Ugh, bloating: It’s among one of the most unpleasant things our bodies can do, but—true story—it happens to all of us. In fact, studies have shown 1 in 10 Americans say they suffer from the digestive scourge regularly. As for what’s causing it, it usually can be attributed to a number of various factors including gas from large meals, greasy grub, soda, or food sensitivities, as well as alcohol, too much sodium and not enough potassium, the list goes on.
And although it’s a safe bet that certain foods are what got you into this mess to begin with, it’s a fact that other foods can be used to combat the causes of bloating. Here are 10 that you definitely have lurking in your kitchen right now.
Eating kiwi after a protein-rich meal has been linked to improved digestion and a reduction in the feeling of “overfullness and discomfort.” Why? the fruit contains a unique compound which helps digest proteins found in red meat, dairy and fish. ‘The observed enhancement of gastric protein digestion after eating kiwi fruit may increase the rate at which protein is absorbed in the small intestine, ultimately affecting the overall protein utilisation in the human body,” said Dr. Lovedeep Kaur from Massey University in New Zealand, who conducted a study on kiwis and digestion.
Apart from being packed with flavonoids, vitamin C, folate, potassium and other key nutritional properties, this crunchy veggie has a super-high water content, it’s able to effectively flush toxins from your body, acting as a natural diuretic.
Water with lemon
It’s not counterintuitive to fight bloating with more liquid, since regular old water is your best best for flushing everything from your system that’s making you bloated in the first place. Plus, lemon juice is nature’s best tool for aiding in digestion and regularity, destroying bacteria and cleansing the system.
Fermented foods like kraut, pickles, and kimchi feature an ton of probiotics to help boost good, digestive-tract-healing gut bacteria.
Eating a banana when you’re feeling distended and uncomfortable can work wonders thanks to bloat-busting potassium and fiber.
A rockstar when it comes to soothing bloat, ginger’s a potent digestive aid that has been used to alleviate gas, bloating and stomach pains for centuries. Plus, it naturally stimulates your body’s digestive enzymes, and acts as an anti-inflammatory. Eating a piece of freshly grated ginger works wonders, but if the flavor is too potent, try ginger tea, or steeping fresh ginger in hot water.
Fermented foods like kraut and kimchi are packed with friendly bacteria (yes, like yogurt—another good anti-bloating food) that works hard to sooth digestion, reduce gas and bloating. The Food Network suggests eating just ¼ cup of sauerkraut or kimchi to feel its effects.
This yummy tropical fruit contains a proteolytic enzyme called papain which aids in protein digestion. Plus, eating the seeds—though they’re not the most palatable—can aid in regularity.
Peppermint and chamomile tea
A cup of hot peppermint or chamomile tea relax your GI muscles to help break up gas that causes your stomach to bloat.
Avocado contains a digestive enzyme called lipase, which breaks down fat and gets food out of your digestive tract to prevent gas and bloating. It’s also high in potassium, effectively eliminating excess water from the body. A little goes a long wy here: Half an avocado at most