Top 9 Foods That Reduce Bloating
Bloating can be uncomfortable, and it can be caused by eating certain foods, and even just eating too much food. Here’s what to know!
Feeling bloated for some can be an infrequent occurrence, while for others it can be more of a chronic issue. Bloat is characterized by a feeling of uncomfortable fullness in the abdomen and can be caused by an excess buildup of gas in the gastrointestinal tract, an intolerance to a specific food, an IBS flare-up, and even menstruation.
While there can be a number of non-food-related causes of bloating, understanding which foods can help with bloating could help to alleviate some of the uncomfortable full feelings.
High Fiber Ingredients
One of the largest issues that can cause a bloating feeling is constipation. When you are constipated, your digestive system has a decreased ability to move digested food throughout your bowels.
When the digested food is going through the digestive tract, it is slowly broken down and begins to ferment, which naturally emits gas. When you are constipated, it increases the amount of time that this digested food is sitting, and therefore increases the amount of gas you have trapped in your body.
When it comes to foods for bloating, one of the best options is foods that are naturally high in fiber. Fiber helps constipation by increasing the amount of water in the bowels.
With more water, it helps to move things along. Below is a closer look at foods high in fiber which could help reduce bloating caused by constipation.
Oatmeal is a great source of fiber, in addition to offering a healthy array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, especially with added nutritious toppings such as fruit and seeds.
By simply including it into your morning breakfast, oatmeal could help to reduce your bloat while also supplying your body with lasting energy. An added bonus of oatmeal is that it can help to keep you full for longer because of its fiber content.
Overeating can cause feelings of bloat, and since oatmeal can keep you satiated it can, in turn, decrease the likelihood of you overeating, too.
Another food that is an excellent source of fiber is quinoa. Quinoa is a grain that not only contains a large amount of fiber, but is also considered a complete protein, which means that it contains all nine essential amino acids that are unable to be produced by the body. Quinoa can make an excellent addition to nearly any meal and is also easy to make. Think of using it like rice — as a side, as your starch, or even as the main feature with toppings to complement it!
Celery is a food that is mostly made up of molecules that are indigestible by the human body. This acts as a good source of fiber, not to mention celery also contains a good amount of nutrition in the form of potassium, calcium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin K, and much more. Pair this with its high water concentration, and you have an excellent ingredient that can be incorporated into your diet as a healthy bloat-reducing snack.
Fiber and Enzyme-Rich Fruits
Fruit is another category of food with quite a handful of options that can help reduce bloat because they also tend to be a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, and healthy sugars. This is all paired with a fairly large punch of hydration, making for a notable option for helping proper digestion and potentially easing bloat.
Below is a closer look at some of the best fruits to potentially help with bloat.
Bananas are a quintessential snack for many people, thanks to their high level of convenience and ability to satisfy hunger. Plus, bananas may also be a handy tool to help fight back against bloat.
Bananas contain a relatively high level of fiber in addition to potassium. Potassium is an important mineral that plays a role in many different bodily functions.
One function is that it impacts fluid balance within the body, and getting enough can help to reduce the chances of water bloat.
Another function of potassium is that it helps facilitate nerve signals to the smooth muscles of the digestive tract to stimulate the rhythmic contraction that helps move food along your GI tract.
Pineapple can make a great addition to a smoothie, but it is also a great snack to consider if you are looking to potentially reduce some of your bloat. Pineapple has your standard healthy digestive health components such as fiber, vitamins, minerals, and hydration, but it also contains a special enzyme that can help aid digestion.
Pineapple naturally contains a molecule known as bromelain. Bromelain is an enzyme that helps to digest protein, which in turn can help keep things moving.
You may consider an avocado a part of the veggies family, but the reality is that it more closely resembles a fruit. Avocados are an excellent source of healthy fats, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, and fiber.
The high-fat content allows avocados to keep you fuller for longer, which can be an added bonus to avoid bloat associated with overeating.
Papaya is a fruit that is thought to have originated from Central America, and it is a worthy fruit to help aid your digestive health. Papaya, like most other fruits, provides you with a good source of fiber, nutrition, and hydration, but it also has an additional benefit.
Papaya contains a special enzyme known as papain, which acts similarly to the bromelain found in pineapples in that it is a proteolytic enzyme. Papain helps to break down amino acids, which can help digestion, and thus help reduce bloating.
Good Gut Bacteria
A crucial component to your digestive health has to do with the good bacteria that inhabit your intestines. Supplements such as probiotics can help to promote the colonization of healthy bacteria, but this is only one part of the equation. Below is a closer look at foods that can help your gut health by helping your gut bacteria.
One potential cause of gas in your GI tract is bacteria that inhabit your intestines. Yogurt is a great option for promoting a healthy gut because it tends to contain active cultures and probiotic qualities. A close relative to yogurt known as kefir can also help promote a healthy gut and increase stool frequency, which have the ability to potentially decrease bloat.
Fermentation is a process by which bacteria are given the opportunity to basically “process” a food. Some examples of fermented foods include kombucha, miso, sauerkraut, and kimchi. These foods naturally contain good bacteria that can help support your digestive system.
Nobody wants to feel bloated, and while you can take things like a magnesium supplement to help, there are a number of foods that can actually help facilitate digestion and reduce bloat.
Foods that are high in fiber like fruits, veggies, and grains, plus foods that promote a healthy gut can all help to get your digestion in order and reduce the chances you’ll feel bloated.
If your bloat is persistent and gets in the way of your day-to-day life, or if you’re considering making any dietary or lifestyle changes, you should consult with your Healthcare Provider for guidance and to rule out any underlying issues.
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