Add These 75 Foods to Your Diet to Reduce Bloating
While there is no cure-all for belly bloat, there are some foods you can eat to help reduce symptoms and a few foods that can help prevent it.
Wouldn't you love to know a magical trick to banish bloating forever? There are different reasons that bloating and flatulence (gassiness) may occur, but the symptoms are always the same: a protruding, distended belly, discomfort and a feeling of being overly full. While there is no immediate cure for belly bloat, there are some foods you can eat to help reduce symptoms of the condition and a few foods that can help prevent it.
Why Bloating Occurs
Bloating can happen if you eat your food too fast, if you gulp down bubbly beverages or if you consume high-fibre foods when your digestive tract isn't used to them. Chewing gum, talking while you eat and drinking from a straw are also linked to increased gas-related bloating and flatulence.
There are medical conditions that may lead to bloating such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), lactose intolerance and coeliac disease. Water retention due to menstrual changes or a higher than normal sodium intake can also make you feel puffy and bloated. And bloating can be the result of constipation.
The Top 75-Plus Foods to Reduce Bloating
Depending on the cause of your belly bloat, there are different ways to find relief. Certain foods—like those high in fibre—may reduce belly bloat for some and cause gas in others. So you may need to experiment with foods to find out what works best for you.
Also, you'll notice that some foods are mentioned more than once in this list. That is because there are different mechanisms to reduce bloat and certain foods provide more than one.
1.Foods Rich in Potassium
Potassium is an electrolyte, like sodium. They both play a role in regulating the fluid balance in your body. But potassium helps to counteract the effects of sodium by increasing the production of urine and promoting the excretion of sodium in the urine.
If you're feeling puffy and bloated because you ate too many salty foods, consuming foods high in potassium might help. Consider adding these foods to your diet to reduce your symptoms. They all provide potassium, along with other vitamins and minerals to promote good health.
- Coconut water
- Sweet potatoes
- Cannellini beans
2.Fruits and Vegetables with a High Water Content
An improper water balance in the body can lead to water retention and feelings of puffiness. Your body loses fluids regularly from activities such as exercise. If you don't replace those fluids, you might retain water to compensate.
To maintain proper hydration levels in the body, you should consume fluids throughout the day. But you can also consume foods with a high water content. These foods contain at least 80 percent water and provide other important micronutrients to promote wellness.
- Fruit juice
- Broccoli (cooked)
Bloating and excessive gas may occur when you have an imbalance of gut bacteria. A study published in 2014 investigating treatment strategies for abdominal bloating and distention found that probiotics, particularly bifidobacteria, have been shown to be effective to help put your gut back in balance. And a large research review published in 2018 found that probiotic foods can help to reduce bloating and distention, especially in patients with IBS.
The experts at Harvard Health explain that probiotics are found most commonly in fermented foods. These foods might naturally contain probiotics or have probiotics added to them and may help to reduce excessive gas.
- Sourdough bread
4.Foods with Fibre
Fibre in food can be either soluble or insoluble. Soluble fibre is viscous and adds bulk to your stool. Oatmeal, barley and beans contain soluble fibre. Insoluble fibre is not digested by the body. It helps speed up food transit in the digestive tract to help prevent constipation. Wholegrains, most vegetables, wheat bran and legumes are examples of foods with insoluble fibre.
You'll want to be careful when adding fibre-rich foods to your diet. If your gut isn't used to them and/or if you consume too many high-fibre foods too quickly, they can cause bloating and gas. Also, make sure you drink plenty of water when increasing your fibre intake to avoid dehydration.
The US National Institutes of Health suggest these fibre-rich foods to help manage constipation.
- Wholemeal bread
- Wholewheat pasta
- Bran-flake cereals
- Black beans
- Kidney beans
- Apples with the skin on
- Green peas
- Collard greens
5.Belly-Calming Herbs and Spices
There have been a number of studies linking certain herbs and spices with better gut health. Some studies have found that herbs and spices can improve the digestive system, remove gas from the gastrointestinal tract and relieve abdominal pain. Some of these herbs, such as ginger, have anti-inflammatory properties as well, to help ease symptoms. And the best thing is that these are ingredients you can add to recipes or use to prepare tea.
- Celery seeds
- Fennel seeds
If the cause of your bloating and digestive symptoms is IBS, you may want to consider switching to a low-FODMAP diet. The acronym FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. These short-chain carbohydrates are not absorbed well by the small intestine and can cause gastrointestinal distress, including intestinal gas, as a result.
If you've been diagnosed with IBS, you'll want to work with a registered dietitian to develop a personalised diet plan. But the nutrition experts at Johns Hopkins Medicine provide this list of foods that are encouraged on the eating plan.
- Eggs and meat
- Cheeses such as brie, camembert, cheddar and feta
- Almond milk
- Grains such as rice, quinoa and oats
- Vegetables such as aubergines, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers and courgettes
- Fruits such as grapes, oranges, strawberries, blueberries and pineapple
If you're on a low-FODMAP diet, you'll cut out foods like dairy products, wheat-based products, lentils, some vegetables (such as artichokes, asparagus, onions and garlic) and certain fruits.
How to Manage Bloating
Many people turn to over-the-counter remedies for bloating when it occurs occasionally. Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist to determine the best product for you.
If you feel bloated often, it may be helpful to keep a food journal. By examining your eating patterns, you may be able to identify the culprit that is causing your symptoms. Then cut that food out of your diet and see if the symptoms subside.
If your belly bloat doesn't respond to changes in your diet or to over-the-counter remedies, speak to your doctor about other potential causes or remedies that might be right for you.