Do you look bloated even if you follow your trainer’s exercise tips to the tee? Or do you oftentimes let one (or maybe even two) rip, even when you you’ve been eating nothing but absolutely healthy food?
Sometimes, even some of the healthiest and best foods for weight loss can cause bloating and gas. This can be because the properties of certain foods can react negatively with the digestion of some people (but not others – this will depend on things like diet, hereditary conditions, etc).
Also, if you’ve been eating correctly but you’ve been chomping down your food because you’re always in a hurry, then that’s something you’ll need to correct as well. Eating too fast can cause indigestion, which then leads to feeling bloated and gassy.
The good thing is that even though there are foods that can make things worse for you, there are also certain foods that can actually help you reduce bloating and gas. Most of these foods are easily found in most supermarkets, too, so getting them should be no problem!
Asparagus might be notorious for making your urine smell funky, but it works wonders when it comes to reducing bloating and gas.
Rich in prebiotics (which is what probiotics feed on in order to thrive), asparagus supplies the good intestinal bacteria with the energy it needs to promote optimum digestive health. Remember: just like other organisms, probiotics need to be well fed in order for them to perform well.
The prebiotic Inulin found in asparagus is very resilient, it stays intact until it reaches the large intestine. Here it finally unveils its power of enhancing nutrient absorption, apart from protecting the colon from the development of cancer.
Besides being rich in prebiotics, asparagus is jampacked with fiber – a substance you need to move the food in your system quickly. Pair your asparagus with yogurt (another belly-busting food which will be discussed later on) for a dip that is delicious as it is digestively healthy.
2. Cayenne Pepper
More than just setting your tongue on fire, cayenne pepper can set your digestive health on the right track. Its miraculous work starts with its ability to prod the body to produce more saliva, which is vital for the early start of the digestion process.
Cayenne pepper is also rich in capsaicin, a compound that aids digestion It eliminates the bad intestinal bacteria that contribute to the worsening of stomach problems. As a result, this spice controls episodes of flatulent dyspepsia and prevents bloating along the way.
Apart from promoting stomach health, cayenne pepper also reduces fat and cholesterol levels in the body. It also has been known to relieve the stubborn headache that is associated with migraine.
So if you are looking for a special spice that boosts over-all health, then make it a point to add a dash of cayenne pepper in every dish you eat.
3. Fennel Seeds
Utilized in the ancient times by the Greeks and Romans, Fennel seeds are carminatives or herbs that work by reducing bloating and gas – among many other stomach problems.
In his book Holistic Herbal, author David Hoffman mentioned that adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of fennel seeds into a cup of boiling water can help bring about relief from gas in adults, as well as colic in babies.
These belly benefits are attributed to the fenchone, anethole, and estragole found in fennel seeds. These anti-spasmodic compounds help relax the stomach muscles, which then permit the trapped intestinal gas to get out of the body.
Like the ancients, you can enjoy the benefits of fennel seeds by chewing on them after a meal. Not only will they boost digestion, they can keep your breath fresh as well.
In the bygone days when the good ‘ol refrigerator has not been invented yet, the ancients struggled with preserving food – and they came up with the ingenious way of adding bacteria or yeast to it. This technique is called fermenting, and not only did it extend the lifespan of food, it populated the dish with stomach-friendly bacteria as well.
One of the most popular examples of fermented food that has been known to reduce gas and bloating is Kimchi, which is made from napa cabbage, garlic, scallions, ginger, and chili powder. This popular Korean dish is a delicious way to keep your belly tame as it contains good bacteria that enhance food digestion and nutrient absorption.
Apart from these benefits, Kimchi can also curb obesity, constipation, even cancer – as mentioned in the 2014 study of Park et al.
Ginger does not only enhance the flavor of food, it can improve your digestive processes as well. Utilized since the 1500’s by the ancient Japanese, Chinese, and Indians, ginger has been used to treat stomach problems, as well as arthritis and the common cold.
Ginger is rich in prebiotics – which, as mentioned above – are the food needed by good bacteria. It also contains zingibain, a stomach enzyme that digests protein faster. As such, ginger prevents swelling in the gastro-intestinal system – which are manifested by the signs of bloating, gas, and stomach aches. It is also effective in treating other digestive conditions, such as bowel colic and dyspepsia.
While consuming ginger fresh off the market is the best way to address your intestinal conditions, you can also enjoy it in the forms of tea or salad dressing.
Bloating and gas are oftentimes caused by a sluggish digestive process. If this seems to be the root of all your tummy problems, then lemon, which has many health benefits, may be just what you need.
Because of its innate acidity, it boosts the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. This then improves digestion through proteolysis, or the breakdown of amino acids present in food. With better digestion, you can get rid of the unpleasant symptoms that come with gas and bloating.
Since eating lemon on its own can be quite a feat, you can enjoy its benefits in a more toned-down way as lemon water or as salad zest.
Whether ripe or unripe, papaya is one of the foods you can depend on when it comes to the problems of bloating and gas. It really is one of the best fruits in the world, given its many wonders on digestive health.
Papaya is rich in papain and chymopapain, enzymes which hasten protein breakdown and facilitate digestion. It is also teeming with fiber, which speeds up the passage of food in the intestinal tract.
More than just reducing bloating and gas, papaya protects your colon as well. It helps produce short chain fatty acids, the most notable of which is Butyrate. According to a study by Wong et al, this end product works by decreasing one’s risk of developing gastrointestinal disorders, as well as other related cancers.
Papaya is great to eat on its own, although you can enjoy it as a fruit shake or as an ingredient in a healthy ginger and papaya salsa.
Peppermint, scientifically known as Mentha piperita, is known to flavor toothpaste, tea, and gum, among many other things. However, did you know that it’s also effective in treating many digestive problems, such as bloating and gas?
This miracle leaf aids the gut by relaxing the stomach muscles. This process, in turn, enables the easy passage of gas out of the body. In fact, this is the main reason why the peppermint-coated capsule has been the drug of choice for patients suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, the symptoms of which include bloating and flatulence.
Peppermint also addresses other tummy issues, such as indigestion. Since it eases the stomach muscles, it facilitates the flow of bile, a substance utilized by the body to digest fats.
The end result? The food in your system goes through the intestines in a seamless manner. With the calming scent and soothing flavor of peppermint, it’s best enjoyed with your favorite cup of tea.
For hundreds of years, Central and South Americans have counted on Pineapples (ananas) to cure their stomach woes. And with Columbus’ travels from the new world, he has taken with him the pineapple – and its beneficial effects on reducing bloating and gas – to the old world and beyond.
Pineapple’s digestion wonders are attributed to Bromelain, an enzyme extracted from juice and stem of the fruit. Utilized as a meat tenderizer, bromelain helps break down proteins in your stomach faster. Without this enzyme, proteins remain in your system longer – and this contributes to the bloating and the gas that’s hard to pass.
Apart from promoting digestive health, pineapples offer a myriad of other benefits. Not only do they strengthen bones, ananas reduce hypertension risk and alleviate joint pains as well. Best eaten fresh, pineapples are delicious alternatives that can cure bloating and gas naturally.
Yogurt is not only a tasty dessert, it’s an edible remedy for bloating and gas as well. It is rich with bacteria – the good ones of course – such as Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus acidophilus, and Bifidobacterium. Otherwise known as probiotics, they are famous for their ability to cure a variety of gastrointestinal problems.
In a study by O’Mahony et al, results showed that these cultures were able to reduce the symptoms of bloating, as well as abdominal pain and flatulence. These findings are not new though, as yogurt has been used to cure intestinal ills in as early as the bible era – even to the time of Hippocrates.
Apart from alleviating gas and bloating, yogurt can address other gastrointestinal disorders when taken at the minimum therapeutic amount of 106 cfu/g.
Whether it’s inflammatory bowel disease, a H. pylori infection, diarrhea, constipation, or lactose intolerance, yogurt is a delicious way to treat each and every one of them.
Eating can render you bloated and gassy – if you choose the wrong fare, of course. But as long as you consume the ones listed above, you can eliminate the said problems – deliciously, of course!