Bloating and heavy legs: how to fight them, from diet to sleep

From sugary drinks to poor sleep, there are many factors that can increase the typically summer tendency to feel bloated and heavy.

Maria Elena Perrero

Every year, when the heat arrives, we complain about it as if it were the first time, yet it is regularly like this: thesummer and the temperatures that rise make us feel swollen and heavy, from the belly to the legs, passing through the face. But those who feel this way are not an exception, far from it. “In summer, high temperatures and humidity affect blood circulation, slowing it down and increasing the accumulation of molecules that produce air, gas and meteorism in the abdominal area, resulting in a feeling of swelling. Often this is accompanied by an incorrect one hydration: in other words, we forget to drink enough, even if we sweat more than usual, and we become lazier, so we move less – explains to Official Active Dr. Sacha Sorrentino, nutritionist biologist and sports nutritionist -. With excessive heat, in fact, an important one is activated vasodilation as an attempt to better dispose of body heat. This, however, can lead to a side effect swelling localized or generalized. If we add to this a little movement, the picture is complete. The muscle contraction that is generated through movement can lead to an improvement in the circulation of body fluids, but if we get lazy instead of exercising, we only make the situation worse “.

Summer swelling: foods to avoid

If it is therefore clear that with the heat we should not stop, far from it, as regards the diet there are some foods that can foster the sense of swelling and heaviness. “Often to combat the heat, people are led to consume large quantities of cold drinks, carbonated drinks, smoothies and ice cream, all foods rich in artificial sweeteners and sugars which, by fermenting, cause an increase in intestinal dysbiosisor the intestinal imbalance which, in turn, causes abdominal bloating – underlines Dr. Sorrentino -. In addition, in the summer we tend to consume more alcoholic beverages, and alcohol contributes to dehydrating the tissues, as well as pushing us to consume foods rich in salt. Let’s not forget that even some bad habits can increase and increase the swelling: chewing quickly, sleeping little, not treating our intestines with probiotics and prebiotics at the change of season “.

Summer swelling: foods that help drain

However, there are also some foods that can help us to counteract this sense of swelling: “Definitely the kefir is an anti-swelling ally: this fermented milk of Caucasian origin is rich in probiotics, able to restore the intestinal flora. Then there is it ginger, rich in gingerol, a phytochemical compound able to improve intestinal mobility and with rich digestive properties. Finally I suggest to consume asparagus and cucumbers, useful for fighting water retention “.

The importance of sleeping against swelling

We also remember that even sleeping little, by increasing cortisol levels, generates swelling: “The cortisol, the stress hormone has a circadian rhythm: its levels are highest in the early morning while they tend to decrease in the evening. The hectic life, being always operational, lead us to stay awake and active until late in the evening, often with episodes of nervous hunger or craving for after-dinner snacks. In this way, our digestive system is overloaded and we end up creating a surge of sugars at a time when our body should be at rest and consequently struggles to dispose of them. Usually people with cortisol problems sleep little or badly, with often interrupted sleep, and when they wake up they do not feel rested ”.

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