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 salt (steer clear of packaged and other foods high in sodium), fatty foods, alcohol, 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.