Bloat. It happens to the best of us. If you enjoyed a few glasses of wine, some classic holiday recipes, or a night out with friends (or maybe all of the above), you probably have no regrets, but you may be feeling a bit… bloated. If you find yourself bloated, here are some of the best foods to reduce bloating quickly and what to eat when bloated.
What is bloat?
First of all, what is bloat? A bloated stomach is a feeling of fullness, pressure, or tightness in the stomach. It can be accompanied by a visibly distended or swollen abdomen. Feelings of bloat can be mildly uncomfortable to intensely painful. According to John Hopkins Medicine, one of the most common causes of bloating is constipation. Other causes of bloat can include digestive issues or hormonal fluctuations.
What to eat when bloated
Asparagus helps reduce water tension and contains prebiotic fiber, which feeds the probiotics in the gut. Remember, our gut bugs need good food in order to keep our digestive systems running smoothly.
Lisa Richards, nutritionist and author of The Candida Diet, says, “Asparagus is one of the best vegetables to prevent bloating. It helps to remove excess water, which reduces bloating and discomfort.”
Just be sure not to eat too much of it.
“[Asparagus] is high in fermentable carbohydrates and can [potentially] cause more bloat,” cautions Erin Lisemby Judge, RDN. Like with most things in life, enjoy asparagus in moderation.
2. Avocado, bananas, and kiwi
As if we needed yet another reason to fall in love with avocados. (Okay, we will bite – literally). Avocados are full of potassium, which can help reduce bloat. Whether you load up on avocado toast or a spoonful or two of homemade guacamole, avocado is one food to reduce bloat quickly.
Another food that is rich in potassium is bananas. Richards shares that since bananas are rich in potassium, they may help to regulate sodium and prevent water retention (aka bloat).
If you’re not bonkers for bananas, you are in luck. Richards says you can try kiwis, which are also rich in potassium. You can even try papaya, which contains an enzyme called papain that’s responsible for breaking down proteins in the gut. Ultimately, that improves digestion and bloat.
Just like asparagus, be sure to enjoy fruit in moderation. “Fruits that are high in fiber typically lead to excess bloat. Apples contain a high amount of fiber and fructose, both of which can lead to bloat, especially among those with fructose sensitivities,” notes Richards.
3. Bone broth
Bone broth is incredibly healing to the gut. Packed with collagen, bone broth can help heal the cells of your stomach lining. Plus, collagen is great for hair, nails, and skin.
4. Celery and celery juice
Heather Hanks, a nutritionist with USA Rx, says celery and celery juice is excellent for bloating. “It is a natural diuretic that reduces stomach bloating and contains fiber and antioxidants to alleviate inflammation.”
However, she notes that if you drink celery juice, you are eliminating much of the fiber that aids in digestion. The good news is you are still getting the antioxidants and the diuretic action that is most beneficial for bloating.
“Most people find that drinking celery juice first thing in the morning on an empty stomach is the best for clearing toxins that contribute to inflammation, promoting digestion, and reducing stomach bloat all day long.” Maybe it is time to swap that morning mug of coffee or tea for some celery juice instead.
Besides providing a fresh taste to a glass of water, cucumber contains a flavonoid called quercetin, which acts as an antioxidant. “This plant compound reduces swelling and inflammation, much of which is responsible for bloat,” says Richards.
Another food to reduce bloating quickly is ginger. Judge shares “ginger has been shown to affect the enzymes trypsin and pancreatic lipase during digestion to speed up motility and emptying of the stomach. This can help prevent bloating, constipation, gas, and indigestion.” Ginger tea anyone?
It sounds so basic, but water truly does wonders for the body.
When we eat carbohydrates, our body stores them as glycogen. Each gram of glycogen will bind itself to two to four grams of water. So, if you’ve ever wondered why you are so thirsty after a carb-heavy Christmas meal, that is why.
However, water flushes your system and gets everything moving. Judge says, “Water helps flush the body and improve the motility of the gastrointestinal tract, which can then prevent bloat.” Drink up buttercup!
Bloat happens, but it doesn’t have to last. The next time you’re wondering what to eat when bloated, turn to these foods to reduce bloating quickly.