Saturday 28 February 2015

Bikini Season: Eight foods to beat the bloat

Published 11/06/2014 | 20:48

With dieticians advocating super foods, Paleo fanatics taking over Instagram, and celebrities promoting the latest fad (5:2 we’re looking at you) - the struggle to get bikini ready is as confusing as ever.

It’s time to go back to basics- your body will naturally respond.

Whether you’re beach bound this summer or just need more confidence slipping into your skinny jeans- incorporate these ten foods into your meals and reap the benefits of a flatter tum.

Lemon & Herbal Teas

The fizz has got to go - even diet drinks,  which are often even more damaging to your system than the full-fat/sugar versions. The gas in carbonated drinks gets trapped in your stomach and causes belly-bloat.

Replace sodas with hot water flavoured with lemon (a natural diuretic and laxative) or herbal teas such as peppermint or dandelion which flush toxins and detox thanks to their natural antioxidants.

Watermelon

Watermelon is a sweet summer food ideal for the beach or picnic trips. Because it is comprised of 92% water,  it is a natural diuretic and contains potassium. Opt for a wedge of juicy watermelon instead of an ice cream cone and you will instantly feel more refreshed.

Herbs

If you want to feel less sluggish - put down the salt shaker. However, cupboard staples such as black pepper, nutmeg, cloves, chili powder, mustard and store-bought sauces are other offenders for the waistline.

While spicy foods give your metabolism a kick, they stimulate the release of stomach acid which causes irritation.

Instead add some flavour to your dishes with dried or fresh herbs such as dill, basil, mint, sage, tarragon, rosemary, or fresh lemon or lime juice.

Asparagus

These green spears are an anti-bloating superfood, as they flush all excess water from your system.

Asparagus contain both fibre, which promotes a good digestive system, and prebiotics, which encourage the growth of good bacteria which reduce gas.

Steamed Vegetables

While you might have good intentions eating your greens - raw cruciferous vegetables are actually quite difficult for the body to break down.

If cooking veggies like broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage, ensure you steam them to allow easier digestion.

Ginger

Ginger is an excellent anti-inflammatory and digestive aid. Fresh ginger can be added to stir-fries and soups, salad dressings, or smoothies.

Ginger powder can also be dissolved in water for a homemade tea.

Fennel Seeds

A relatively unknown member of the seed family, compared to its counterparts such as sunflower, flax and chia, fennel helps to relax GI spasms which occur after a meal and cause gas and bloating.

If you are a fiend for gum, chew raw fennel seeds instead, or add to salads or homemade bread.

Oats

Is there anything oats can’t do? This superfood contains plenty of fibre, which helps relieve constipation and promotes a feeling of fullness.

For a powerhouse breakfast, add blueberries and strawberries to your porridge to help clean out your system.

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