Combat & Prevent Bloating Symptoms with What You Eat
Food baby, water baby or PMS-related: bloating is uncomfortable, miserable, and can leave even the fittest feeling fat.
Bloating is caused by excess fluid retention and/or trapped gas that accumulates in your digestive system.
To fight bloating the natural way, take a two-pronged approach: avoid foods that most commonly cause it and start eating more foods that help fight bloating symptoms.
First, what to avoid: The most common culprits of bloating are
- Packaged and other foods high in sodium
- Fatty foods
- Raw vegetables
- Sugars and sugar substitutes and
- Carbonated beverages
And of course avoid foods to which you may be intolerant or allergic.
Now read on for a list of 10 foods to incorporate in your diet to help fight bloating, relieving gas build up and clearing your system of excess fluid.
Eat Your Fiber
Fiber can help you maintain a healthy weight, make you feel fuller for longer, and if eaten properly, reduce bloating. This is because fiber can help aid digestion and keep you regular (you know what we mean). If you’re not going number two regularly, you’re constipated and can have excess gas buildup in the colon—aka bloating.
If you’re not already a big fiber-eater, gradually increase your fiber intake to around 25 grams per day (a good target for women), or it may stress your digestive system and actually cause you to produce more gas.
“Whole grains, veggies and fruits are great sources of fiber,” explains clinical dietitian Jocelyn Morante. Quinoa and oatmeal are among two of the best whole grains you should eat to fight bloating. Read on for the best high-fiber fruits and vegetables that will help you beat the bloat.
Though it may seem counterintuitive, you can combat excess fluid retention by drinking plenty of water.
Drinking water helps flush excess sodium and fluids from your body, and, like eating fiber, drinking plenty of water can help prevent constipation (which leads to bloating).
Aim for at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, and more if you’re working out (more helpful info on how much water to drink here).
That fiber we were talking about earlier? Yeah, your average, raw strawberry is packed with it and, if eaten in moderation, can help promote digestion and fight bloating. Strawberries are also high in vitamin C, making them one of the top immunity boosting foods.
Add a few cut up strawberries to your oatmeal, lunchtime salad or afternoon snack. Be sure to eat strawberries and other fruits in moderation, as they do have natural sugars, which if eaten in excess can cause gassiness and bloating.
Bananas are full of potassium, which can help regulate your body’s sodium levels. That’s a good thing because too much sodium means excess fluid buildup.
If you’re one of those people who gags at the thought of a banana (we know there are a lot of you out there), try potassium-rich alternatives like avocados, carrots, oranges and pistachios.
Eating yogurt, which is loaded with probiotics, introduces good bacteria to your gut. This bacteria helps you better break down food and helps keep your digestive system moving and in balance.
Tired of your usual plain yogurt afternoon snack? Try one of these flavorful recipes for healthy Greek yogurt dips and spreads.
If you’re lactose intolerant or if you’re sensitive to dairy and it causes you to bloat, you can take a probiotic supplement instead.
Watermelon is, obviously, loaded with water. That makes it one of the go-to foods experts recommend to help flush out excess fluids from your system. And, like strawberries, watermelon’s nutrients can help boost for your immune system.
Similar to watermelon, pineapples boast a high-water concentration that will help to flush excess fluids from your system. They also contain enzymes that help you better digest protein.
Since pineapples are high in natural sugars, they are a fast-digesting food and can make a good pre-workout snack (check out other great pre-workout snack ideas here).
Boosting your fiber intake can help prevent and combat bloating, and eating spinach is a smart way to do that. Not only is spinach full of fiber, but it’s one of those incredible superfoods that can do so much more for your body as well. Think clearer skin, improved immune system, etc. (More here on which superfoods you should be eating).
Important note: Since eating raw vegetables can actually trigger bloating in some people, you’ll want to opt for cooked spinach as it’s easier for your digestive system to breakdown.
Ginger or Peppermint Tea
These teas are great digestive aids that can help prevent bloating while also soothing an upset stomach, explains registered dietitian Jacqueline Aizen. Ginger is also believed to be a natural diuretic.
Apart from decreasing stomach troubles, teas can be great for your health. Read here for more on the incredible health benefits of different types of tea.
Full of water, asparagus acts as a diuretic to rid your body of excess fluid, but it’s also great because it promotes the growth of good intestinal bacteria, which can help aid proper digestion.
Registered dietitian Samantha Lynch also recommends adding asparagus to your diet because of its high thermogenic properties (digesting the food burns more calories than are in the food itself) and it won’t spike your insulin. Translation? Asparagus can boost your metabolism and keep you feeling satiated without feeling sluggish.
Get more on great metabolism boosting foods here.
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