We all get bloated once in a while—too many beans, too little water, too much dairy, too much anything!— and no one’s ever really happy about it. Luckily, there are plenty of foods and teas that can help you de-bloat. Here are 9 excellent foods to fight off a bloated belly:
Squeezing a little lemon into your water in the morning might not seem like a powerful action, but your body will love you for it. Not only are you giving your body the hydration is desperately needs (retaining water is one of the things your body does in response to dehydration), but lemon helps to naturally boost and detoxify your body. It acts as a diuretic and mild laxative, provides an energizing spritz of vitamin C, and warms the body up for digestion. Drinking room-temperature water upon waking or no less than 30 minutes after a meal (so as not to water down your body’s digestive enzymes) can boost digestion, improve satiety and reduce bloat.
Peppermint has been shown to relax digestive muscles and potentially soothe the uncomfortable digestive symptoms of those dealing with IBS, including bloating. Try sipping peppermint tea after dinner to reap full digestive benefits. Looking for a dessert-like treat that won’t induce bloating? Try using three simple ingredients—unsweetened chocolate, raw honey, and peppermint oil—to make a tasty, natural peppermint patty!
You know how two slices of cucumber can do amazing things for the puffiness around your eyes? Well, consider what they can do inside your body! Cucumbers contain silica, vitamin C and caffeic acid, which work together to drag the bloat out of your body. These little guys are loaded with water, too, which is great for preventing water retention.
These goodies that grow rampant on your lawn are actually a prebiotic, which means they encourage the development of good bacteria in the digestive tract. The greens function as a powerful, detoxifying diuretic while the root has traditionally been used as adigestive aid. (If you cannot find dandelion greens, asparagus is also a great prebiotic and diuretic.) Try sautéing the greens or sipping on dandelion tea if you’re feeling a little puffy or have followed a less than ideal diet for a few days.
Everyone knows ginger is great for digestion. That’s why it’s everyone’s go-to medicine when they have a tummy ache. Ginger works to stimulate and promote digestion through the action of beneficial phenolic compounds. Improved digestion means there is less of a chance for excess gas (and pressure) to build up in your tract. Ginger also calms the digestive muscles, helping to keep the break-down process smooth and unhindered. But ginger gets a big bonus for being anti-inflammatory as well, which means it is especially great for incorporating into your daily diet, bloated or not. Keep this all-around digestive soother on hand for juices, smoothies or stir-frys.
Apple cider vinegar
The notorious ACV is a god of your pantry. It helps to breakdown food in your system, balance your pH levels and control blood sugar levels. In terms of bloating, ACV helps to regulate your digestive processes, which helps to stave off excess gas and bloating due to weak digestion. Taking a teaspoon in warm water every morning, like you would lemon water, can set you up for a fabulous, bloat free day.
As a tea, fennel can assist in relaxing spasms in the GI tract. This can prevent bloating and, perhaps more importantly, unwelcomed flatulence. Pukka Herbs makes a lovelyAfter Dinner tea that combines fennel, chicory and cardamom to improve post-meal digestion.
Not only does green tea contain plenty of water and antioxidants, but it also acts as a diuretic by flushing water through your body. Green tea is good for so many reasons, so just add de-bloating onto its resume. If you love tea, pu-erh, a traditionally fermented black tea, contains enzymes that can assist in the breakdown of undigested foods. Not a tea drinker? A small black coffee can also reduce bloating, but try not to overdo it. If you notice bloating with coffee, that may be a sign that you are caffeine sensitive, so pay attention.
The dense, fatty flesh of an avocado will help keep you satisfied without urging you to overeat. Since overeating cam certainly be a cause of bloating, avocados make a great food choice. Nuts such as almonds, walnuts and pistachios can also be a light-yet-filling choice. Just be sure not to overeat salted nuts, since the excess salt can work against your waistline. Additionally, if you’ve been eating a lot of salty foods and are noticing a little extra puffiness around your midsection, an avocado could keep things in check. The potassium in avocados can help counter the effects of excess sodium, which will keep your stomach a bit flatter.