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Eat These 12 Foods to Flatten Your Belly

Whether you’re preparing for a beach day, a special event, or you just want to feel your best, incorporating certain foods into your diet can make all the difference when it comes to banishing bloat. To prevent a balloon-like belly, you’ll want to limit or avoid dairy products, sugary foods, excess salt, carbonated beverages, and fatty items — and instead opt for the following 12 foods.

Bananas

It’s no surprise that bananas are a great source of potassium, but potassium can help manage your body’s sodium levels and prevent constipation-caused bloating. To make starch more easily digestible, look for the ripest bananas.

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Celery

Celery naturally fights fluid retention and can help diminish intestinal gas. Plus, being a high-fiber food, celery boosts your digestive system to keep you regular.

Pineapple

This tropical fruit is high in the enzyme bromelain. It helps break down protein and eases digestion, helping to banish the bloat. Skip dessert and nosh on some pineapple instead.

Watermelon

Thanks to watermelon’s high-water content, the fruit can help reduce bloating by ridding excess water retention in your body. And on top of hydrating you, melons are another good source of potassium, which we’ve learned keeps your sodium levels in check.

Oatmeal

Starting your morning with a bowl of oatmeal is a great way to fight bloating. The oat bran in this whole grain cereal promotes digestion, which helps you keep a flat belly all day long.

Cucumber

Who knew that cucumbers can depuff your eyes and your belly? In addition to being high in water, this veggie contains a flavonoid antioxidant called quercetin, which can help decrease bloating. Snack on slices or add some into your water.

Ginger

This super root can really do it all, from easing nausea to aiding digestion. Ginger is anti-inflammatory and can help fight gas and bloating. Try adding freshly grated ginger into your smoothies, teas, or water for extra flavor with benefits.

Yogurt

Maintaining a healthy gut is key to keeping bloating at bay, and yogurt (that isn’t high in sugar!) just so happens to be one of the best ways to get gut-friendly probiotics. Assuming you’re not lactose-intolerant, adding some yogurt into your diet can nourish your gut, fill you up on protein, and fight bloat with active cultures.

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Turmeric

Colder nights call for warming curries featuring turmeric, and this healing spice stimulates digestion. Keeping things moving translates into less gas and less bloating.

Papaya

This delicious fruit contains an enzyme called papain (appropriate, right?) that helps break down proteins in the digestive tract and improves digestion as a result. Those who don’t produce enough of this enzyme can benefit from eating more papaya. But, be sure to add papaya into your diet gradually if you don’t already eat a fiber-rich diet — otherwise, you may experience more bloating and gas from introducing it too quickly.

Rosemary

A flavorful herb, rosemary is used to treat indigestion in Europe. Although its digestive benefits have yet to be studied, rosemary is a member of the tummy-friendly mint family, so it can’t hurt to add this herb to marinades, salad dressings, and roasted vegetables.

Fennel

In season from Autumn through early Spring, fennel, especially its seeds, relaxes muscles in your GI tract to help relieve that gassy feeling. Add slices of the bulb to salads, or brew tea with the seeds to help relieve bloating.

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