Feeling bloated? That too-full feeling happens to everyone from time to time. Whether you ate too much food at the family barbecue or simply enjoyed a few cans of seltzer, that food baby can feel unattractive and uncomfortable. However, there’s no reason to suffer all day when you can remedy that queasy feeling at home.
Counteract that bloat and get rid of that puffy tummy fast with these 10 foods:
Ginger is one of the oldest herbal medicines around, and people have been using it to reduce inflammation for generations. Thus, many apply it for relieving bloating and gas. The magic component in this root is zingibain, a digestive enzyme that helps the body break down protein.
By incorporating more ginger into your diet, you can reduce inflammation in your colon and promote intestinal contractions, allowing food to pass through more easily.
Bananas also contain digestive enzymes like amylases and glucosidases, which break complex carbs into smaller sugars. These enzymes are more active as bananas ripen. Bananas are also a good source of dietary fiber, which can aid digestion and quickly reduce bloating.
Additionally, they can promote a modest rise in healthy gut bacteria, which metabolize nutrients and digest food, too.
Watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe are about 90% water, automatically making them invaluable anti-bloating foods. These melons also act as natural diuretics, flushing toxins and excess salt and water from your body. Many also contain potassium, a nutrient that can help you excrete excess sodium, relieving bloating and puffiness throughout your entire body.
Lipase, a digestive enzyme found in avocados, is also a potent digestive aid that breaks down fat, making it easier for your body to absorb. Thus, eating an avocado or taking a lipase supplement after a high-fat meal may reduce bloat and improve digestion. Like bananas and melons, avocados also contain potassium and act as an anti-inflammatory food.
Yogurt contains probiotics, which are good gut bacteria that support a healthy digestive process. Probiotics are also an important component of everyday health, especially if you’re combating bloating and gas. Even if you’re lactose intolerant, you can reap the benefits of these gut microbes. Instead of yogurt, try eating kefir for a sans-dairy probiotic boost.
Papain is yet another enzyme that greatly benefits your belly and can significantly reduce bloating. This helpful enzyme is present in papaya and soothes the digestive process, especially during menstrual cycles. Papaya also contains proteases, enzymes that break down proteins and aid in their absorption. Eat this fruit when it is ripe to reap all the amazing benefits it offers.
Push stubborn foods out of your gut and through your digestive tract by eating artichokes. This fibrous food is high in fiber and contains cynarine, an enzyme that stimulates bile, allowing your gut to more easily digest fats. Of course, if you aren’t used to eating artichokes, they may cause gas at first. Therefore, it’s best to slowly incorporate them into your diet.
Pineapple can also quickly reduce bloating. This tropical fruit contains bromelain, an enzyme that can break protein down into its building blocks, thereby making it easier to digest. It also works as an anti-inflammatory agent, and some literature even suggests a promising role of bromelain in surgical care.
If you simply can’t eat anymore or the bloating is making you nauseous, try adding some honey to a cup of tea or simply eating a small spoonful. This golden liquid is rich in digestive enzymes like diastases, amylases, invertases and proteases which break down starch, sucrose and proteins. Choose raw honey and avoid processed versions, as the heating process can destroy these enzymes.
You might also try chewing fresh mint leaves or steeping them in hot water to make a tea if you’re too bloated to eat. This herb has soothing effects on the intestinal tract, and doctors may even recommend it as a treatment for those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Mint also contains flavonoids that may inhibit mast cells, which live in your gut and can contribute to bloating.
While the above foods may effectively reduce bloating and inflammation, you’d likely rather avoid feeling bloated in the first place. No one wants to frantically search the internet for flat tummy remedies right before a pool party, right?
Therefore, it’s best to prevent bloating as much as possible by eating low-fat foods and avoiding gas-inducing meals and beverages, especially if you have to fit into a pair of jeans that night. Fight that bloat by avoiding carbonated drinks, beans, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, gluten and dairy. Enjoy a bowl of fruit or a salad, instead.