Foods that Prevent and Aid with Bloating
Nobody likes the uncomfortable bloated feeling, so what can we do to help prevent or aid this discomfort? Bloating can be related to a certain food (or amount of food) we ate. However, food can also have the opposite effect in relation to bloating, many of which can be commonly found in your refrigerator or pantry already.
Knowing what foods can help provide you with relief for bloating and abdominal pain can make the world of a difference. Let’s investigate several foods that can help reduce bloating pain by addressing the digestive issues behind the discomfort.
What’s Fueling the Bloat?
More often than not, the uncomfortable bloat is linked to internal gas that’s been built up in your intestines due to constipation. When we do not have regular bowel movements, this can cause discomfort in our GI system leading to bloating. Moving things along can be accomplished by adjusting what you eat and drink.
So what can we do about it? The two main aspects of our diet we should focus on for a happy, bloat-free gut are fiber-rich foods and plenty of water.
The Power of Fiber-Rich Foods.
Fiber helps food pass through your digestive tract at the proper pace. If movements are not regular, and the process is moving too slow, constipation can be the result. In the opposite case, if things are moving too fast, diarrhea can result which is also unpleasant.
There are 2 types of fiber which work to help keep your body regular:
Soluble fiber – helps slow down food moving through your system, by bulking the stool.
Insoluble fiber – helps hold onto water to make stool softer and easier to pass through.
The Power of Staying Hydrated.
In order for fiber to properly do its job for the digestive system, it requires plenty of fluid. Staying properly hydrated provides the water that softens stool, which allows the body to run smoothly, thus helping to prevent bloat and discomfort.
So What Foods Should You Eat to Help Ease the Bloat?
There are several gut healthy foods that help keep digestion running smooth and efficient. A wide variety of foods can bring something different to the process.
Here is a list of 14 foods and ingredients that help prevent/aid with bloating:
A fruit very high in potassium, a vitamin your body needs to manage its sodium levels, which in turn controls the amount of water you hang onto. The better the system works, the less bloat you will have.
Another high potassium fruit, bananas also contain a good source of prebiotic fiber. This helps to increase the good bacteria in the gut and improve digestion whicht helps calm gas production in the belly.
This vegetable has both insoluble fiber and water to help keep digestion moving. Celery also is loaded with a sugar alcohol known as mannitol that softens stool and provides a laxative effect. As a bonus, it also provides flavonoids that reduce inflammation in the gut..
Turmeric is a deep, golden-orange spice known for adding color, flavor and nutrition to foods that also contains an important compound called curcumin. Reputable studies show curcumin can help control symptoms of IBS, ease GI discomfort, regulate the digestive system, and reduce bloating.
Peppermint is a well-recognized herb known to help relax the muscles in the digestive system. By doing so, it helps push gas through to relieve stomach bloat. Peppermint tea is a popular food item that has this calming effect.
Eating ginger can cut down on fermentation, constipation and other causes of bloating and intestinal gas by stimulating the digestion process. It also has muscle relaxant properties that help release trapped gas within the digestive system.
This hydrating vegetable is 96% water, helping to wash away digestive issues created by dehydration. Easy to incorporate into several meals or as a snack.
This vegetable not only has several nutritive properties, but also provides a good source of inulin, an insoluble fiber that feeds the good bacteria in your gut and helps keep your digestive system moving regularly.
There is a natural enzyme in pineapple called bromelain that aids with digestion. It does so by breaking down proteins in the food moving through your system, which improves your ability to process it. Bromelain is so effective at softening up tough food, that it’s also used as a meat tenderizer.
This root veggie and its seeds have a compound that relaxes spasms in your GI tract. This allows for gas to move through the gut more easily so the bloat doe not build.
The edible seed of quinoa contains almost double the fiber of most other grains, making it a poop-moving powerhouse in the digestive game. It is also easy to incorporate in several meals.
A diet that includes tomatoes will provide you with plenty of lycopene, an antioxidant that works as an anti-inflammatory all over your body. Tomatoes are also full of potassium, which helps lower levels of bloat-causing sodium in the body.
Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries all offer high levels of fiber. Each is relatively high in water content which should help with hydration.
This fermented yogurt-like beverage takes away stomach gas with the help of probiotics. Kefir has 3x as many probiotics as regular yogurt. When the bacteria in your digestive tract are out of balance, gas and bloating are often the result.
Another Helpful Tip to Aid with Bloating.
While eating the right food is important to prevent bloating, it is also just as important to eat your meals SLOWLY. Eating too fast can cause air to enter the stomach, leading to discomfort and bloat that we work so hard to avoid. Drinking fizzy, carbonated drinks or seltzers too fast can also have the same effect. So in order to avoid that uncomfortable bloat, eat and drink slowly!
The Final Debloat Thought.
Easing or eliminating the bloated feeling often comes down to one thing, using the restroom regularly.
Food can help ease the symptoms of bloating and stomach pain, but a poor diet can also be the cause of your bloating pains. If you are someone who struggles with bloating, knowing what foods trigger or heighten your bloating pains is the first step. Try incorporating the foods and ingredients mentioned above to help prevent and aid with bloating. As always, stay happy, healthy, and hydrated. -From your friends at AFE!
Erika Richter, MS