Nothing makes a tight pair of pants more miserable than bloating. You know the feeling. It usually occurs after eating a meal that leaves your stomach looking like you swallowed a balloon.
Although it is most common in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBD), approximately 10 to 25 percent of people experience bloating.
In addition to abdominal swelling, bloating is usually accompanied by gas. Possible causes of bloating include recent weight gain, an inappropriately contracted diaphragm, weak abdominal muscles, and fluid retention in the small intestine.
Bloating isn’t just uncomfortable and embarrassing to deal with. It may also cause psychological distress. A 2011 study found that women with moderate to severe bloating had much higher levels of depression and anxiety than women with mild bloating.
Instead of reaching for over the counter medications to combat your symptoms, give diet therapy a try.
The Following Foods Fight Bloating & Gas
Celery is a natural detoxifying food that has natural weight loss and liver protective properties. It has been used for many years as a digestive aid as it decreases fluid retention, which can help get rid of that bloat.
Celery is safe to eat raw. But beware that eating other raw vegetables may only make matters worse. The next time you’re feeling extra puffy around the mid section, grab a stalk of celery and start chewing.
Other vegetables that reduce fluid retention without making you gassy include summer squash, parsley and cucumbers.
Watermelons are made of 92 percent water. So eating some is similar to flushing your bloated stomach out with fluids. It also has natural diuretic properties and is high in potassium, which helps eliminate excess sodium from the body.
Cantaloupe and honeydew have similar anti-bloating properties as they are both diuretics. Melons make a great after meal dessert. If anyone asks, just say you are trying to keep it healthy by replacing your cheesecake with fruit.
Just like melons, bananas are high in sodium-flushing potassium. In addition, bananas contain soluble fiber to help with constipation that may be causing bloating.
Other foods that are high in potassium include avocado, kiwi, oranges, and pistachios. Chop all of these ingredients up, throw them in a bowl and you have a healthy salad for dinner to help take the edge off those tacos you had at lunch.
Papayas contain an enzyme called papain that is known for its role in the digestive process by breaking down tough protein fibers that may be causing you discomfort. It is also an anti-inflammatory and high in antioxidants that can help soothe and break down any toxins associated with bloating.
Papayas are sometimes hard to find in markets. But if you can, try to have a bit after lunch and dinner to help digest your meals.
Asparagus kicks bloating right in the gut. It promotes urine flow, so even if it has a pungent reputation at least it's helping make you feel better.
Asparagus is also a great source of prebiotics, or the “food” that the good bacterium in your gut thrives on. This can help break down any pesky food particles causing you discomfort.
Asparagus is also high in both insoluble and soluble fiber for overall digestive health. A 2009 study found that asparagus has anti-fungal properties that are just as effective as antibiotics at inhibiting several forms of Candida albicans, or yeast that can grow in the gut and cause bloating, gas, weight gain and more.
To avoid bloating all together, try pairing some sautéed asparagus with fresh, wild caught salmon at dinner.
Water dense fruit and vegetables can help eliminate the extra water-weight you're storing. Load up on these fresh or turn them into liquid themselves. Try a watermelon, celery and mint cold pressed juice from your kitchen. Or create a papaya and banana smoothie. You'll flush out the excess and feel lighter.
image credit: stuff.co.nz