There’s never a good time to feel bloated, but if there were, these hot summer months would definitely not be it. Bloating and abdominal discomfort aren’t limited to the occasional holiday feast and could strike at the most inopportune times.
So whether you’re about to slip into that swimsuit you’ve been working so hard to look great in or just heading to work, don’t let something as manageable as a little bloat kill your confidence. Here’s a quick look into how you can eat and drink your way to a flatter belly, starting with these eight foods!
Ginger. Although perhaps not a typical staple food you’d have laying around the house, fresh ginger can serve as a great remedy to help alleviate bloating thanks to its calming effects and digestive enzymes. Try adding 1/2 teaspoon of fresh, minced ginger to a soup or stir fry, or add a few slices to your favorite cup of hot tea!
Yogurt. Yogurt is packed with probiotics, the good bacteria that helps promote a healthy gut so that it can digest foods and absorb nutrients as it should (think healthy gut, happy tummy!). Plain Greek yogurt flavored with fresh fruit, cinnamon and a drizzle of raw honey is a fantastic treat!
Bananas. When I say “bananas”, you think “potassium”, right? Potassium helps regulate our body’s electrolyte and fluid levels which can counteract the negative effects of processed foods that are oftentimes pumped with sodium, leading to excess water in the body.
Melons. Did you know that melons of all kinds actually contain more potassium than bananas? Honeydew, cantaloupe, and watermelon also score high on water content, boosting hydration while helping to de-bloat. Keep cut up melon in the refrigerator for an easy and delicious summertime snack!
Cayenne pepper. Bring on the heat! The capsaicin in cayenne pepper reduces gas and bloating by firing up your digestive enzymes. Capsaicin also works with the probiotics found in yogurt and other foods to kill the bad bacteria in our gut that can lead to an uncomfortable tummy.
Lemon Water. A warm glass of lemon water is an absolute must in my morning routine because it helps boost hydration from the moment I wake up AND aids in detoxification. How? Lemon juice stimulates bile production in the liver which helps keep our digestive system working as it should and helps relieve symptoms of indigestion.
Asparagus. Asparagus is a natural diuretic (meaning it helps push fluid through the body) thanks to its own specialized amino acid called asparagine. One of my favorite ways to incorporate asparagus into my diet is either by grilling it with other veggies, or roasting it in the oven!
Pineapple. This sweet, juicy fruit contains a digestive enzyme called “bromelain” that helps your body break down protein that otherwise could become stagnant and cause stomach issues. The stem and core of this tropical fruit have a higher concentration of the enzyme, so try freezing your own fresh pineapple (core intact) for smoothies! Simply chop it up and place in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze, then transfer to a Ziploc bag.
Beware of Cruciferous Vegetables. Even though they’re filled with health-promoting nutrients, there are a number of veggies that contain sneaky belly-bloaters.
Cruciferous vegetables such as kale, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower are all great sources of vitamin C, fiber, and a number of other essential nutrients, but our bodies aren’t able to naturally break down the complex sugars found in these vegetables. When they make their way to the large intestine, they are fermented by bacteria and can produce gas.
So stash these veggies in a “do not eat” pile until you get back from the beach. Instead, snack on some cucumber slices which is full of water and will help give you a lean tummy!