Keep Bloating At Bay With These 4 Doctor-Recommended Foods
Ah, bloating. The word itself may elicit a groan (both from frustration and discomfort). When you feel that "stuffed" heaviness start to arise, perhaps the last thing you want to do is eat more—it does seem a bit counterintuitive. But according to Kellyann Petrucci, M.S., N.D., leading naturopathic physician, nutritionist, and renowned inflammation expert, the right foods can actually reduce your bloat, well before the urge to unbutton your pants takes over.
By adding micronutrients, she explains on the mbg podcast, you can help your body engage its natural detoxification system more efficiently (and thus, minimize bloating). When it comes to choosing nourishing options that generate results, her parameters are as follows: First, the food must support the gut. Next, it must help reduce head-to-toe inflammation. Finally, it must aid your body to metabolize foods.
With these guidelines in mind, Petrucci shares the food she recommends (other than probiotics, of course):
"My favorite is avocado. I can do back flips when I talk about avocados," she remarks. In addition to their bloat-aiding abilities, avocados are a source of monounsaturated fat, which supports heart health, and studies show that they can help reduce feelings of hunger. Overeating can also cause bloating, so adding satisfying nutrients is one way to keep bloat at bay.
In addition to these benefits, they contain more than 14 minerals, protein, soluble fiber, phytosterols, polyphenols, carotenoids, omega-3s, and vitamins B-complex, C, E, and K. They can also help you lower your LDL (or "bad cholesterol") levels.
Salmon contains omega-3s (including EPA and DHA), which are correlated with a variety of benefits, including heart and brain health. Additionally, a 3.5-ounce serving contains 18 to 26 grams of lean protein, which may contribute to a greater sense of satiety1. Again, satiety is paramount when it comes to bloating, as many bloating issues stem from eating too much, too fast.
Petrucci is a fan of berries due to their myriad positive effects on the body. Not only do they contain the famed micronutrients (which are key for supporting your body's detoxification process, she says), but they can also stabilize free radicals2. In fact, studies show that they may even help support physical vibrancy and manage sun damage3.
Her final recommendation is lemons—specifically, lemon water, a drink that has become a popular staple in many morning routines. First, Petrucci emphasizes the importance of hydrating the body to help beat bloat. More specifically, lemon water may promote smoother bowel movements, reduce constipation, and minimize water retention.
Ayurvedic medicine backs up these benefits, too: According to the ancient practice, lemon water (especially when consumed in the morning) engages agni, or the digestive fire.
Sure, these options aren't necessarily groundbreaking, but that's a good thing, according to Petrucci: "It seems like an oversimplification. When people don't hear big words, and they don't feel like a lot of this-and-that's gone into it, they think, 'Well, it can't be good enough.' We have to change that paradigm of thinking."
So if you are experiencing bloating, think about incorporating these familiar, whole foods into your diet. And above all, consider embracing Petrucci's guiding principle: Give your body foods that it understands, digests properly, and metabolizes fully.
Olivia Giacomo is mbg's Social Media Associate. A recent graduate from Georgetown University, she has previously written for LLM Law Review.