You know the signs — an uncomfortably tight waistband, abdominal pain, excess gas — being bloated isn’t pleasant. After a decadent Thanksgiving meal, you might be all too familiar with that feeling (if you overdid it, don’t worry — here’s how to get back on track). This overly-full sensation can happen for many reasons, even if you haven’t eaten too much.
Health conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or constipation, and the foods you eat can all contribute to bloating.1 Besides consuming smaller amounts of foods that may cause discomfort, including carbonated water, beans, milk and apples,1 eating certain foods may help to naturally reduce your symptoms.
These seven holiday bloat-battling foods may be added to menus from Jenny Craig in moderation and most can be found on the Fresh & Free Additions list.
If you are on the Jenny Craig program, check with your consultant before making any swaps or changes to your plan to ensure you stay on track!
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Try this: Slice cucumbers for a quick snack, add them to a salad for extra crunch, or use them to infuse your water for a crisp and refreshing drink.
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Fennel seeds, brewed into a tea, have been shown to help relieve gas.3
Try this: With its sweet, licorice-like flavor, fennel is also a welcome addition to citrus salads and vegetable sautés.
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If you’re suffering from bloating, gas or constipation, try adding ginger to your next meal. Eating ginger may help to reduce gas, bloating and intestinal cramping.4
Try this: Toss some pickled ginger in a salad, grate it into a stir-fry or make a tea by boiling some slices in water. You can even chill it for a zesty thirst-quencher.
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Replace salty ingredients with a spritz of lemon juice as an alternative to adding extra salt. Diets high in sodium may be linked to bloating.5
Try this: Squeeze a wedge of lemon into your water — its bright, fresh taste might encourage you to drink more. Staying hydrated may also help flush excess fluids and sodium from your body. (Check out these tips to help you stay hydrated.)
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This tropical fruit may help to reduce bloating. A small study found that women who included bananas in their diet significantly lowered their levels of bloating, compared to a control group that only drank water.6
Try this: Sprinkle sliced bananas with cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice for a sweet treat. Or, whip up this simple banana ice cream recipe. If your goals include weight loss, aim for half of a banana per serving.
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Peppermint oil could be a powerful tool to help beat bloating. Study participants with IBS enjoyed some relief after taking peppermint oil capsules.7 Peppermint oil has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anesthetic qualities, which may help manage IBS symptoms, including abdominal pain and constipation.7
Try this: To help relieve mild bloating, try brewing mint or a peppermint tea bag in hot water for a soothing drink or adding chopped mint to sliced cucumbers for a tasty, light side dish.
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The probiotics in yogurt may make it an excellent choice to help with bloating. If you’re lactose-intolerant, dairy may not be a good option to reduce your symptoms, however, eating yogurt with certain probiotics (Lactobaccilus acidophilus and Lactobacillus bulgofilu) may be beneficial to people who normally avoid dairy products.8
Try this: Stir a handful of fresh berries, a small amount of nut butter, and your favorite spices into plain nonfat Greek yogurt for a protein-rich snack or healthy breakfast.
Feel better, not bloated
Feeling bloated can be an uncomfortable, and sometimes embarrassing, experience. To help improve symptoms, give one of the seven foods a try — you might just feel better.
Remember to always consult your doctor before making changes to your diet.
Want to learn more about how healthy eating habits can help you feel your best? Jenny Craig can help. Enjoy a delicious, balanced diet that fits your lifestyle — choose your menu plan today!
Nicki is a journalist with expertise in healthy eating and exercise. She is the former editor-in-chief of Competitor Running and managing editor of Women's Running magazines and writes articles and crafts recipes for a variety of websites and publications. She also loves cycling, making music and is wild about cats, dogs and other animals.
Favorite healthy snack: anything with nut butter!
Briana is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Personal Trainer for Jenny Craig, based in Carlsbad, California. She is passionate about utilizing food as functional and preventative medicine. Guided by a simplistic and optimistic approach, Briana’s philosophy is to help people improve their health and achieve their goals through the development of sustainable habits to live a healthy life. In her free time, you can find her strength training, indoor cycling, coffee tasting, and at local eateries with her husband and two dogs.
Favorite healthy snack: peanut butter with celery alongside a grapefruit-flavored sparkling water (so refreshing!)
This article is based on scientific research and/or other scientific articles and was written by an experienced health and lifestyle contributor and fact-checked by Briana Rodriquez, RDN, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist at Jenny Craig.
Our goal at Jenny Craig is to provide the most up-to-date and objective information on health-related topics, so our readers can make informed decisions based on factual content. All articles undergo an extensive review process, and depending on topic, are reviewed by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) or Nutritionist, to ensure accuracy.
This article contains trusted sources including scientific, peer-reviewed papers. All references are hyperlinked at the end of the article to take readers directly to the source.