Feel like you’re walking around with a balloon in your belly? Unfortunately, the dreaded reality that is bloating doesn’t just hit when you have a less-than-healthy diet slip (we’re looking at you, pizza and soda). The fact is, a lot of the foods on your go-to list of clean eats – think spinach, onions, apples, and beans – can lead to quite a bit of gas buildup in your midsection, and more still – melons, for example – may lead to water retention. And, of course, with the gas and water retention comes the pesky bulge in your stomach that we call bloating (which basically just happens when you’ve got excess gas or air accumulating in the intestines, or water getting stored in your stomach).
Unfortunately, bloating can (and tends to) creep up on you during the most unwanted times, like when you’re getting ready to go out on a Friday night and suddenly realize that zipping up your jeans feels harder to do than resisting that donut at breakfast was. But when your food-induced bloat is in full swing, there are a few tricks you can try out to banish the bloat in a pinch. Some of the best? Try nibbling on these bloat-blasting foods to get the bloat down fast – and get that zipper on your jeans up at last.
Combat water retention in your belly by drinking more water. Counterintuitive? Yes. Effective? Also yes. Drinking water helps to offset the affects of dehydration that forces your body to retain water in your belly, so you should try using water to flush toxins out of your system and normalize your digestive track. And a bonus benefit: you’ll prevent constipation, which is another cause of a bloated belly.
The good old breath-freshening, teeth-whitening benefits of peppermint can never be forgotten but we have to pay homage to this flavorful plant for its ability to sooth the muscles in your intestines, allowing gas to easily pass through. An active ingredient in peppermint tea is menthol, an organic compound that relaxes your belly’s digestive juices.
Pineapple may be getting attention for its energy-boosting benefits, but eating this fluid-filled fruit may also ease bloating. Thanks to the potent affects of bromelain, an enzyme extracted from pineapple that breaks down protein and aids digestion, you’ll be able to take that bloating (and your belt) down a notch in no time.
You can count on bananas to offset one of the biggest culprits of water retention – sodium. Bananas have rich potassium content (great for regulating fluid) and are a good source of prebiotic fiber, which acts as a fertilizer for good gut bacteria and digestion.
Infatuated with the rich flavor of dark chocolate? You’re not alone. The microbes in your gut love chocolate just as much as you do, instantly devouring it and converting the sweet treat into an anti-inflammatory compound once it reaches your belly’s digestive tract. Just make sure your dark chocolate contains a cacao content of at least 70% or more to enjoy these bloat-busting benefits.
Got bacteria? We’re a fan of it if it’s the “good” bacteria known as probiotics that are found in yogurt. Probiotics fight off the harmful bacteria in your body and promote a healthy gut system. The creamy texture of yogurt makes it easily digestible, and let’s not forget how flavorful it can be.