Beat the Bloat
Find a Conversation
|Wed, 08-04-2010 - 3:16pm|
13 Flat-Belly Foods to Beat the Bloat
Skip the salt and load up on these hydration-boosting fruits, veggies, and spices.
More than 10 million Americans regularly complain about being bloated. That uncomfortable sensation â€” the result of air passing through your intestines â€” is often caused by a tempting culprit: salty and fatty foods. So, what's safe to eat to keep women from unbuttoning those skinny jeans? We researched the top fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices that will save any stomach from an uncomfortable expansion.
Oranges and Watermelons
Because water flushes waste and excess water out of your system, enjoying water rich foods is ideal. Watermelons, as their name suggests, are almost all water â€” 92 percent. Oranges too are approximately 80 to 90 percent water.
Not only does yogurt have a high water content, but it promotes the growth of good bacteria in the stomach. This bacteria is responsible for the reduction of excess gas that accumulates in the organ over time.
This plant helps reduce the levels of fat in the liver, whose main functions include detoxification and the production of biochemicals necessary for digestion â€” major aspects of the prevention of bloating.
Bran Cereal and Oatmeal
Fiber helps relieve constipation, which is an all-too frequent cause of bloating. By adding bulk in the form of certain cold or hot cereals, everything moves through the intestines more quickly. Because women need at least 25 grams of fiber daily, eating a bran cereal with at least five grams of fiber per serving helps reach that goal. Just be certain to not add too much fiber to your diet too fast, or worsened bloating can occur.
Strawberries and Blueberries
Fiber also takes the form of certain delicious fruits and berries. Snacking on high-fiber foods such as strawberries and blueberries, as well as dried apricots and dried plums, can help clean out one's system regularly.
Like other fruits with high water content, grapefruit is nearly 90 percent water. An added benefit of snacking on this pink treat: It's high in fat burning enzymes.
Soups based on broth â€” not chowders, purees, or cream soups that are high in saturated fat â€” have an extremely high water content yet can be filling. Plus, the sodium levels should not be high as long as the soups are made with natural ingredients and don't come from a can. Canned soups often have as much as 1,000 milligrams of sodium, which is half of the daily recommended limit, in a single serving.
Lettuce and Spinach
These green leaves, in addition to kale and chard, require ample chewing and provide a healthy dose of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They also help with acid indigestion, constipation, and urinary tract infections.
Peppermint and Ginger
Carminative herbs, which include peppermint as well as chamomile and ginger, are gas reducers and can be enjoyed in tea form. In addition to these herbs, bitter herbs, despite their taste, are effective at stimulating the digestive tract as well as the flow of saliva.
Not just a spice to heat up a meal, these peppers reduce the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease. Capsaicin, an active ingredient found in the peppers, can also increase metabolism and curb food cravings, especially for sweets.
Broccoli and Cauliflower
Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage, break down harmful forms of estrogen for safe elimination from the body. Still, they do contain sugars that are sometimes difficult to digest and thus should be eaten in moderation (a half-cup serving at a time).
This veggie may not have much nutritional value, but it serves as a natural diuretic, helping to increase urination and the flushing out of toxins from the body. Cucumbers are rich in sulfur and silicon to stimulate the kidneys into better removal of uric acid. Because cukes are low in both sodium and calories, they're also a favored vegetable in most diet plans.
This tropical fruit, which is approximately 85 percent water, also contains bromelain, an enzyme that breaks down proteins, promotes good digestion, and helps to eradicate some stomach problems.