One of the biggest problem areas I hear from women (including myself) post-babies is the abdominal region. The dreaded Mummy Tummy… is that pooch right around the belly button that just won’t go away no matter how many crunches, sit ups, cleanses etc., you do. Diastasis rectus abdominis (DRA) is a medical condition that in most cases, is the cause of this post partum belly that looks like it’s almost gone first thing in the morning but then rears its ugly head by the time your ready for bed. The most current research shows that 100% of women get some degree of abdominal separation. The not-so-good news is only 30% fully recover without intervention.
A great article I recently read from Bellies Inc. was how DRA and the benefits of nutrition.
We know that a DRA is caused by any intra-abdominal pressure on the connective tissue (linea alba) that connects the right and left side of the rectus abdominis together. So if this is true, we also have to look at inflammatory factors that may also be affecting the tissues ability to heal when met with constant bloating, constipation and inflammation.
The 5 most inflammatory foods are:
1. Trans and refined fats: including hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil, most vegetable oils including grape seed, cottonseed, safflower, corn and sunflower oils. Margarine is also made from processed vegetable oils and should be avoided.
2. Sugar: white sugar found in any foods that you consume or add to drinks. Soft drinks are the worst culprit and artificial sweeteners are no better. Pastries, desserts, candies, snacks are all high in sugar and often called dextrose, fructose, maltose, sorghum syrup, cane syrup or sugar and sucrose. Avoid high fructose corn syrup at all costs.
3. Dairy: milk is the worst but other dairy products that are high in saturated fats and are mucus forming. It’s also a common allergen and food sensitivity causing inflammation and other symptoms like diarrhea, constipation, skin rashes including eczema, hives and asthma.
4. White flour: in the form of bread, pastries, cakes, muffins, cookies, pasta, pizza dough and so on. White flour is refined so much of the fibre and nutrients are stripped away. Wholegrain anything is the way to go.
5. Red and processed meats: beef, lamb, pork and processed meats of ham and other lunch meats, sausage and salami. Small amounts of saturated fat found in red meat is healthy. Overdo it and you tip the scale the other way. Processed meats should be avoided completely