The gut, which is part of your digestive system, is your bodies second brain. Keeping your gut healthy allows your body to have a strong immune system and can improve your body’s overall well-being. There is nothing more important than what you eat in keeping your gut healthy. Sometimes even the healthiest mix of foods can affect your gut and can cause bloating.
What causes bloating?
Bloating is caused by overeating, eating a lot of rich and fatty foods and eating too fast. While there are foods that will cause you bloating, there are also foods which can help you relieve bloating and keep your gut healthy.
10 foods to help reduce bloating
One – Yoghurt
Yoghurt with active cultures is packed with good bacteria. These good bacteria known as lactobacillus and bifidobacterium help facilitate good digestion and prevention of belly bloat. I would recommend going for plain full fat yoghurt. If you have a sweet tooth, try mixing it with fresh fruits rather than buying flavored yoghurts which have lots of added sugars. If are lactose intolerant, try having kefir instead.
Two – Ginger
Ginger is a natural inflammatory and digestive aid. It has a digestive enzyme called zingibain which helps break down protein. Zingibain reduces the puffiness and gas sometimes caused by protein. It has also a relaxing effect on the intestines while inducing gut motility. This helps food pass more easily thus reducing bloating and gas.
Three – Banana
Banana – Banana is rich in potassium which helps reduce salt-induced bloating. Potassium aids in regulating sodium levels, effectively balancing out the fluids in your body and easing the strain of digestion. It is also high in fiber, which helps you poo.
Four – Lemon
Lemon – Lemon is a natural diuretic and acts as a gentle laxative. Add lemon juice to hot water, this will aid in reducing the salt retained in the body which can make us feel bloated. If you suffer from constipation, doing this regularly can help your GI tract move things along at a faster pace.
Five – Cantaloupe
Cantaloupe – Although cantaloupe is sweet, it is actually composed of 90% water. The high water content acts as a mild diuretic thus helping you urinate excess water and salt from the body. It also has a high fibre content which helps in preventing constipation.
Six – Cucumber
Cucumbers are high in silica, caffeic acid, and vitamin c which helps to reduce swelling and prevents water retention. The high water content of cucumber helps in keeping you hydrated whilst clearing out excess water and gas in your GI tract.
Seven – Papaya
Papaya contains enzymes, such as papain that aids in digestion and fights inflammation. Papaya is also a good source of fibre that supports a strong digestive track.
Eight – Asparagus
Asparagus is known to be an anti-bloating superfood. Asparagus acts as a diuretic which helps to flush out excess water in your system, thus relieving bloating and discomfort. It is the amino acid in asparagus that helps reduce water retention. It also has a prebiotic fibre, which helps support the probiotics in your gut and keeps your digestive tract healthy.
Nine – Fennel Seeds
Fennel seeds are a natural diuretic that can help treat all types of bloating. Studies show that fennel seeds are rich in volatile oil, which is primarily responsible for the effectiveness of these seeds to clear intestinal gas. “Compounds like anethole, fenchone, and estragole [in fennel seeds] have antispasmodic, calmative and anti-inflammatory properties that relax contracted intestinal muscles, easing abdominal cramps, releasing belly bloat and allowing trapped gas to dissipate.” For more info on the benefits of Fennel Seeds click here.
Ten – Kimchi
Kimchi is a Korean dish made of fermented cabbage, garlic, scallions, ginger, and chili powder. A recent study confirmed that kimchi is high in probiotics which aids digestion, helps rid belly gas and reduces bloat.