Whether in your bathing suit, the office, or just hanging out– it’s hard to feel confident when you’re rocking a bloated, gassy stomach. While you might be working out and shaping up your diet, there could be some hidden culprits that are triggering that dreaded discomfort.
Here’s the skinny on the best foods to choose if you’re dealing with bloat:
👉🏾 Say Bye to: Broccoli and Cauliflower
I’d never advocate for you to stop eating veggies, but you’re better off avoiding these cruciferous vegetables, especially if they’re uncooked. Cruciferous vegetables are loaded with fiber, sulfur, and a starch called raffinose—all of which are difficult for your body to digest, leaving you feeling extra puffy.
Say Hi to: Asparagus
Asparagus is a natural prebiotic—yes prebiotic, not probiotic. Prebiotics feed probiotics (the good bacteria in your gut), which promotes healthy digestion and a flat tummy. Try steaming some spears with a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt, or charring them up on the grill.
👉🏾 Say Bye to: Apples
I know they say “an apple a day…,” but we’re making an exception when it comes to prepping for your beach debut. Apples contain a high amount of fiber and sugars (fructose and sorbitol) that can cause discomfort and cramping.
Say Hi to: Bananas
We’re going with Gwen on this one—bananas are the perfect addition to your diet. Not only are they beyond convenient, they’re packed with potassium. Potassium fights off puffiness as it regulates your body’s sodium levels. So simply unpeel, or blend with some unsweetened almond milk and enjoy as banana “nice cream.”
👉🏾 Say Bye to: Bottled Salad Dressings
Although you might be crushing the salad game, you should keep an eye on how you’ve been dressing them up. Bottled dressings, even the fat-free and sugar-free versions, are sneaky sources of sodium. This added salt triggers water retention, making you feel more swollen than normal.
Say Hi to: Oil and Vinegar
Avoid this sodium trap by keeping things simple with oil and vinegar. Olive oil is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants that fight against inflammation. Balance out the flavor with a light vinegar such as red wine or apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar provides a punch of acetic acid, enzymes, and prebiotics that help detoxify your gut.
👉🏾 Say Bye to: Carbonated Drinks
Sometimes sparkling water is a refreshing alternative to plain water, but carbonation is quite an instigator in creating air bubbles in your stomach. What’s even worse is reaching for a diet soda—the fake sugars (aspartame) are a one-way ticket aboard the bloat boat.
Say Hi to: Lemon Water and Ginger Tea
You may think that the more liquids you drink, the more swollen you’re going to feel. However, drinking water will help flush out toxins and excess sodium without adding extra water weight. Freshen it up with lemon wedges or spice things up with ginger tea. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and digestive enzymes that help break down protein.
👉🏾 Say Bye to: Chewing Gum
Sometimes popping a piece of gum helps curb those pesky snack cravings. But when you chew gum, you swallow extra air that gets trapped in your digestive tract leading to extra belly bloat. Although the sugar-free versions are low in cals, they’re sweetened with sorbitol, which causes stomach discomfort—not something you want to deal with.
Say Hi to: Unsalted Almonds
Tame those snack cravings with a handful of unsalted almonds. Almonds have anti-inflammatory effects and a healthy dose of monounsaturated fats that will leave you feeling satisfied. Be sure to avoid the salted or roasted versions, which are sodium traps that will trigger water retention.
So next time you’re prepping for a beach trip, save the bloat for the beach balls and remember these easy and satisfying swaps!