You just enjoyed an amazing meal, and now everyone can tell because your stomach feels twice as big as when you started.
Sometimes it's a matter of simply eating too much, but it can also be the actual foods you're eating.
By including certain herbs, spices, and nutrients in your meals, you can prevent or at least reduce that post dinner bloated feeling. Here are some of the best herbs and spices to help prevent bloating
Enzymes help your stomach break down food, making digestion easier. Most include bromelain, which comes from pineapple and helps break down protein, and papain, which comes from papaya, and also helps break down foods.
You can get these benefits from eating some pineapple or papaya before your meal, or by using a supplement that contains these enzymes. If you are eating the fruit whole, make sure to eat it around 30 minutes before. See our article on food combining for more info on why.
These feed the good bacteria in your stomach, which can smooth out digestion problems. If you don’t have enough good bacteria, your stomach may have trouble breaking down food, allowing it to ferment and release gas. Look for a high-quality supplement that contains at least two strains of bacteria—lactobacillus and bifidobacterium.
Garlic supplements can be particularly helpful during a bloating detox, as they work against unwanted yeasts in the gut, which could be causing your bloat. Try one 200 mg capsule three times a day.
You can also eat the real thing. Try blending some raw garlic into your homemade salad dressings for extra flavor as well as digestive help.
Peppermint, spearmint, and basil (also in the mint family) all help reduce bloating. Try a mint after dinner, some mint tea with your meal, or a supplement before or after eating. You can even chew on a mint leaf after your meal if you like.
It’s the famous stomach-soother for a reason. Try some ginger tea during or after your meal, or take some ginger supplements beforehand. You can also try a teaspoon of grated ginger before meals.
This herb has long been used to ease digestive gas and bloating. Try some caraway crackers, caraway seeds, or a supplement.
You may have heard of this herb for promoting sleep, but it also helps calm your stomach. Chamomile tea works, or a tincture or supplement.
This spice has a reputation for calming spasms in the stomach. The relaxation activity can help avoid bloat, too, as it keeps your stomach from tightening, cramping, and overall stressing out. Enjoy it as an herbal tea, add it to your soup and pasta dishes, chew some seeds after a meal, or try some anise seed water.
Fennel seeds help get rid of gas and can prevent bloating, which is why some restaurants will have them available for you post meal. Try chewing on the seeds (about half a teaspoon), or enjoy a hot cup of fennel tea.
You can also combine a half-teaspoon cardamom with a half-teaspoon fennel powder and take it in warm water before a meal. Chewing cardamom seeds after a meal may be just as effective for you as fennel seeds.
A small study found that turmeric reduced symptoms of bloating and gas in people suffering from indigestion. The German Commission E, the leading authority on herbs, also recommends turmeric for digestive problems. Try taking it in a capsule before a meal, as a tea (great recipe here!), or added to your grilled foods, veggies, and sauces.
Have you tried any of these solutions? Let us know your results by commenting below!