Popular Foods That Give You a Flat Belly, Say Dietitians
While there aren't particular foods that can give you an immediate "flat belly" (sorry, we can't promise magical six-pack abs right away), there are foods that can make you feel less bloated and uncomfortable. Typically foods that are highly processed, overly sugary, and drenched in saturated fats can leave you with feelings of uncomfortable bloating. While enjoying these types of foods once in a blue moon is not bad—and sometimes helpful in a balanced diet—eating these foods often may cause bloat. That's why turning to a few of these popular foods can help with relieving the bloat, and giving you that "flat belly" back once again.
We asked medical expert board members Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CDN, CFT, and Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CDN, CFT, also known as The Nutrition Twins, to determine some of the best "popular" foods you can easily buy and eat to debloat your stomach when you're in need of a lighter meal. Here are the different foods they recommend, and for even more healthy eating tips, be sure to check out our list of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.
"Cucumbers are really high in water (96% water), which means that they're very hydrating, and all of that fluid helps to prevent bloat by counteracting bloating culprits like salt and sugar," say The Nutrition Twins. "They're also rich in the flavonoid, quercetin, which helps to fight inflammation and reduce swelling throughout the body, including in the digestive tract."
"Asparagus acts as a diuretic, thanks to its' amino acid asparagine," say The Nutrition Twins. "It's also an excellent source of prebiotics which help feed the good bacteria in the digestive tract and keep it healthy, preventing gas and bloating. It also helps promote gut health with its soluble and insoluble fiber."
"Greek yogurt contains live and active cultures that help to regulate digestion, promote gut health and keep digestive issues like indigestion and bloat at bay," say The Nutrition Twins. "Avoid sugary added varieties that can actually contribute to bloat."
"Bananas are rich in potassium which can help to offset the effects of bloat caused by salty indulgences such as a Chinese take-out, frozen dinners, and potato chips," say The Nutrition Twins. "Bananas are also a good source of prebiotic fiber, which helps to stimulate the growth of good bacteria in your gut and improve digestion. Researchers found that eating a banana before a meal could improve good bacteria and decrease bloating by 50%."
"Kefir is a good source of probiotics, the helpful bacteria that assist in keeping your gut healthy," say The Nutrition Twins. "Researchers from The Ohio State University found that this fermented milk that tastes a bit like a tangy yogurt, can assist in digesting lactose, the milk sugar that is responsible for causing bloating and gas in many people, by as much as 70%."
"Ginger is a potent anti-inflammatory, so it reduces inflammation in your colon and settles and calms an upset stomach, helping to ease distention, gas and bloat," say The Nutrition Twins. "Ginger also contains zingibain, a digestive enzyme which helps break down protein. A study published in April 2015 in the European Review from Medical and Pharmacological Studies found that ginger speeds digestion, helping your stomach to empty faster and helping gas move through more quickly to dissipate bloat."
While fennel might not be as "popular" as some other foods, the Nutrition Twins agree that fennel is another great addition to your diet if you're looking to debloat.
"Fennel helps ease gas and bloating that make the stomach look and feel distended. Fennel is a good source of fiber to help to promote regularity moving stomach-distending gastric irritants out of the digestive tract. It's also a good source of potassium to help restore normal fluid balance and flush bloat."
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