Have you ever felt like your stomach was more like a balloon than a food-digesting machine? Been there, felt that. What we eat has a significant impact on how bloated we feel. Conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can also contribute to bloating, but diet is a major factor. There are foods that both cause and reduce bloating.
Rania Batayneh, MPH, owner of Essential Nutrition For You and author of The One One One Diet says that bloating can be caused by a number of factors that result in a lot of air being trapped in the digestive system.
The Best Foods to Reduce Bloating
The way you eat and the types of foods you consume can affect how bloated you feel. Making a few small changes can help reduce discomfort and promote weight loss.
We found the best foods to help reduce bloating, so you can finally find some relief.
Do you sometimes feel bloated or uncomfortable after eating pasta or bread? You might have an underlying gluten sensitivity. While only a small percentage of the population worldwide has Celiac disease, it’s estimated that a larger percentage experiences some adverse reactions and discomfort when eating foods with wheat. Celiac disease is a more serious condition that causes damage to cells in the intestines when one consumes gluten.
You should consult with a medical doctor before assuming you have a gluten-intolerance. If you find out that you have a gluten intolerance, starches like quinoa that are gluten-free can be easier for you to digest.
If you experience bloating after eating wheat-based foods like pasta, crackers, and bread, you may find relief by switching to gluten-free grains like quinoa. People with celiac disease and those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity may experience digestive issues like bloating when they eat foods containing gluten.
In addition to being rich in vitamins and minerals, quinoa is also high in fiber and antioxidants, both of which help reduce bloating. This is true even if you don’t have a gluten intolerance.
These delicious and refreshing vegetables are a great way to improve your hydration levels, since they are mostly water. Cucumbers can help to clear the gastrointestinal tract, increasing the passage of food that may otherwise be causing constipation, gas, and bloating.
Cucumbers are mostly water, so they can help reduce bloating. Eating foods that are high in water content can help make sure you stay hydrated enough to meet your daily fluid requirements. This could help decrease water retention and bloating that is caused by dehydration.
Celery is one of the best foods to reduce bloating. Celery is high in water, at 95 percent.
Celery is not only a healthy addition to your salads, but also has diuretic properties and low calorie content. One stalk of celery contains 104 milligrams of potassium. Celery’s flavonoids, which include apigenin, have been proven to have anti-inflammatory properties, according to a study published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research.
Celery is a good source of water and also contains mannitol, a type of sugar alcohol that softens stools, helping to promote regularity by pulling water into the digestive tract.
Additionally, the root of the vegetable is effective in promoting urine production and output.
The diuretic effect of dandelion can also help to reduce bloating by increasing urine production and thus removing excess water and sodium from the body.
Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain, which breaks down protein and aids digestion.
This fruit is low in sodium and high in potassium, which can help reduce bloating. Pineapple may help reduce colonic inflammation, which could lead to a distended stomach.
Pineapple is a tropical fruit that gives you a lot of nutrients like vitamin C, manganese, and B vitamins. Pineapple’s enzyme bromelain has been used in traditional medicine for a long time to treat digestive disorders.
In some studies, bromelain has been shown to help with bloating and swelling by reducing inflammation.
We’re talking about an entirely different yogurt iteration. We’re not talking about the sweet, sugary froyo you snag at those multi-handle shops.
Yogurt containing live and active cultures—that is, probiotics—has been shown to improve digestive health. It’s also high in potassium, a micronutrient we know helps to combat bloating.
Yogurt is full of probiotics which are a type of beneficial bacteria. Probiotics are important for gut health. Probiotics may help improve the frequency and consistency of your stool, which can help promote regularity.
Probiotics have also been shown to reduce bloating and abdominal distension that are caused by conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which is a common disorder that affects the large intestine.
If you don’t do dairy, consider yogurt’s cousin, kefir. This drink contains lactase, an enzyme that breaks down the main sugar in milk that may cause stomach issues. Results of a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics showed that drinking kefir reduced symptoms of lactose digestion, such as bloating, stomach pain, and gas, by up to 70 percent.
Asparagus contains asparagine, an amino acid that helps increase urine production. Diuretics like asparagine are commonly used to treat conditions like hypertension and heart failure by helping to expel excess fluid from the body.
A serving of asparagus provides nearly 3 grams of fiber. The food also contains a fair amount of inulin, a prebiotic fiber that is commonly found in various foods.
According to studies, inulin can help improve gut health and regularity, making bowel movements less painful and more frequent, which may help prevent bloating and constipation.
Diuretics promote the production of urine and are commonly used to treat conditions like hypertension and heart failure.
Probiotics are good bacteria that help improve gut health, and prebiotics are the food that those good bacteria feed on.
Bananas are one of the most potassium-rich foods on the planet, with 422 milligrams per medium fruit. Bananas’ bloat-reducing appeal doesn’t stop there.
A study published in the journal Anaerobe found that healthy female participants who ate a banana before a meal experienced less bloating than those who drank a banana-flavored juice or water before a meal. The scientists say that the ability of the fruit to calm the belly is due to the prebiotics it contains.
Bananas are popular for their flavor, portability, and convenience. Bananas are also very healthy and contain a lot of fiber. One medium banana has 3 grams of fiber.
Bananas are also high in potassium, which helps maintain a healthy fluid balance. In turn, this may prevent bloating and water retention.
Tomatoes can help reduce bloating, whether you eat them in marinara sauce or soup. Tomatoes contain high levels of lycopene. Per a review in the journal Annual Review of Food Science and Technology, that antioxidant has been shown to have a wide variety of anti-inflammatory and de-bloating effects. Cooking tomatoes releases more of the antioxidant lycopene than eating them raw.
Red tomatoes are not only rich in color, but are also potassium superstars.
Grab a slice or two. Watermelon can help reduce water retention because it contains a lot of water. The potassium in watermelon will help your stomach feel better.
11. Green tea
In addition to providing an opportunity to take a break from work, tea time also offers a number of benefits. Green tea contains antioxidants that can help protect your cells from damage. It also may help you lose water weight through diuresis. The journal PLOS One revealed that green tea can reduce inflammation by keeping your gut health in good condition.
Guac On! Healthy fats in avocado can help to prevent bloating. The potassium in avocados can help your body flush out sodium and excess water.
Each serving of avocado is packed with nutrients, including folate, vitamins C and K. They contain high levels of potassium, which is necessary for keeping fluid levels and sodium in check to avoid water retention.
Furthermore, they contain high levels of fiber, promoting digestion and preventing constipation and bloating.
Berries, such as strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries, contain high levels of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They’re also high in fiber. This amount represents 32 percent of the recommended daily intake for fiber (25 grams for women and 38 grams for men). One cup of blackberries contains 8 grams of fiber, which is 32% of the recommended daily intake for fiber.
Eating more fiber can improve your gut health and make your stool softer, preventing constipation and bloating.
Ginger is commonly used to alleviate digestive issues. Some research shows that ginger can help to prevent bloating and feelings of fullness by speeding up stomach emptying.
Zingibain is an enzyme that helps with the digestion of protein. It is found in ginger, which is a root plant.
Kombucha is a fermented beverage made from black or green tea. It is known for its probiotic content and various health benefits. Since it is fermented, kimchi contains probiotics which are beneficial to gut health. It also helps with regularity.
Papaya is a tropical fruit that is sweet and smooth. It not only provides plenty of water but also has a high fiber content in each serving.
This fruit also contains an enzyme called papain, which helps your body break down amino acids. This may help encourage healthy digestion and reduce bloating.
Eating oatmeal in the morning can help reduce bloating. This is due to the high fiber content in oats, with 4 grams in every 1/2-cup (40-gram) serving. This is in addition to the fact that they contain a specific type of fiber called beta glucan, which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
Turmeric can be used to give food a bright yellow color. It is commonly used in curries, soups, and side dishes. The spice turmeric contains a compound called curcumin, which has extensive research backing its anti-inflammatory effects. Some research suggests that curcumin may improve gut health and reduce the symptoms of IBS, including gas, bloating, and constipation.
Apples contain a lot of water and are a good source of potassium. Potassium helps to keep your body hydrated by maintaining a healthy fluid balance. Apples are not only healthy but also contain a lot of fiber. Just one medium sized apple contains almost 5 grams of fiber.
Apples are a good laxative because they contain pectin, a type of soluble fiber. Pectin accelerates the movement of food through your digestive tract and can help relieve constipation and bloating.
Rhubarb is not a fruit, it is a vegetable. You eat the stalk of the plant.
Rhubarb contains a compound called sennoside. This substance prevents water from moving from the inside of the colon to the blood vessels, causing a natural laxative effect that results in bowel movement.
In addition to being low in calories, rhubarb is also a good source of fiber. Each cup of rhubarb contains over 2 grams of fiber.
Kiwi is a popular fruit that is rich in many important nutrients such as fiber and potassium. The fruit also contains actinidin, an enzyme that has been shown to improve digestion and speed stomach emptying in some animal studies.
Several studies suggest that kiwi may be beneficial for digestive issues such as bloating, stomach pain, and constipation.
22. Peppermint tea
Peppermint tea is an herbal tea that helps with digestion. It is commonly used to treat conditions like stomach pain, gas, and bloating.
Peppermint oil has proven to be effective in reducing inflammation as well as treating symptoms related to IBS, such as stomach pain, constipation and bloating. Peppermint oil may also help prevent muscle spasms in the stomach and intestines, which could prevent bloating.
More research is needed to confirm the benefits of peppermint oil also apply to peppermint tea.
There are a few things you can do to help relieve bloating, such as chewing your food thoroughly, taking supplements, and determining whether certain ingredients contribute to your digestive issues.
If you are seriously ill or your symptoms persist, you should see a doctor for personalized advice and treatment.