Fact is, feeling gassy is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, around 1 in 7 American adults suffer from Irritible Bowel Syndrome (IBS)—a brain-gut disorder that leads to abdominal pain, gas and bloating—according to the American Gastroenterological Association. And because bloating and gas are usually tied to what and how you eat, a few simple changes can ease your discomfort and help you lose weight along the way. Here are 8 of the best bloat-busters, compliments of Zero Belly Diet:
Who does #2 work for? If sluggish bowels are your problem, researchers say high-fiber kiwifruit may be the kick you’re looking for. A study by researchers in Pacific Asia found that Irritible Bowel Syndrome (IBS) sufferers who ate two kiwi a day for four weeks had less constipation and a general lessening of IBS symptoms than those who didn’t.
Mint has been used for centuries to aid digestion and tame troubled tummies, and now there’s research to back it up. A recent study among IBS sufferers found supplementing with peppermint oil for just four weeks reduced their symptoms by half—a result researchers attribute to mint’s ability to activate an "anti-pain" channel in the colon, which soothes inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. As a bonus, research suggests the aromatic may also serve as a mild appetite suppressant. Calm down, and slim down, with a nice big mug of peppermint tea. And then shed belly flab—rapidly—with one of the 4 Teas That Melt Fat!
Turmeric is best known for spicing up Indian fare, but it may also calm down an upset stomach. Researchers attribute the anti-inflammatory properties of the bright-orange spice to the compound curcumin. A study found supplementing with 500 mg of curcumin 4 times daily to be twice as effective as a placebo at providing relief from indigestion.
Bloated? Go bananas. Researchers say the fruit is a good source prebiotic fiber, which helps to feed good gut bacteria and improve digestion. A study in the journal Anaerobe found women who ate a banana twice daily as a pre-meal snack for 60 days experienced an increase in good bacteria levels and a 50 percent reduction in bloating.
Hold the Pepto Bismol and garnish your meals with cilantro instead. Research shows the herb’s unique blend of oils (specifically, linalool and geranyl acetate) work like over-the-counter meds to relax digestive muscles and alleviate an “overactive” gut. A study published in the journal Digestive Diseases and Science found that patients with IBS benefited from supplementing with coriander (also known as cilantro) as opposed to placebo. When adding spices, avoid the salt, and lose weight by avoiding the 10 Saltiest Foods in America!
The word kefir has origins in the Turkish word “keif,” which translates to “good feeling,” which makes the Middle Eastern milk product a feel-good food by definition. It’s kind of like a tangy drinkable yogurt, that—like yogurt—contains lactase, an enzyme that breaks down lactose, the dominant sugar in milk that gives lots of people tummy trouble. A study by Ohio State University found that drinking kefir reduced lactose digestion symptoms—including bloating, stomach pain and gas—by 70 percent.
Used for thousands of years to ease queasy tummies and aid digestion, you’ll find mentions of ginger in Chinese medical texts from the fourth century BC! Researchers circa 2014 say ginger acts as a muscle relaxant that allows the body to more easily expel gas. You can get your ginger fix in a variety of forms, though fresh ginger is richest in gingerol—the compound that contributes to many of the spice’s health benefits. Keep blasting fat and watch this video with essential exercises and the guaranteed 11 Eating Habits That Will Uncover Your Abs.
If you’re holding onto water, snacking on a wedge of honeydew melon is a do, honey. Research suggests a compound found in muskmelon called Cucumis melo boasts significant diuretic properties and can be used to treat edema. And while the fruit helps flush excess water from your system, it also acts as a natural electrolyte replacement due to its high potassium levels.