Bloating might seem like a normal, common occurrence but it shouldn't be. The uncomfortable fluid build-up is your body's way of telling you that something about your diet, medications, or daily routine isn't quite right. While there's an array of reasons you're likely bloated—digestive problems, food sensitivities, and dehydration all play a role—one of the most effective ways to tackle the issue is by taking a closer look at what you eat.
When researching her new cookbook Eat Good Food, Lorna Jane Clarkson paid particular attention to the nutritional value of ingredients, including their ability to aid with debloating. Ahead, we asked her to share exactly what she eats in 24 hours to avoid bloating and the key ingredients to include in each meal.
If you're following a healthy diet but still struggle with bloating, one seemingly harmless habit might be to blame. "Avoid drinking water or fluids 20 minutes before or after eating so that you’re not diluting your digestive juices," recommends Clarkson. The liquid fills up your stomach, which delays the digestive process, making you feel swollen and full.
Looking to overhaul your diet? Follow Lorna Jane Clarkson's 24-hour meal plan to improve digestion, soothe your gut, and avoid bloating.
BREAKFAST: Beat the bloat smoothie
Ditch high-GI meals like bagels and toast and opt for a smoothie that contains banana, instead. "Bananas are full of potassium, which help to balance sodium levels and reduce bloat. They’re also rich in soluble fiber," Clarkson explains. Don't skip the other ingredients, either. "The Maca powder also has hormone balancing properties to assist with any menstrual cramping or swelling."
LUNCH: Sweet potato frittata and a simple green salad
Add sweet potato to your lunch to harness its debloating powers. "Sweet potato is rich in potassium to help reduce salt-based bloating and regulate fluid retention," she says. "It's also rated as low FODMAP, which is good news for sufferers of irritable bowel syndrome." Balance the meal with leafy greens to ensure your body is getting the nutrients you need to power through the day. "Pair with a simple green salad, which is in high fiber and water content to support your digestive system."
DINNER: Salmon with red rice, cabbage & turmeric dressing
This dinner recipe is so simple and packed with superfoods to avoid end-of-day bloating. "This recipe also has a whole host of gut-friendly and bloat-beating ingredients like apple cider vinegar, cabbage, asparagus, and turmeric," says Clarkson. Wild-caught salmon is an ideal protein-rich food to balance the dish. "A great source of omega-3, fresh salmon can support your gut health thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties," she points out.
AFTER-DINNER: Ginger Kombucha
At the end of the day, Lorna Jane Clarkson likes to make a cup of peppermint tea or glass of kombucha to wind down without tipping her diet. "Kombucha is rich in probiotics to help feed good bacteria and support a happy, healthy digestive environment," she says. "Ginger Kombucha is my favorite!"
If you're struggling with swelling or cramps, she says peppermint tea is the perfect solution to ease any discomfort. "[It's] perfect for calming and relaxing your stomach, reducing gas, swelling, and cramps thanks to its antispasmodic properties." The scent can also be therapeutic. "I also find peppermint tea helps me wind down after a busy day," she tells us.
Want to try this 24-hour meal plan? Shop Lorna Jane Clarkson's new cookbook, Eat Good Food, for the full recipes.