Do you have a belly? Well this post is especially for you.
Today I'm tackling the common issue of bloating. There's absolutely no gloating when it comes to bloating; in fact it's actually quite common and a real pain for many people. Usually a temporary thing, it can make life extremely uncomfortable and can contribute to plummeting confidence.
If you’re looking for an easy solution, something that’ll help beat that bloat and bring a smile to your face once more, there are a few foods that can help you fit comfortably into your jeans all day long.
Here are my top five flat belly foods and tummy-flattening snacks.
Cucumbers – are wonderful to help your tummy de-bloat and contain an antioxidant called quercetin which helps reduce swelling. If you’ve tried intermittent fasting before and have looked at calories, you’ll know that cucumbers are absolutely golden. They’re also low on the glycaemic index table but are rich in water and fibre to keep us feeling full. These lovely vegetables are your most easily digestible garden dweller too. Try my Cucumber Sailing Boats they are a fun finger food or weekend project.
Fennel, which is actually part of the carrot family (who knew?), is a natural diuretic that reduces our excess storage of water. This means it can help naturally reduce that puffy and fluid bloat. Fennel seeds help relax the gastrointestinal tract, which allows gas to pass and alleviates bloating; just be sure not to chow down on fennel on the train or bus ride home or no one will want to sit next to you… or you know what, maybe do eat fennel on the train... and snare yourself a whole row! ;). If you're looking for delicious ways to include fennel, my Roasted Cauliflower, Fennel and Ginger Soup pictured above is a winner.
Asparagus- Whilst I’m against violence (I'm a lover not a fighter), there is one type of spear that I would fight for! It’s green, little and offers a healthy source of prebiotics – asparagus! Asparagus is high in fibre and anti-inflammatory properties which helps balance digestion and reduce gas. I love stir-frying asparagus spears with lemon and garlic but they're also amazing when massaged in olive oil (I know the feeling 😉 and cooked on the grill. Asparagus soup is always a treat too. Try this lovely Seven Minute One Pan Salmon with Greens if you're looking for a quick dinner inspiration.
Ginger- Another one at the top of my anti-bloat list is ginger. Consuming ginger before a meal can help stimulate digestion which can help prevent I’ve-eaten-too-much-I’m-about-to-explode-itis and the dreaded post-meal bloating. Ginger is also an anti-inflammatory ingredient that can help increase circulation and blood flow whilst increasing our internal heating which burns fat! Double winner. Ginger is one of the key ingredients in my Golden Gut Blend; it gives it a flavour punch like no other and adds a whole host of anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties!
Papaya- Fruits that are rich in antioxidants and fibre are good for you, and papaya is particularly great for anti-bloating. It can help aid weight loss and even fight cellulite. It’s also handy for encouraging digestion and can help alleviate constipation.
My baked papaya is the best thing in the whole world and nobody can fight me on that – nobody. I mean look at that pic, drool*.
Give it a try and let me know what you think in the comments section below.
Baked Papaya with Lime and Coconut Yoghurt
A zesty and refreshing source of digestive enzymes to boost gut health and start the day with a fruity twist.
- 1 large papaya, cut in half, seeds removed
- 1 teaspoon Golden Gut Blend or ground cinnamon
- zest and juice of 1 lime
- 250 g (9 oz/1 cup) coconut yoghurt
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Place the papaya on the baking tray. Sprinkle with the Golden Gut Blend or cinnamon and lime zest, and drizzle with the lime juice.
Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the papaya is lightly coloured. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
Serve with the coconut yoghurt.
Note: You can add some lime slices to the baking tray to caramelise them, then squeeze the juice over the papaya just before serving.