There are so many reasons bloating can happen. Last night’s bar hop, our periods, the birthday dinner 3 nights ago where we ate WAY too much and it just kind of…stayed with you.
There are also ways to get rid of bloating.
THESE ARE 6 WAYS TO GET YOU FEELING BETTER TODAY
Getting rid of bloating is one of those things that can make everything right with the world. Our clothes fit again, our face looks less puffy, we can eat a salad without feeling like we just gained 12 lbs. We feel like a real person again.
All of these things can easily be part of your everyday diet. But on the days when we need a little extra loving, we never have to be afraid to a bit more to our day. Best thing about this list is the overlap. Nature knew what she was doing.
6 ways to get rid of bloating
Pick a couple foods from this list and you’ve probably already covered 3 out of 5 ways to kick your bloat.
1. Potassium Foods
What's the opposite of salt? Potassium!
If sodium (salt) is one of those things that will puff us up (salt regulates our intracellular fluid), potassium helps to de-puff us (potassium regulates our extracellular fluid).
It means having more go-to snacks and meal choices, instead of the junkier foods that have a ton of salt. Think baked potato, instead of french fries. Think black beans instead of refried beans. Eat more foods high in potassium and you’ll feel less bloated on a regular basis.
That means having more days when stretch pants are optional instead of a pre-req.
WANT SOME MORE EXAMPLES?
- Reach for a banana and yogurt for breakfast
- Make a salad from spinach with a scoop of beans and tomato for lunch
- Grab a salmon burger with added tomato and avocado
Most of us get almost double the amount of salt we need, and half the amount of potassium. This doesn’t mean we can have a bunch of salty foods and then feel good about eating a banana. Go heavy on the potassium foods and easy on the salt, and you’ll see a difference fast.
2. MAGNESIUM FOODS
Magnesium is like the key that unlocks the usefulness of potassium. Getting enough potassium is only as good as the magnesium you’re getting to be able to use that potassium.
Happily, there's a lot of overlap between foods high in potassium and those foods high in magnesium.
Foods high in magnesium
- Spinach (and most dark leafy greens), avocado, yogurt and bananas all have a good amount.
- Add some dark chocolate and a handful of almonds – and you’ve got a perfect high magnesium dessert. Or snack, which is more my style.
As an added bonus, magnesium supports muscle contractions including those that happen in our intestinal system. All that’s a fancy way of saying, magnesium also helps us go to the bathroom, nice and easy. No more constipation. And with no constipation, bloating eases up immediately.
3. FIBER + WATER
You know what else besides magnesium keeps the vicious bloating-constipation cycle in check? Fiber. With water.
When things aren’t moving like they should and that little pooch around our belly button starts to get bigger, it’s time to clean the pipes. The combination of getting enough fiber and staying fully hydrated is a major part of getting rid of constipation.
And when constipation goes, we start feeling less bloated almost immediately. Luckily, all those plant foods with potassium and magnesium also have a ton of fiber in them.
You get a triple bang for your buck. Just don’t forget the water. A cool glass of water 6-8 times a day will keep you hydrate So will foods with high water content.
Foods with high water content
Things like cucumbers, watermelon, and celery are not only full of fiber, but also packed with water. You can also try coconut water! It’s already sweet, full of flavor and naturally packed with the electrolytes we’ve been chatting about: potassium and magnesium. Win win.
4. THE RIGHT SPICES
Adding flavor to your high potassium and magnesium foods, can further help to kick bloating’s ass.
Think cayenne pepper and ginger. Both of these help to stimulate digestion and get everything moving. Mix them into smoothies or boil them into teas.
Fresh lemon juice can help too, if you drink before the meal.
Looking for something that will work ultra quick? Try this ridiculously easy coconut hot shot that will help you de-bloat fast.
Sometimes, despite doing everything (ok, most things) right, our digestive system still needs a little extra TLC.
These babies have been shown to help with everything from regulating digestion to easing constipation, from hormone balance to reducing depression.
Stress can change the way we digest food. Antibiotics taken 12 years ago can change how we digest food. Eating junk food can change how we digest food. Probiotics help support our gut system by jump-starting the process of repopulating your microbiome with the things your body needs more of, to work the best it can.
This means, de-bloating you.
Double down on the dose listed on the package, and your tummy will thank you.
Carrying extra water weight around is a major cause of bloating.
WHAT CAN GET RID OF WATER RETENTION? TEAS CAN.
Herbs like fennel, dandelion greens and parsley are diuretics, meaning they kick start water excretion so you start peeing out the extra water you’re carrying.
Ginger, lemon and peppermint stimulate digestion and gut motility, which further get everything going and cleans you out. There’s also some evidence that drinking warm liquids sooth your gut lining and make everything even easier to pass through and out.
A warm cup of fennel, ginger or peppermint tea can be just what the doctor ordered. Drink a cup at night and feel like a new person in the morning.
BONUS! WHAT TO AVOID
Skip everything that's gas forming.
Things like dairy, high sugar foods and cruciferous vegetables (think broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and brussel sprouts) can make an uncomfortable situation way worse.
So when you’re feeling totally bloated, it’s not the time to eat a salad with broccoli or a cup of high sugar frozen yogurt.
You've also got to remember to go easy on the salt. Very easy.
You've got this.
Stick with the foods high in potassium and magnesium, fill up your plate with high fiber picks, get enough water and you’re almost there.
Probiotics and teas will take you to the next level. Spices will take a good food and make it great. Make these things part of your every day, and bloating will never be the same for you again.
About the author
Hey! I'm Shani. I'm a dietitian and diabetes educator from Brooklyn, NY. I love brunch, baking and chocolate. It's my mission to make healthy eating easy and accessible to everyone, most of all healthy eating beginners. If you're ready to make a change or just need a place to start, I'm your girl. Find me everywhere @thingsweeat. Talk soon!
You can find Shani at http://www.thingsweeat.com/
My name is Shani and I’m a dietitian who almost became a pastry chef. I believe in eating real food and making a little room for dessert. I’m here to help you – a beginner to healthy eating – make specific, goal-oriented changes at your pace to reach your best level of healthy.