By Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN
There’s certainly nothing worse than feeling bloated when you’re at the beach or sitting by the pool. Really, feeling bloated is bad at any time! There are many factors that are involved in making us feel bloated, and one of those major influencers is the food we eat. Some foods that we eat can make us feel more bloated and uncomfortable, while others can have the opposite effect and make us feel slimmer and less like we’re carrying around extra water and weight (these are the ones you want to eat before sitting in a bathing suit).
It’s important to remember that what foods affect one person may be completely different to how they affect someone else. So, it’s important to know what works best for you. To help you feel and look your best for the beach (or even just zipping up your jeans), here’s a list of seven food items that can majorly help you fight that bloated feeling.
Although high-protein dairy items like greek yogurt can be a great snack, the reality is that for many of us, the dairy can end up making us feel pretty darn bloated and uncomfortable. If you’re looking for a yogurt-like item, aim for a dairy-free option like an almond milk variety that doesn’t have any added artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols (sucralose, aspartame, xylitol, erythritol) that can make us gassy and bloated (yuck!). You can also try making your own coconut milk yogurt.
Both watermelon and cucumber are hydrating foods, because they have a high water volume so they can help you de-bloat and stay hydrated while sitting in the sun. Watermelon is also a source of magnesium that’s both an electrolyte that can be lost through sweat and is also great for your heart and muscle health. Combine them into one in this hydrating sweet watermelon and carrot juice.
Eggplant often gets a bad wrap for being a nightshade vegetable, but the reality is that when it comes to going to the beach, it’s filling and it’s loaded with de-bloating potassium. Try this eggplant salsa as a portable beach snack.
Fennel has long been known for its digestive and de-bloating properties because it has diuretic properties. If you’re not a fan of fennel itself you can either eat fennel seeds or make fennel seed tea by pouring hot water over 1-2 tsp of fennel seeds. It’s good for de-bloating and digestion too.
Bananas should get more credit. Here are the many reasons I love them! Bananas contain both heart-healthy potassium that’s also an electrolyte, and potassium is also great because it can help to relieve water retention too. Eat a banana on its own or try it as part of a yummy smoothie like this Banana Oat Smoothie.
Avocados are a good source of healthy fat, and healthy fat can help us feel less bloated and more excited about hanging out in a bathing suit. Monounsaturated fats aren’t only great for helping our bodies fight disease-causing inflammation, but they’re also helpful in promoting balanced blood sugar and fighting belly fat (always good for the beach). Keep your meal simple before you hit the beach by making this tomato and avocado salad.
Asparagus is notorious for its de-bloating and diuretic properties. Asparagus is a source of prebiotics (food for the bacteria that lives in our guts) and is therefore helpful with promoting a flat belly. Try zucchini noodle and asparagus recipe for a delicious snack or addition to any meal.