound sleep."

With these factors in mind, Dr. Curtis' breaks down 5 simple steps below that you can take at home that works as a natural medicine to help protect against excess hormonal bloating:

Image: Kindel Media.

Pick healthy fats, protein, potassium, and magnesium-rich foods

"Select magnesium-rich foods promote a good balance of fluids in your body. Healthy fats like chia, nuts, and salmon also do the same. Lean proteins will keep you fuller for longer and make you feel lighter on your feet, even on your period" explains Dr. Curtis.

High potassium foods: Tomatoes, Bananas, Cantaloupe, Asparagus, etc.

Magnesium-rich foods:  hand full of almonds, Pumpkin seeds, Leafy greens, Dark chocolate, etc.

Healthy fats: Chia seeds, Avocado, Nuts, Flaxseeds, Salmon, etc.

Protein: Chicken, Fish, Beans, Seafood, and Tofu

Don't skip your workout routine

Working out is possibly the last thing you feel like doing. However, according to experts, getting your heart rate up is one of the best ways to relieve hormonal issues, including bloating. Dr. Curtis says, "You can continue with your regular workout schedule or lighter workouts like swimming or yoga, even if it's just a brisk walk. Any physical activity helps to move things along in your digestive system and can also help balance your hormones."

Eat more fiber, prebiotic and probiotic

Gut health is key for regulating hormones and reducing bloating. According to Dr. Curtis, "Prebiotics and probiotics work together to accelerate your digestive system. Fiber-rich foods contain prebiotics that helps feed the good bacteria in your gut. Make sure to include probiotics like fermented foods or a quality supplement in your diet." 

Probiotic foods: Kombucha, Miso, Sauerkraut, Kimchi, Kefir, yogurt, pickles, tempeh, kimchi, sourdough bread, and some cheeses.

Prebiotics:  Onion, Garlic, Chicory, Leek, Artichoke, and chickpeas.

Try herbal tea

"Herbal teas cleanse the body and can aid in digestion. Peppermint, chamomile, and fennel tea offer a nutritional boost for the female endocrine system" details Dr. Curtis. In addition, herbal teas help relieve water retention.

Minimize stress as much as possible

This is possibly the most important tip since stress can be a major trigger for hormonal bloating. "When we're stressed, our bodies tend to produce more cortisol. This hormone can lead to inflammation and digestive issues. So, take time for yourself each day to relax and de-stress" Dr. Curtis advises. Try meditation, yoga, and deep breathing exercises to calm down and spend more time with your loved ones.