When it comes to bloating, it's not all about the foods you have to avoid.
Loading up on some of these natural tummy-soothers will reduce cramping and water retention and set you on the path to a happier, healthier stomach.
Fennel seeds: Folk medicine has championed fennel seeds for reducing bloating for years; the little liquorice-y seeds relax gastrointestinal spasms and cramps, allowing gas to pass. Try fennel tea, or go straight to the source and nibble on them directly.
Ginger: Anyone who has suffered from morning sickness will recognise ginger as a natural nausea-soother, but it can also ease bloating. Anti-inflammatory properties calm the gut and relax the muscles of the digestive tract, just like fennel seeds.
Asparagus: Believe it or not, asparagus makes you pee; the vegetable is a natural diuretic, which flushes out excess water and, in the process, reduces bloat. It’s also packed with prebiotics, which aids the growth of “good” bacteria.
Papaya: It’s not just a lip salve! Papaya is bursting with an enzyme called papain that helps to break down protein and ease digestion, as well as anti-inflammatory properties.
Yoghurt: Probiotics are great for gut health and yoghurt is a delicious source of these good bacteria. And, as well as encouraging a happy, productive digestive tract, yoghurt is a great source of protein, setting you up for a happy, productive day! Look for one with “active cultures” for best results.
Oats: Oats can be particularly beneficial to your digestion, making your tummy a lot happier. And, just in time for the cooler winter weather, gives you a great excuse to load up on porridge.
Bananas: Potassium-rich foods like bananas are exactly what you’re looking for when you’re bloated and blah; as well as regulating sodium levels, they contain soluble fibre that can relieve constipation, which could also be contributing to the problem.
Avocados: Since we’re on the topic of potassium, you can also reach for an avo or two to beat the bloat. Like bananas, they prevent water retention and salt-induced bloating. Plus, they’re packed with healthy fats and provide you with slow-burning energy.
Cucumber: Cucumbers do the same thing to your tummy as your under-eye puffiness: reduce swelling. Their healing properties are all down to an anti-oxidant called quercetin, so slice 'em and dice 'em and get them all through a salad.
Mint: As well making a refreshing drink to sip on during your meal, adding fresh mint to your table water can combat bloating and soothe your gut. Or, finish up each night with a cup of soothing chamomile tea; it does the same job.
This story originally appeared on Food To Love.