Nutritionist Sharon Zarabi shares top diet tips so you can avoid unwanted bloating from an unexamined diet.
Hundreds of years ago our diets were rich in potassium (the kind of stuff you find in bananas, potatoes or spinach) and low in salt – so the sensation of craving salt was essential for survival.
But now we’ve gone overboard with salt. This isn’t good for our health – or our bodies.
As a performer, you may be concerned with the unwanted bloating that comes with excess salt.
Let’s explore how to get rid of this challenge so that you don’t ever get compared to the fourth of Alvin and his chipmunk brothers.
Salt in Time and Space
Did you know that your body is composed of almost 70-80% of water? Think about it, your skin, organs, muscle, lymph nodes and all cells store water for chemical reactions to process appropriately.
However when we eat heavily salted foods the internal plumbing of lymph system reacts by disposing of waste and debris generated by muscle and other body tissues.
A variety of factors can cause lymph fluid to become heavy and thick, which restricts blood flow and causes blockages. How does this affect you? Well, now you are left bloated with excess water surrounding the cells.
Your appearance and vocal execution is all affected by what goes in that tank, your body of course.
As harmless as some ingredients may perceive they have a huge effect on how your organs function.
One of the keys it to keep a balance with potassium for everything to work in equilibrium as far as electrolyte balance.
There are some other keys as well – feel free to print off the list below!
Tips to avoid for bloating:
* Avoid Processed foods such as bacon, ham, luncheon meats (unless noted as light varieties which are usually reduced sodium), pickles, cold cuts and sausages
* Avoid carbonated beverages such as sodas which can leave you feeling more “gassy”
* Avoid gas producing foods right before a performance such as cabbage, broccoli, onions, and dairy
* Avoid using a straw when drinking which may trap air when swallowing
* Balance your diet with foods high in Potassium which help the kidneys flush the excess salt out- bananas, potatoes, watermelon, spinach, tomatoes, unsalted nuts.
* Exercise—the more you sweat the more toxins and excess salt you will be releasing- and you thought sweating on stage was a bad thing? ☺
* Drink lots of water to flush out excess salt, but be sure to time appropriately. No one wants to be running for the bathroom before the “big show”
Sharon Zarabi is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Dietitian Nutritionist (RD, CDN) and Certified Personal Fitness Trainer with the International Fitness Professional’s Association (IFPA) and Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA.) She is a contributor to The Singer’s Guide to Complete Health (Oxford University Press) and her work can be viewed at www.sharonzarabi.com/