Eat these 10 foods for a flat tummy
Feel like you’ve gained 10lbs but only around your middle? Bloating may be to blame. Eat your way to a flat tummy with these tasty additions
1. Coconut water
Salty dinner yesterday? Try drinking coconut water. It’s rich in potassium, which helps your body get rid of excess water weight. One 330ml serving of coconut water contains 825mg, nearly one fifth of your daily requirement. The balance between potassium and sodium is important when controlling bloat. Cutting down on sodium (salt) and increasing potassium will have an almost immediate effect on reducing bloat – perfect for your next little-black-dress outing.
Colourful and delicious, watermelons are almost all water at 92% and a great source of potassium. They also contain antioxidant flavonoids such as lutein, lycopene and betacarotene. Melons, grapes, strawberries, kiwi fruit, pineapple and mangoes are best for reducing bloating due to their natural diuretic effect.
3. Plain yoghurt
It’s official: bacteria beats bloat. The probiotic bacteria in most yoghurts increase the number of ‘good’ bacteria in your gut, helping you digest efficiently and prevent bloat. A study in the Journal Of The American Dietetic Association found the bacteria seem to tame tummy bloat by causing an improvement in intestinal mobility, thereby relieving constipation.Read more: The low-down on good gut health
Bright and beautiful, papaya contains an enzyme that aids digestion and, when ripe, the fruit is moderately laxative and helps keep bowel movement regular. Try sliced papaya with plain probiotic yoghurt for a bloat-free breakfast.
These green spears contain inulin, a prebiotic that acts as ‘food’ for probiotic bacteria in your gut. This helps keep a healthy balance of bacteria in the digestive system and may ease the build-up of gas. And, because of its diuretic properties, asparagus also flushes out excess water from your body – better out than in!
Along with peppermint tea and ginger, fennel is one of the best ways to beat bloating and flatulence. It relaxes the smooth muscles of the bowel and minimises trapped gases. It’s also rich in potassium and a phytonutrient called anethole, which may reduce inflammation in the stomach and elsewhere in the body.
Not only refreshing for your eyes, cucumber is high in water, potassium and silica, which make it a great natural diuretic, aiding the removal of excess fluids. Add it to salads or opt for a chilled cucumber soup.
You can beat bloat with breakfast: fibre helps relieve constipation, which is an all-too frequent cause of a swollen tum. By adding bulk in the form of oats, everything moves through the intestines more quickly. In a recent meta-analysis, researchers found that oat bran can be particularly beneficial.
They don’t beat the bloat as such, but alongside filling protein and fibre to stave off hunger pangs, almonds also have vitamin E and magnesium, which help maintain stable blood sugar levels and stop cravings. A 43g daily serving has been shown to decrease hunger and help people maintain weight loss, according to a US study. Definitely the smart woman’s snack.
Oily fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel, is an excellent source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Spanish researchers found that overweight people who ate fish daily improved their glucose-insulin response. This means that fish may aid healthy digestion and prevent cravings, particularly for those salty snacks that cause bloat in the first place. Aim for three servings per week.
Do you have any fail-safe tips for beating the bloat? Tweet and share with us @healthymag.