Best Supplements for a Flat Belly, According to a Dietitian
Having a tough time buttoning your jeans or are you not loving the way your belly looks when you try on that bikini from last summer? Whether it is because of an uptick in eating too many bloat-inducing foods or due to your preference for binging Netflix on the couch instead of hitting the gym, there are many reasons for having a mid-section that doesn't look or feel the way that you want it to be.
And while the best ways to support a flat belly are to exercise, reduce your salt intake, maintain your gut health, and eat a well-balanced diet, there are some supplements that may help kick your "washboard abs" journey into high gear. Although they won't be a magic bullet to rock-hard abs, when combined with a healthy lifestyle, they may help the cause.
Read on to find 8 supplements that may help you button your jeans without having to lay flat on your bed to accomplish that goal. Just get the green light from your health care provider before you add any of these to your routine, as some supplements may negatively interact with your current medication or not mix with certain health conditions. And for more, check out these 10 Easiest Flat Belly Hacks You Need to Try.
Green Tea Extract
If you aren't a tea drinker, taking a green tea extract supplement is a great option if you want to get a dose of EGCG, or a plant compound found in this type of tea to help flatten your belly.
Burning more calories can help you lose weight, and therefore lose belly fat. And since studies suggest that taking green tea extract or EGCG supplements can help you burn more calories—even at rest, these pills can help give your body the boost it may need. And taking it a step further, taking in this compound can result in weight loss.
Plus, green tea catechin (a natural flavonoid) intake is linked to shedding belly fat in overweight and obese adults who exercise. (For more, check out What Happens To Your Body When You Drink Green Tea.)
It may sound funny to take in fatty acids in order to lose weight and to support a flat belly, but consuming sources of DHA and EPA, omega-3 fatty acids found in seafood (including krill oil), may help you get that flat belly that you want.
Fish oils are linked to many benefits, including managing blood sugars. When blood sugars are elevated, your body secretes more insulin. And when insulin levels are consistently high, weight loss can be difficult to achieve, and thus, your flat belly will be out of reach.
Kori Krill Oil provides superior absorption over fish oil because it delivers Omega-3 EPA and DHA in its natural phospholipid form. This also eases digestion and eliminates the fishy burps that many people experience with fish oil.
Bonus? Krill oil also supports heart, brain, eyes, joints, skin, and immune health too!
Ginger isn't just a remedy for combatting nausea. This root, which contains a digestive enzyme called zingibain, may help combat bloating and gas caused by certain foods. Since a bloated tummy is the antithesis of a flat tummy, taking ginger may help you out—especially when taken after a meal that contains protein.
Your gut can be home to a variety of live bacteria. Certain bacteria—think E. coli and coliforms—are gas-producing in many cases and can cause people to experience bloat.
One way to combat these bacteria is to create an environment in your gut that has a lower pH, or a more acidic environment. Why? Many of these bacteria thrive in an environment that is less acidic (more neutral).
To accomplish this, taking probiotics, or live bacteria that actually offer a benefit to our health may help. Certain strains, particularly lactobacillus strains, can help lower the pH in your gut, thus making your gut more acidic. This helps to make the environment not super friendly to some potentially gas-producing bacteria. A tummy that isn't full of gas can mean one thing—a flat tummy!
Whether you are an ice cream, milk, or creamy soup lover, dairy foods are a fan favorite for a slew of reasons. But, unfortunately, the natural sugar found in many dairy foods called lactose can be challenging for people to digest—especially as we get older.
To break down the lactose sugar, an enzyme called lactase is needed. As we age, we run the risk of not having enough lactase enzyme in our body to break down the lactose sugar—leaving undigested sugar in our gut and causing bloat in some cases.
If you have a lactase deficiency, supplementing with a lactase supplement (like Lactaid) when you eat dairy foods that contain lactase can help you break down the natural dairy sugars, allowing you to enjoy an ice-cold glass of milk once again.
If you are retaining too much fluid in your mid-section, hibiscus may help you rid your body of the excess without negatively affecting electrolyte levels. Although more human studies are needed, adding hibiscus to your routine may help support your flat belly goal if your challenge is water retention.
Berberine has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for years and years. And recently, it has made its way into the Western world in a powerful way.
Taking berberine with Oregon grape extract may help fight belly fat by combining the benefits of berberine with the digestive support benefits that Oregon grape offers.
The simple act of taking in protein can help you attain your flat belly in a few ways. Protein helps your body feel more satisfied, and in turn, can help you eat less in the long run.
And whey protein, in particular, may reduce the long and short-term appetite and, in women, improve body composition by increasing lean mass without influencing changes in fat mass. And consumption of over 500 milliliters of dairy products that consist of casein and whey can increase satiety according to results of a meta-analysis.
A whey and casein protein-based protein powder, like Quest Nutrition protein powder, is a simple addition to your everyday life. Whether you are including a scoop or two to your smoothies, your energy bites, or even your classic recipes, this addition can help you feel more satisfied and possibly reduce the risk of overeating, which may lead to bloat.
Try some protein powder in these 22 High Protein Smoothie Recipes from Diet and Fitness Experts.