Today we will talk more about what food we should eat to prevent bloating or when it is already happening because let’s admit… for most of us, even when we feel like we have swallowed a balloon, the hunger doesn’t go anywhere.
So what food should I eat when I feel bloated? Here is our top 10:
Not just pretty to look at. Scientific research published in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Journal describes its qualities for reducing colonic inflammation – one reason that causes humans to bloat. It is also rich in fibre and has a mild diuretic effect, which is very useful when it is not just your abdominals that need de-puffing.
It contains an enzyme with a similar name, ‘papain’, beneficial for a good digestion. Papaya is widely recognised for its de-bloating qualities. If you aren’t keen on its texture, you can have it in a smoothie form too, with cucumber for freshness and a good measure of ginger for an added zing.
It’s not all tropical when it comes to de-bloating foods, as carrots can also be a food of choice when addressing the symptom. They contain a healthy portion of potassium amongst other minerals and are also rich in vitamins and fibre.
These are a great help on a day when you need to look good in a tight dress – filling, nutritious, yet easy to digest out of many other protein sources. Best not to pair them with bread or mayo though –a celery stick, a good scoop of avocado or wilted spinach (water and lemon – no butter, sorry) would be a safe bet for most people.
A bright-yellow-looking-happy fruit which is super rich in potassium – an energy boosting mineral. Not all bananas are the same, however. If you have a digestive tract condition such as IBS, it is advisable to stay clear of the very ripe bananas (the ones with brown spots) as the riper they are the higher FODMAP* they become.
Choosing spices, herbs and other flavourings for your food when catering for a sensitive stomach can be tricky. Garlic is a real saviour as it is very kind to the gut – a natural prebiotic that your gut bacteria will really appreciate (even if your date will not).
Important to mention that despite its goodness, garlic is a high FODMAP and may not be suitable for IBS sufferers.
7. Fennel and fennel seeds
Another vegetable and herb in one. It helps to beat bloating and flatulence, with fennel water even being advised to babies. It has a quality that alleviates gas in the digestive tract to comfort a fussy baby… or a fussy adult for that matter.
You can make your own fennel tea at home easily by mixing fennel seeds with boiling water and then let it brew.
You may want to steer clear of raw fish when you can’t take risks with your digestion, but this super food, popularised by the Japanese cuisine worldwide, is a great fighter for digestive health. It contains many vitamins and also a fucoidan, a compound claimed to have many antioxidant and anti–inflammatory qualities. It has proven to have a positive effect on IBS symptoms in mice, so humans’ studies are just a step away.
Energising and warming, the ginger root is known for its great health benefits, whether it’s your respiratory system, digestion, slimming or general wellness we are talking about. It works as well added to the marinades and sauces as it is on its own with hot or cold water. Gingerol – an active compound in ginger – is a strong antioxidant, so the beauty industry loves it almost as much as the food one.
As many dieticians and nutritionists will say, sometimes the best ‘food’ to have is water. As lucky inhabitants of a modern world, we have so many varied and rich foods available to us at hand’s reach, that at times we confuse thirst with hunger, often overloading our GI tract with too much to process. A glass of warm water with added lemon, mint, a spoonful of an apple cider vinegar or just on its own benefits bloat reduction and helps to improve metabolism and flush out toxins and other nasties from the gut.
* FODMAP stands for fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols (1). These are the scientific terms used to classify groups of carbs that are notorious for triggering digestive symptoms like bloating, gas and stomach pain. FODMAPs are found in a wide range of foods in varying amounts.