Bloating is a common problem, and it is often associated with constipation and gas. Some foods and beverages can help reduce bloating and ease gastrointestinal (GI) discomfort.
Bloating is frequently caused by gas, indigestion, and constipation. Focusing on solving these issues can help minimize bloating.
One way to reduce constipation is to eat enough fiber-rich plant foods. These can include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. However, since including too much fiber in the diet too quickly can cause bloating, experts recommend adding it slowly and gradually.
Eating foods that are high in probiotic bacteria, like kefir and kimchi, can promote gut health. This can help reduce and prevent bloating.
Aside from eating healthy foods, staying hydrated can help prevent constipation and water retention.
Read more to learn what foods and drinks can help reduce and prevent bloating.
Below are fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beverages that can reduce bloating.
Oranges are a good source of fiber and water, which can help prevent water retention and promote regular bowel movements. They are also rich in vitamin C, which may increase the health of the bacterial community in the gut.
Also a good source of fiber, bananas contain potassium, which can help regulate sodium levels and prevent water retention.
A small 2011 study also indicated that bananas may be associated with less bloating. It found that females who ate a banana twice a day had less bloating than those who did not.
The results indicate eating bananas daily may promote the growth of a beneficial strain of gut bacteria, noted the authors.
In addition to containing 1.4 grams (g) of fiber per serving, pineapples contain enzymes called bromelain. This enzyme is often used in traditional medicine to treat digestive complaints, though little research has been done on its efficacy.
One older 2010 study found that pineapple juice reduced inflammation in mice with inflammatory bowel disease. Due to the encouraging results, the authors recommended clinical trials to determine if it has a similar effect on humans.
Berries contain 2.1 g of fiber per serving, which is good for digestive health. They are also an excellent source of antioxidants, which can promote gut health.
A 2013 study states that papayas are sometimes used as a home remedy for digestive complaints. The 40-day study compared the effects of taking a papaya supplement with those of taking a placebo. It showed that the participants who took the papaya had less constipation and bloating.
Tomatoes contain prebiotics, a nondigestible food component that promotes the growth of healthy gut bacteria. The prebiotics in tomatoes are beneficial for people who have Crohn’s disease, malabsorption, and several other bloating-related conditions.
Like other legumes, lentils are high in fiber. They are also plentiful in resistant starches, a carbohydrate that resists digestion and contributes to GI health.
Broccoli, which is also high in fiber, may also reduce bloating by improving gut health. A 2017 study on mice showed that mice on a broccoli-augmented diet tolerated digestive issues better than mice who did not eat broccoli.
The vegetable contains a chemical that may help maintain the health of the bacterial community in the gut, concluded the authors.
However, more research in humans is needed to understand broccoli’s full effects.
Carrots are high in vitamin A, which is important for maintaining homeostasis in the gut. Research also suggests that dietary sources of vitamin A increase the strains of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
A 2017 study reports that celery is high in apigenin, a flavonoid that naturally occurs in plants. The research shows that celery can increase the growth and diversity of gut bacteria, which could improve digestion.
Spinach is a nutrient-dense, high fiber vegetable. Research also shows it may increase the population of one of the healthy bacterial strains in the gut called Lactobacillus.
In addition to being a satisfying source of whole grains, oats contain an ample amount of fiber. They also have a type of carbohydrate called beta-glucan, which may alleviate colitis, which is inflammation in the colon.
13. Fermented foods
Many fermented foods, such as kefir, kombucha, and sauerkraut, contain probiotics, which are “friendly” strains of bacteria that are beneficial for gut health.
Although little research has explored their value, some test-tube studies have shown promising results. These studies suggest the need for further research.
14. Ginger tea
Ginger is a common home remedy for bloating, constipation, nausea, and other GI complaints. Although more studies are necessary to provide evidence of its effectiveness, it has no known side effects, and many people enjoy drinking ginger tea.
15. Peppermint tea
Peppermint tea is a home remedy for GI troubles. More research is necessary to prove its effectiveness, but it may reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.