Fact is, feeling gassy is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, around 1 in 7 American adults suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)—a brain-gut disorder that leads to abdominal pain, gas and bloating—according to the American Gastroenterological Association. But gas isn’t the only culprit when your pants seem to be snugger than they were just a day or two before. Water retention and constipation are also among the usual suspects. Whatever the culprit, bloating can make your weight loss victories invisible.
The good news is that these types of bloating are usually tied to what and how you eat, which means that a few simple changes can ease your discomfort and help you lose weight along the way. Here are 25 of the best bloat-busters. And for more IBS-soothing strategies, check out these 37 IBS Remedies That Will Change Your Life!
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 Irritable Bowel Syndrome 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. We’re such a fan of tea, we’ve made it the centerpiece of our best-selling new 7-Day Flat-Belly Tea Cleanse! Test participants lost four inches from their waists!
This orangey spice 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 of 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. In addition, bananas have plenty of potassium which offsets the effects of sodium in your diet, a usual cause of water retention. No wonder our fans went b-a-n-a-n-a-s over our viral hit story: 21 Amazing Things Bananas Do To Your Body!
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.
Sauerkraut, pickles, and tempeh — these tasty Korean staples are another example of a fermented food that’s brimming with probiotics to help boost digestive-tract-healing, bloat-reducing gut bacteria.
Usually we talk about oats’ ability to keep you satisfied and lower cholesterol, thanks to their high fiber content. What we talk about less often is that oats’ diuretic effect on the body and its efficacy at easing uncomfortable bloating. Oatmeal is incredibly high in B vitamins and potassium, which makes it a natural diuretic. For amazing oat ideas, don’t miss these 50 Best Overnight Oats Recipes.
Excess water weight around your middle? Drink more water! It sounds counterintuitive, but drinking water actually helps your body rid itself of excess fluid. If you’re not hydrating enough, your body holds on to the water it has. Drinking H20 can feel monotonous, but by squeezing some lemon juice into it, you’ll not only make it a more pleasurable but you’ll increase its diuretic effect. Alternatively, you can drink hot water with slices of ginger in it. Or sip on one of these 50 Delicious Detox Water Recipes to reduce bloating.
Apple Cider Vinegar
It can be used to make a fruit fly trap, but it’s also handy for getting your body to let go of unneeded fluids. Just to add it to water and drink it down — just a little bit ought to do the trick.
It’ll make your pee smell funny, but more importantly, it’ll make you pee more. Asparagus is a particularly nutritious vegetable that happens to be a diuretic food. (Incidentally, that “asparagus pee” smell is caused by an acid found within the asparagus that reacts in a certain way.) Speaking of acid, find out what happens to your teeth when you drink the 38 Top Diet Sodas—Ranked!
Vampires aren’t the only unwanted element garlic wards off. This distinctively fragrant food is also a diuretic in its whole, powdered or pill form. But you don’t have to eat clove after clove of garlic to reap the benefits. The regular amount that you use in your cooking should be enough to have an effect on your bloated belly.
Cukes are made up mostly of water. That’s why they’re a part of so many detox recipes. They’ll give your urinary system a boost and can be used to help with diabetes, weight loss, and even cancer. Why? Well, cucumbers contain antioxidants and minerals the body needs daily to keep functioning at its best.
Want something to chew on? Swap out your gum for nutrient-rich sunflower seeds. When you chew gum, you swallow air. All that air gets trapped in your GI tract and causes pressure, bloating and belly expansion. Speaking of seeds, don’t miss these 50 Best Chia Seed Recipes on Instagram!
To get the bloat-blasting effect of tomatoes, it’s best to eat them in their raw form or even blending them to make a fresh tomato juice. To increase the diuretic effect and improve the flavor, you can add carrots or watermelon. Containing large amounts of the antioxidant lycopene, tomatoes are one of the healthiest foods you can eat. In several studies, they’ve been shown to help battle cancer and prevent heart disease.
If there’s a kernel of truth to the idea that drinking cranberry juice can be good for a urinary tract infection, it’s because of its diuretic effect. The nice feature of cranberry juice is that it doesn’t mess with your potassium levels. Potassium helps prevent your body from retaining water because of the sodium you consume. Click here for more of the 20 Best Supplements for Women!
Full of vitamin C, cabbage is an amazing diuretic. One great way to unlock itss bloat beating power is to make a cabbage soup. This entails chopping or shredding the cabbage so it’s easier to eat, then cooking it until it’s very tender. The trick is to not use too much salt. The extra sodium will reduce the diuretic effect.
Juice them, roast them, add them to salads or snack on the baby variety — no matter how you slice them, carrots are a natural diuretic and a good idea if having a svelte middle is your goal.
Artichokes can have a powerful diuretic effect, and in some instances can rival the effects of prescription medication. But that’s not all. Artichokes are also good for the digestive system. It’s a bloat-beating double whammy. They’re also packed with vitamins and minerals, so you’re nourishing the body and optimizing its functions while helping rid it of excess fluid.
The enzyme papain, contained in papaya, helps break down proteins in your GI tract, which makes digestion easier and make you less susceptible to gassy bloat. This tropical fruit also has anti-inflammatory properties, as well as high fiber content which is great for getting bloat causing waste out of your system. Add some to these 50 Best Detox Waters for Fat Burning and Weight Loss.
Fennel seeds contain a compound that relaxes GI spasms, which allows gas to pass and relieve bloating. Chew on the seeds directly or sip on a fennel tea at the end of a meal.
Pineapple contains potassium — an important part of any anti-bloat diet — but it also contains bromelain. Bromelain is an enzyme that aids in the digestion of proteins. Most of the bromelain in pineapple is in the stem which is not as tasty as the flesh but if you can blend or juice the bloat-beating stem with the sweeter flesh.
According to American College of Gastroenterology, rice and rice flour make a good substitute for starches such as wheat, oats, corn and potatoes. Why? Because the small intestines are where rice is digested. That means it has less potential to form unsightly and uncomfortable gases in the gut. Start your morning with a bit, along with these 50 Best Breakfast Foods for Weight Loss—Ranked.