Feeling bloated? Making these simple food and beverage swaps can help you banish the bloat, naturally.
1. Add: zing to your meals with salt-free seasoning / herbs like oregano, thyme, basil, mint, basil, rosemary, lime or lemon juice.
Omit: salt, salt-based seasonings, chili powder, hot sauces, tomato sauce, worchester sauce, barbeque sauce, vinegar and highly processed foods.
Why? Extra salt leads to water retention and puffy appearance, sluggish feeling and extra water weight plus spicy food can stimulate the release of stomach acid, leading to acidity.
2. Add: min 8-10 glasses of water daily or one of these add lemon, mint or a slice of sweet lime.
Omit: Any carbonated drinks or diet sodas, alcohol, coffee, tea, hot cocoa, acidic fruit juices.
Why? Carbonated drinks caused bloated and can irritate your GI tract and since its just empty calories, your belly becomes the unlucky host.
3. Add: variety of fresh fruits and veggies, cook your vegetables by steaming or sautéing. Add dried fruits in your diet like raisins and dried plums or apricot. But skip the salt and sugar.
Omit: Raw vegetables, gas-producing vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts. Also omit canned or processed ones.
Why? Raw and gas producing vegetables create more gas in your GI tract, canned and processed food will further cause bloating due to excess of salt and sugar or preservative added.
4. Add: Go for the real thing in case you need something sweet, Eat fruits, dried apricots, yogurt with honey, fruit smoothies.
Omit: refined sugar, sugar alcohols which are typically found in low calories foods.
Why? GI tract can absorb sugar alcohol. Sugar alcohols causes gas, bloating and diarrhea.
5. Add: Some crunchy nuts or seeds like sunflower seeds, fennel or almonds in place of chewing gum.
Why? When you chew gum, you swallow air. All that air gets trapped in your GI tract causes bloating and belly expansion.
(Sandhya Gugnani is an expert Nutritionist. Visit her at: www.yournutritionandhealth.com)