Source: A Healthier Michigan
There’s nothing more frustrating than working hard to tone up and still having a little belly that just won’t flatten. Sit-ups aren’t always the answer—that persistent pooch might be due to belly bloating, when a feeling of fullness is accompanied by a bulge in your abdomen. Bloating is common here and there, but if you’re feeling it on a more consistent basis, you may want to adjust your diet.
Here are a few foods that will help you flatten out that fullness:
Papaya – When ripe, papaya’s main enzyme, Papain, is great at breaking down fiber. And when fiber is easily digested, bloating tends to lessen.
Non-fat or low-fat yogurt – Make sure you select one with active cultures in it, which help with efficient digestion and, therefore, reduce bloating.
Banana – The potassium in bananas helps counter your sodium intake (which is a major culprit of bloating), leading to an internal balance and less water and bloat.
Peppermint – Peppermint is a strong anti-inflammatory. As inflammation can lead to bloating, a cup of peppermint tea will help settle that stomach.
Cucumber and Celery – Both are high in water and low in fiber, helping reduce fluid your body just doesn’t want to let go and leading to flatter stomach and a slimmer feel.
And a few foods to avoid:
Gum – When you chew gum, you swallow air, which can lead to bloating. In addition to that, artificial sweeteners found in sugar-free gum aren’t easy to digest and also lead to bloating.
Salt – Water and sodium like each other, which means if you have a lot of sodium, water is going to stick around. It’s important to remember that salt doesn’t just mean from the shaker. Avoid highly processed foods as well as their sodium levels are usually off the charts.
Carbonated Drinks – Those bubbles need a place to land and it’s usually in your belly.
If simple food switch-outs aren’t doing the trick, you may want to visit a nutritionist as chronic bloating can be due to a lactose intolerance.
Photo credit: Taku