Almost everyone has been there. After a particular meal, or at a particular time of the month, your stomach feels like a balloon that is about to burst. While it's important to remember that mild bloating at times is normal and not something to be ashamed of or embarrassed by, it's also uncomfortable — if not painful — and we're bound to look for ways to relieve it.
If you experience long-lasting or constant bloating, you should speak to a doctor. But for the regular type, why not look for natural foods that fight bloating? They can be as effective as medications or antacids, and they might be sitting right in your kitchen.
Potassium is one of the most impactful nutrients for eliminating bloat. One reason someone might feel bloated is excess water, often due to eating too much sodium. Potassium helps flush out sodium and water, alleviating that feeling of bloating.
Bananas are low-maintenance ways to introduce potassium into a diet. True, one banana probably is not enough to cure bloat, but combining it with other foods will maximize its effectiveness.
Foods rich in fiber are also important in your battle against bloating. Whole grains, in general, contain plenty of fiber and are easy to add to a meal. However, even other whole grains pale in comparison to quinoa when it comes to fiber content.
This edible seed contains nearly twice as much fiber as other grains and is completely gluten-free. Quinoa also contains antioxidants that may reduce bloating. Try combining quinoa with foods like yogurt to add some meal variety. And speaking of yogurt…
Yogurt is full of probiotics, bacteria that promote a healthy gut and limit inflammation. These probiotics make yogurt one of the most effective foods for limiting bloating and preventing abdominal distension caused by conditions like irritable bowel syndrome.
If carbs are a concern, try eating Greek yogurt instead. For people who must avoid lactose, kefir is mostly lactose-free and has an even greater variety of probiotics.
If yogurt alone is not appetizing enough, try mixing in some other anti-bloating foods. Berries have a higher fiber content than most other fruit. Strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries are all great choices to battle bloating.
Berries also contain a lot of water, making them perfect for rehydrating a bit and keeping the digestive process going.
Some people might want the benefits of probiotics for their bloating, but cannot or will not eat yogurt. In these cases, there are plenty of other probiotic-rich foods that can help the gut flora.
Fermented foods like kimchi, kombucha, and sauerkraut are all exploding with probiotics to promote gut health and keep you "regular." Fermented foods also tend to have significant water content to hydrate the body.
Another food bursting with water and fiber is a fantastic choice for hot summer months: the humble cucumber. While cruciferous veggies like kale, cabbage, and broccoli often worsen bloating, adding cucumbers to a salad can limit the effect and protect against it.
Cucumbers also contain silicon and sulfur, which act as natural diuretics to promote urination and alleviate pressure.
Cucumbers are far from the only vegetables capable of fighting bloat. Avocados are a remarkable source of a host of anti-bloat nutrients, including potassium and antioxidants. Plus, the average avocado contains just six grams of carbs.
Because of this and their fat content, avocados are also ideal for people on restrictive diets, such as keto.
As someone can easily infer from looking at this list, water and fiber are some of the most effective components in food when it comes to banishing bloat.
Celery is composed almost entirely of water and fiber, so it is a clear choice. It also contains a sugar alcohol, mannitol, that softens stools by pulling water into the digestive tract.
In the hot summer months, the heat alone can dehydrate us enough to leave us feeling bloated. Foods like celery and berries can hydrate a bit, but nothing compares to the sheer hydrating power of watermelon. Plus, watermelon has more than enough fiber to help with bloat, not to mention a host of vitamins and antioxidants.
Asparagus is a bit of a controversial food, but fans of this spear-like veggie benefit from its long list of healthy nutrients. Thanks to the amino acid asparagine, asparagus helps reduce water retention.
It also contains a prebiotic fiber, inulin, that nourishes the gut’s probiotics to keep everything running on track. Inulin increases regularity and can prevent both bloating and constipation.
Yet another water-dense food, pineapple also possesses a powerful digestive enzyme called bromelain. While high-quality studies have yet to find definitive proof, there is some evidence that bromelain can combat inflammation and help with common digestive problems.
Though more research is necessary, pineapple contains enough healthy nutrients that make it a worthy addition to any anti-bloat diet.
Though most people do not realize it, the kiwi is a powerhouse of fiber and potassium. These furry little fruits also contain actinidin, an enzyme that can speed stomach emptying and improve digestion. Many studies have shown that these factors make kiwis a great choice for reducing bloating, stomach pain, and other common gut issues.
People prone to bloating might want to start their days off right to help stop their stomach problems from popping up later. Oatmeal, as a whole grain, has everything a person needs to get their bowels moving sooner and feel better throughout the day.
Nutritionists recommend healthy add-ins like chopped walnuts or berries for the maximum digestive health boost.
Cultures across the world swear by ginger’s ability to soothe digestive issues like bloating. This humble spice contains an enzyme called zingibain, which aids in breaking down protein and supports healthy digestion.
Some research indicates that ginger also speeds stomach emptying, which prevents bloating and feelings of fullness. Make sure to take it easy with this one, though, as too much can actually cause some digestive issues.
It can be difficult to find ways to introduce many bloat-fighting foods into daily meals. However, drinks are a bit easier. Green tea is great for hydration, of course, but it also acts as a natural laxative.
Thousands of studies also confirm a range of other benefits, such as fighting inflammation and helping with weight loss. Plus, it is possible to brew a variety of green teas with other fruits and vegetables —like strawberries and ginger— to fully capitalize on all of their effects.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.