Ugh, bloating—talk about an unwelcome guest. We’ve all been there, and it’s no picnic. Desperately seeking a solution to ease that uncomfortable sensation. Well, worry not. We’ve got your back (or rather, your belly) and this time, we’re not talking about chemical-laden remedies.
Many of us go through life without realizing how much our food choices can impact our stomachs. We get caught up in the hustle and bustle, unaware of the connection between what we eat and those stomach issues like aches, constipation, gas, and, of course, bloating.
But the good news is that we can actually counter these symptoms with good nutrition. It’s all about being mindful of what we put on our plates and how it affects our body.
After all, more and more people are grappling with digestive disorders and tummy troubles these days. From IBS to chronic indigestion, the struggle is real.
But instead of playing the blame game, let’s shift our focus to natural solutions, things to avoid, and gentle remedies that can help without harming our long-term health. After all, relying solely on over-the-counter meds isn’t always the best path to wellness.
Stress Is One Of The Leading Causes of Bloating
Stress can actually contribute to bloating and exacerbate digestive woes. That’s right, our gut and brain are like two peas in a pod. When our enteric nervous system (the gut’s trusty sidekick) senses emotional distress, it sends signals to the brain, signaling distress when something feels off.
What Causes Period Bloat?
Now, let’s talk about that dreaded period bloat. It’s not fair that Aunt Flo’s arrival often brings with it the illusion of a baby bump. Especially if you’re dealing with endometriosis or PCOS, things can get really uncomfortable.
But here’s the good news: You don’t have to suffer in silence. Menstruating shouldn’t feel like a circus act with a balloon in your stomach. Even if your hormones need some TLC in the long run, there are simple, natural remedies that can help alleviate the bloating and make your moment-to-moment experience a little more bearable.
Here are 13 best foods that fight bloating.
Before we get to the list, it’s important to seek out foods and herbs that have soothing properties. go for foods that are easy to digest. When your gut is inflamed, the last thing you want is to load it up with heavy, hard-to-process foods.
Applesauce, with its high water content and soluble fiber tackles constipation, soothes your tummy, and reduces bloating. Just make sure to opt for unsweetened and organic varieties to avoid any unwanted additives.
Not only does it bring a burst of flavor to your taste buds, but it also packs a serious nutritional punch. With abundant vitamin C, manganese, and B vitamins in every juicy serving, pineapple is a true nutritional fruit that can help remedy Bloating.
But wait, there’s more. Pineapple holds a secret weapon called bromelain. This active enzyme has been used for ages in traditional medicine to treat digestive disorders. So if you’ve been struggling with tummy troubles, pineapple might just be the natural remedy you’ve been searching for.
Berries are low in natural sugars, hydrating, with high amounts of Vitamin C and antioxidants. Their gentle soluble fiber, coupled with their high water content, can easily help with digestion and reduce bloating.
Bananas are not only gentle on the stomach but also high in potassium, making them an excellent choice for improving digestion, soothing gut inflammation, and alleviating bloating. Take small bites, savor the sweetness, and let your tummy thank you.
Avocados, too, are rich in potassium and easy on digestion, offering a soothing touch for your tummy.
Not only is it a delightful beverage to sip on, but it also offers a myriad of health benefits. Let’s start with hydration. Staying hydrated is key to maintaining a healthy body. Sip on a warm cup of green tea and let it quench your thirst while keeping you hydrated.
But that’s not all. Green tea is packed with antioxidants, such as epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). These powerful compounds work effectively by neutralizing harmful free radicals in your body and reducing inflammation. It’s like a superhero squad defending your cells from damage.
Watermelon, with its high water content, comes to the rescue, flushing out excess salt and toxins from your body. It also aids circulation, providing relief from menstrual swelling and ensuring smooth digestion. Mother Nature’s sweet gift to beat the bloat.
When it comes to hydrating and relieving bloating, cucumbers take center stage. With their high water content (around 95% water, to be exact), these crisps can help in reducing inflammation and keeping you hydrated.
Whether you choose to munch on mint leaves or sip on a warm cup of peppermint tea, this herb is filled with active bloating properties. There’s something about the warmth of the tea that soothes a bloated tummy.
These zesty fruits are more than just a refreshing addition to your water. Lemons are packed with anti-inflammatory properties, abundant antioxidants, and enzymes that work wonders for your digestion and intestinal circulation.
Study shows that turmeric is incredibly beneficial for your body, supporting everything from circulation to digestion. So don’t hesitate to sprinkle some turmeric magic into your meals and reap the rewards.
Ginger is great for calming a bloated stomach. With its anti-inflammatory properties and warmth, ginger can help in easing discomfort and promoting healthy digestion.
Let’s wrap up with a traditional gem. In India, fennel seeds are chewed after meals to aid digestion, and for good reason. Fennel is a digestive seed and one of the best herbal foods to turn to when you’re bloated.
Foods Not to Eat When You’re Bloated
First up on our list: salty foods. It turns out that consuming an excess of sodium can put a serious strain on our hard-working kidneys. When these vital organs reach their tipping point and can’t process all that salt, the result is water retention and a puffy appearance. And refined white table salt we often encounter is also part of the problem because its unnatural chemical form of salt, burdening our system even further. Adding insult to injury
When you find yourself in a bloated state, it’s wise to steer clear of certain foods. Dairy, gluten, acidic fare, and high-fiber options that can unleash inflammatory effects that fuel the bloat. These culinary foods are notorious for disrupting digestion, leaving us with uncomfortable indigestion and gas.
Next on our list are refined carbs. (Brace yourself, because this one’s a double whammy). Foods loaded with white sugar, corn syrup, fructose, starch, instant oatmeal, and white grains are known for spiking insulin levels. And what does that lead to? You guessed it—retaining more sodium and, you guessed it again, bloating.
Last but not least, we have “sugar-free” foods. Beware of artificial sweeteners lurking in these seemingly innocent treats. Sugar and alcohols are the culprits within, that can also lead or add to unexpected bloating.
Exercises to Try
When it comes to bloating, it’s not just about the foods we eat. There are a few other things we can do to tackle that fluid build-up and reduce the discomfort. It’s all about finding little ways to take care of ourselves and promote a healthier body.
One simple yet effective way to reduce fluid build-up in certain areas is by walking around. It might sound surprising, but a little stroll can actually help get things moving and prevent fluid from accumulating in those troublesome spots. So, the next time you feel bloated, why not take a leisurely walk and see if it makes a difference? It’s a gentle way to get some relief.
Drink more water. I know, it might sound counterintuitive when you’re already feeling bloated, but staying hydrated can actually help reduce water retention. When your body senses that it’s getting enough water, it’s less likely to hold onto excess fluids. So, keep that water bottle handy and sip away.
When it’s time to relax and lie down, consider elevating your legs a bit. It’s a small adjustment that can have a big impact on your circulation and help flush out that retained water. By giving your legs a little lift, you’re aiding the natural flow of fluids in your body and saying goodbye to bloating.
Now, if you’re up for it, breaking a sweat can also be beneficial. When you engage in activities that make you sweat, you’re not only releasing toxins but also eliminating some of that excess fluid. So, whether it’s hitting the gym, going for a run, or dancing your heart out, getting your body moving and breaking a sweat can help you feel lighter and more comfortable.
However, if you find that you’re experiencing frequent or chronic bloating, it might be worth considering an underlying issue. Inflammation or food intolerances could be contributing factors. In such cases, it’s always a good idea to consult with your doctor. They can provide valuable insights and help you identify what might be causing your bloating. If you don’t have a primary care doctor, there are various apps you can use to find a physician in your area.