When it comes to fitting into our skinny jeans, we’re always looking for a magic formula. In my experience, the only magic that melts fat away is burning more calories than you consume. It sounds boring, but I’m doing P90X right now, and there is nothing boring about this workout program. Exercising motivates me to eat right because I start to think about what my body needs vs. what I want.
There are times though when we need to look our best and need to eat the right foods to avoid adding unnecessary bulge from bloating. For example, as much as I love Italian food, I can eat a small plate of pasta at my with garlicky sauce on it and by the time I get home look like I’m 7 months pregnant. I know that the combination of wheat and garlic blows me up like a pufferfish but sometimes it’s hard to resist. On the other hand, there are foods that are satisfying and actually reduce bloating. These are the foods you need in the days leading up to a special occasion if you don’t want to have to shimmy into Spanxx!
This whole grain is rich in magnesium and potassium, two minerals that have been shown to diminish bloating. One caveat is that if you are not used to eating fibre, introducing a fibre rich food such as Quinoa can have the undesirable effect of causing gas.
Look for yogurt with active cultures, which help with digestion. These live cultures, called probiotics help restore intestinal balance and can actually prevent and relieve bloating caused by indigestion, and food intolerances. When I have an upset stomach after a meal, I always go for a few tablespoons of yogurt before bed, and it always settles my stomach.
Raw or roasted, unsalted almonds are another great source of magnesium and will help alleviate bloating, especially when it is caused by PMS.
This fruit contains two enzymes, papain and chymopapain, which help break down protein in your stomach. A good friend of mine who suffered digestive issues for a long time after going through chemotherapy, swears by papaya enzymes, either from the fresh fruit when they aren’t too expensive, or the extract as a supplement.
Pineapple is another fruit which aids in digestions. It contains the enzyme bromelain, and like the Papaya enzymes, bromelain will help break down protein and beat the bloating.
Asparagus has a naturally occurring prebiotic called inulin, which promotes the growth of probiotics in your gut. It also encourages colon health by helping flush waste and excess water from your system.
Eating the right foods will help, but it is also important to avoid some of the worst bloat culprits. High fat foods will slow down your digestion, and that can cause the other food in your system to ferment. Salty food will make you retain water, and carbonated beverages release carbon dioxide which can puff you up. Apples and pears often cause gas and bloating which will be worse if you eat them after a meal. It’s always a good idea to eat fruit on an empty stomach because it digests so quickly.
Author Byline: Jennifer Hawkins is a professional chef and health fanatic who loves to write about diets and how to effectively lose weight. She recently wrote an articel advocating the benefits and nutrition of nuts.