The warm weather is finally here, and that means swimsuits, shorts and sandals. If you’re not ready to put away those bulky sweaters – how else will you hide that bloated belly? – consider spring cleaning your diet. These mealtime tips may help curb bloating and other tummy troubles.
- Drink more water. Your belly may become bloated when your digestive system can’t break down the food you consume. Your body needs fluids for this process. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, including at meals. But avoid drinking through a straw. You may swallow air which may lead to gas and a distended belly.
- Limit your sugar alcohol consumption. Sugar alcohols, such as xylitol, mannitol and sorbitol are often found in sugar-free products. They can be difficult for your system to digest, especially if you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. The American Dietetic Association advises against consuming more than 50 grams of sorbitol or 20 grams of mannitol per day.
- Consume more soluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps food move through your system at just the right pace. When your diet includes ample soluble fiber, you may worry less about occasional constipation causing uncomfortable bloating. Beans, peas and oatmeal are ideal sources, or consider a supplement such as Sunfiber. Choose your fiber supplement carefully. Some cause side effects such as gas or abdominal pain. Sunfiber’s soluble fiber is gentle on your insides.
- Eat more bananas, pistachios and artichokes. If you’re retaining water – perhaps due to your salty chips addiction – these potassium-rich foods will help your body get back in balance. Ginger is another belly-pleasing food to add to your diet. It’s been known to help with many digestive ailments.
- Get more probiotics into your diet. These good bacteria live in your gut and aid in digestion. Enriching your diet with live cultures from fermented foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchi may help ease bloating. Give these good guys a boost with Sunfiber. Because it is a prebiotic fiber, it supports the growth of these beneficial bacteria.