June is finally here (cue the jean shorts, summer dresses and bikinis). While we’re all ready to move our oversized sweaters to the back of the closet and embrace warm weather fashion, feeling bloated and uncomfortable can make you feel limited.
Here are some of the best foods that can help to stave off bloating while keeping you feeling full.
- Water with lemon. Try starting each morning with a glass of warm water and the juice of half a lemon. This simple practice has a myriad of health benefits, such as boosting antioxidants to your immune system (lemons are packed with vitamin C), according to Amy Myers, MD, author of The Autoimmune Solution. The combination of warm water with lemon juice wakes up your liver and flushes toxins from your system and stimulates your gastrointestinal tract, which enhances your body’s ability to absorb nutrients throughout the day and help pass food through your system.
- Ginger. Although more commonly known for aiding the treatment of the cold and flu, ginger is also powerful for its ability to alleviate gastrointestinal discomfort, such as gas, cramps and bloating. According to Live Strong, ginger calms intestinal activity and expels gas from the digestive tract. Additionally, it functions as a natural blood thinner, which helps circulation and reduces bloating. However, people on blood-thinning medications should not consume ginger without guidance from their physician.
- Melon. Watermelons, honeydew and cantaloupe each contain high volumes of water and help your body flush out excess sodium. Watermelons in particular contain 92 percent water, according to the Huffington Post.
- Pineapple. This tropical fruit has a long history in use as a treatment for digestive disorders, according to Live Strong. Pineapples contain the enzyme bromelain, which is thought to assist in digestion by breaking down proteins in the stomach, according to the American Cancer Society. Additionally, pineapples contain a fair amount of potassium, a key element of an anti-bloat diet.
- Celery. Since celery is a natural diuretic, it can be a helpful aid in relieving water retention. Pair celery with your favorite protein spread (peanut butter, almond butter or hummus, for example) for a protein-packed snack.
- Fennel seeds. The key, active ingredient in fennel seeds is terpenoid anethole, which has been shown to soothe spasms in smooth muscles, such as those in the intestinal tract. Because of this, they are effective in stimulating digestion and relieving bloating. Fennel seeds can be used in baking, particularly in bread, or in meat dishes. Fennel seeds can also be dried out and used to make fennel tea.
- Quinoa. Quinoa has many health benefits. It is gluten-free, high in soluble and insoluble fiber and is a complete protein since it contains all essential amino acids. Because of its high fiber content, it can act as ‘roughage’ in the gastrointestinal tract, meaning it helps with digestion by retaining water in the large intestine. This helps you go to the bathroom regularly. Additionally, the soluble fiber in quinoa helps with weight control and rids cholesterol from the intestines.
- Peppermint tea. The menthol oil in peppermint leaves relieves spasms in smooth muscle tissues, similar to fennel seeds. It helps relax muscles and aids in the release of any pent up gas. Additionally, it is a great mint alternative to chewing gum, which can contribute to bloating through accidentally swallowing air.
What will you add to your menu this week?