For reasons I don't fully understand, I probably spend at least one week out of the month feeling uncomfortably boated (and I'm not talking about PMS). Though I recently had success with deactivated charcoal supplements (and have continued to take them), I'm interested in how I can change my long-term diet to keep these uncomfortable flare-ups from happening in the first place. With the looming warmer months creating a sense of urgency, I tapped Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN, and founder of Nutritious Life, for her professional opinion on the best de-bloating foods.
You might assume that any fresh, organic fruits and vegetables would do the trick, but cruciferous veggies including broccoli, kale, cabbage, and cauliflower can actually make you more bloated. Read up on Glassman's top picks below, and consider making these foods a regular part of your diet to combat bloating long-term.
"This long and lean veggie has certain compounds that act like probiotics, a healthy bacteria, which help to aid digestion," Glassman told MyDomaine. "Add some lemon juice and fire up the BBQ to grill these tasty veggies for an easy and slimming side dish. Another fave is to simply blanch them and use a between meal filler instead of carrot sticks."
Celery & Fennel
"These crunchy veggies act as diuretics, helping you to flush out the excess water you're retaining. Toss celery in your salad for extra crunch or snack on some with spicy salsa, roast fennel as a change from broccoli or make it the star of your next crudité," she suggests.
"This anti-inflammatory food also has anti-spasmodic qualities. Studies show that it has de-bloating properties too," she explains. "Try grating into your favorite marinade, topping a simple piece of grilled fish to add a little zing, or adding it to your lemon water."
"This sweet treat has an enzyme called papain, which aids digestion and the breakdown of protein," explains Glassman. "Thinly slice this fruit and couple it with a thinly sliced piece of grilled chicken for a mini meal or cut into cubes and top with shredded coconut for a sweet treat."
"Not just for pina coladas, this tropical fruit contains bromelain, a digestion-promoting enzyme. Toss some freshly sliced pineapple rings on a hot grill to dress up a chicken breast or as a delicious and healthy dessert."
Tea (Peppermint, Ginger, Chamomile)
"These teas can help food to pass through the stomach and relieve gas. Sip on your choice of iced or hot tea with a slice or two of lemon or ginger. And, make it a daily ritual." We love David's Tea's organic Le Digestif, which contains peppermint, ginger, orange peel, and fennel seed.
"Regardless of choosing whole-fat or low-fat yogurt, yogurt gives you a dose of beneficial bacteria, which helps keep your digestion efficient," explains Glassman. "If you still you don’t like the idea of plain yogurt, get creative and add canned pumpkin, natural peanut butter, or shredded coconut." We're huge fans of Siggi's Icelandic-style plain yogurt (but all of the flavors are delicious).
The Best and Worst Foods for IBS. Cleveland Clinic. December 4, 2019.