BEAT THE POST-HOLIDAY BLOAT

People aren’t perfect, your diet shouldn’t be either. Don’t feel guilty about the occasional happy hour or ice cream run, it’s all about that 80/20 balance. But after beer and pizza, we typically feel the consequences and end up with a bloated belly. While cutting back on refined carbs, sodium and booze can help, try incorporating detoxifying superfoods into your diet, stay hydrated and get your probiotics to beat the post-holiday bloat.

Probiotics

In your gut there are thousands of little microbes that have a huge impact on everything from how you digest your nutrients to how you handle stress. Probiotics can have a profound impact on bloating by helping your body digest foods efficiently.

Probiotics can be found in fermented foods like kombucha, unpasteurized sauerkraut and yogurt. Supplements can be a foolproof way to ensure you’re getting enough of these little guys, but look for a high quality one with multiple strains instead of just one or two.

Fiber Rich Foods

Fiber helps to keep things moving throughout the colon, ridding your body of toxins and extra unwanted stuff. There are two types of fiber, soluble (pulls water into the colon to soften and move stool) and insoluble (bulks up the stool).

Shoot for 30-35g of fiber (total) each day from fruits, vegetables and whole grains. When looking at food labels, 3-4g per snack and 5-10g per meal will help you hit that 30-35g daily goal. One cup of raspberries packs in 7g of fiber, toss some on a salad, in your oatmeal or pair with cheese or almonds for a balanced snack.

Stay Hydrated

Since fiber pulls water to the colon, staying sufficiently hydrated is key to reducing bloat. In addition to the fiber packed in fruits and vegetables, they also provide water to keep things moving. Divide your body weight in half and aim for that many ounces per day.

Potassium Rich Foods

Potassium works against sodium to lower blood pressure and maintain fluid balance in the body. Americans typically only get half of the recommended 4,700mg per day. Potatoes, salmon and leafy greens boast some of the highest potassium contents. Keeping sodium within the recommended 2,300mg or less recommendation also helps to reduce unwanted bloat. With meals look for 500mg sodium or below and at least 500mg potassium.

Check out our Flat Belly Foods blog for more tips to beat that bloated belly.