By Carina Wolff
Ugh, bloating. No matter how well you take care of yourself, it happens. And when it does, it’s uncomfortable and a nuisance.
“The causes of bloating can be varied. You might be allergic to something, have gut trouble, or even a hormonal imbalance,” says Dr. Josh Axe, D.N.M., C.N.S., D.C., founder of Ancient Nutrition and DrAxe.com. “But bloating normally happens because you’re having digestive issues.”
Your best bet? Avoid foods that you know trigger bloating (we’re looking at you, beans and fizzy drinks), and stock up on these foods that fight bloat by giving your digestion a boost.
1. Leafy Greens
“These heavy hitters are high in magnesium, which aids digestion by softening stool and drawing water in from the gut,” Axe says. “Plus, they’re full of fiber.” In other words: roughage. Think outside the salad bowl: Toss a handful of kales into your morning smoothie, add spinach to soups and sandwiches, or cook up some collards with a bit of garlic, lemon, and olive oil.
2. Flax Seeds
“Because flax seeds are packed with fiber, they can help you treat constipation and digestion,” Axe says. “Flax seeds don’t really have a taste, so you can sneak them into foods without altering the flavor.” Stick to ground flax seeds, though, as they are easier to digest.
“This fermented drink is loaded with the good stuff your digestive system loves, like probiotics, enzymes, and amino acids, all of which fight against the free radicals that can wreak havoc with digestion,” Axe says. “Some research suggests it may help to keep candida, or yeast, from growing wild in your gut.”
Pro tip: Kombucha does contain sugar, as some is required to start the fermentation process—be sure to check labels and select the lowest-sugar brands and flavors you can find. We love any of the traditional kombuchas from Wild Tonic. They’re sweetened with honey rather than cane sugar, the flavors are spot on, and the level of bubbles is perfect.
4. Brown Rice
Because many people are sensitive to gluten, opting for gluten-free grains such as brown rice can help alleviate bloating. “Try baking with brown rice flour, using brown rice pasta products, or making your own rice bowl loaded with protein and veggies,” Axe says.
5. Fennel Oil
Fennel has long been used as a remedy for digestive troubles in Chinese, Indian, Egyptian, and Greek culture. “It’ll help keep you going to the bathroom regularly, eliminate gas, and help keep new gases from forming,” Axe says. Although fresh fennel is good for you, too, the oil is more concentrated. It also doesn’t require your body to digest the herb first, leading to faster relief. Just add a drop or two to your favorite tea and say bye bye bloat.