There’s nothing worse than the tight, pressured feeling of a bloated belly; when you slip on those skinny jeans – that were satisfyingly loose yesterday! – and struggle to do up the zip.
You know you can’t possibly gain weight overnight, so it can only mean one thing: you’re bloated.
While the causes of bloating can vary, from a medical intolerance to an over-indulgence of sweet foods the night before, there are certain foods you can consume to reduce bloating in the short-term.
So the next time you feel uncomfortably ‘full’ even though you haven’t eaten, here’s what to reach for!
1. A tub of plain Greek yoghurt
Yoghurts contain probiotics that aid digestion and create ‘healthy’ gut flora, which is known to reduce bloating. Try adding a few blueberries or grapefruit slices for added zing and vitamin C.
2. A banana
Bananas are rich in potassium, another mineral that helps reduce bloating. Add it to a tub of yoghurt (above) for an added boost of belly-flattening power!
3. Warm water with lemon and ginger
Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, while lemon juice mimics the digestive juices in the stomach, breaking down fat and helping process whatever is causing you to bloat.
4. Honeydew melon and pineapple
Like lemons, pineapples can help break down proteins that cause bloating with their enzymes. Honeydew melons have a diuretic property that reduces water retention.
Believe it or not, asparagus also has diuretic properties that can help reduce fluid retention (in other words, you’ll need to go to the toilet more often!). Just make sure you balance this with plenty of plain water.
6. Dark chocolate
Yes, that’s right! A few pieces of plain dark chocolate, with at least 75% cocoa solids, can help reduce bloating due to the chocolate’s anti-inflammatory properties once in the gut.
7. Kale, spinach or lettuce
While some greens, like brussels sprouts, will cause bloating, these leafy greens will reduce bloating by easing water retention. Try combining all three with banana into a smoothie for a nutritious hit.