We all feed our stomachs daily, but are we really giving them what they want and deserve?
Sometimes it’s hard to fit healthy food into a busy schedule, making it even harder for us to keep our digestive tract happy and healthy. Unfortunately, one of the most common side effects of an unhappy tum-tum is bloating (ew). Luckily, with a few easy tweaks to our diet, we can get on our way towards a fitter and flatter stomach.
Tummy Tip #1: Drink tons of water. Water is probably the closest thing to a silver bullet you’ll ever find. Not only does it improve the look of your skin and stimulate mental clarity, it also aids in digestion. This translates into a flatter, bloat-free stomach for you. Make sure you’re getting enough agua by listening to some advice from the Institute of Medicine. They recommend that the lovely ladies, like ourselves, drink about 9 cups of H20 a day.
Tummy Tip #2: Hold the salt. As a general rule of thumb, wherever salt goes water will follow. This is good for maintaining a good balance of minerals in the blood, but can be bad when it comes to belly bloat. You don’t have to cut out salt completely to diminish bloating, but try to avoid overly salty foods like chips, canned soups, frozen meals, and salted nuts.
Tummy Tip #3: Try probiotics. Most studies with probiotics have been inconclusive, so take this section with a grain of salt (pun intended). Probiotics are strains of bacteria that can have beneficial effects on your immune system and digestive tract. However, some studies have found that probiotics may actually cause bloating, so be sure to keep a watchful eye on your waistline if you try this one out. Probiotics are found naturally in yogurt, so work them into your breakfast by eating nonfat plain yogurt with berries and granola. And just so you know, there is no need to buy special “probiotic” yogurts to get the beneficial effects.
Tummy Tip #4: Eat less sugar. Fructose, one of the most common sweeteners found in our foods, can cause bloating if consumed in high amounts. If you still can’t give up your sweet tooth but want a tighter tummy, check the ingredients list to make sure that the food is made with sugar, not high fructose corn syrup. Also, beware of artificial sugars in sugar-free candies and gums; they can cause bloating too.
You don’t have to give up all of your favorites to beat the bloat. Just eat everything in moderation, drink tons of water, and exercise regularly to keep your tummy in tip-top shape.