Want to stay “unpuffed” for the holidays?


With the holidays in full swing, and holiday cooking is at it’s peak, we wanted to give you a quick update on 7 foods that might make you feel a little “puffed up” that you might want to avoid during the next few weeks and beyond.

We all know that a delicious meal can come to a quick halt when bloat starts to set in. What causes this?  Normal bloat happens when gas develops in your stomach or intestinal tracts, and how your body breaks down food. Overeating is usually the main culprit, but foods that are difficult to digest (like ones that are fatty or high in fiber) or ones that produce bubbles in your intestines (caused from soda’s) tend to bring it on too. Bloating can likewise occur when your body holds too much water, usually from food with a high salt/sodium content.

Whatever the cause, puffing up is more than just irritating; it can slow you down and drain your energy. However it’s also simple to avoid if you stay with the ideal foods.  Here are a few of the ones you should avoid:

Beer: Believe it or not, beer has plenty of bubbles, which will leave you with a bloated tummy…(even more so than other carbonated beverages.) Studies show that alcohol can result in an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine, which can leave you feeling inflated.

Frozen Dinners:  Although TV or Frozen Dinners may be quick/prepared and easy to heat up and serve, be careful when buying processed foods.  Check the labels to see how much salt/sodium it has in it.  Many frozen dinners and some canned soups are normally heavy with salt.  Although it may help enhance the flavor, it may cause you to retain water and feel bloated.

Broccoli: We have all been told to eat our veggies as they are good for you. Keep in mind however, some like broccoli have a lot of fiber. Viberous veggies can sometimes be hard to digest and may produce gas (kale and broccoli are two examples). With such a nutritional value, there is no need to swear them off totally – just prepare them properly so your body doesn’t have to.  

Dairy: Lately you hear about so many people who have lactose issues or are sensitive to dairy products.  If you fall into that category, you might be one that milk items make you feel bloated.  When processing milk through your system, it releases gas which can cause that uncomfortable feeling.  To find out if you are feeling these symptoms from eating dairy, start an elimination diet and see if you feel better eating dairy-free.

Diet Soda: Diet soda’s (frankly ALL soda’s) are so bad for you.  Diet drinks are laden with artificial sweeteners that your body struggles to absorb.  Studies have shown that many of the sweeteners in these drinks  disrupt the natural balance in your stomach and results with a bigger belly…both short and long term.

Legumes: There is a reason that beans are called “the musical fruit”. As with broccoli, vegetables take a bigger effort to break down. While your body works overtime taking in the sugar and fiber, more gas is produced in your gut leaving you bloated.  But that shouldn’t be a reason to entirely cut the superfood out of your diet. After all, it’s a great source of protein, iron, and folate. If you’re having a big meal, it’s most likely best to stay away from things like beans and edamame.

Gum: Chewing gum or sucking on hard candy causes most people to swallow more often. Think of what you are swallowing…air! Extra air in your digestion system leaves you feeling bloated. Sugar-free gum is a particularly bad as like diet soda, most sugar-free gum contains sweetening agents that are tough for your body and also leave you to feel gassy.

What are some of the best remedies to find comfort from bloat?

Eat Bananas! Potassium acts to reverse to the effects of salt. Grabbing a potassium-packed fruit, like a banana, can regulate your body’s salt levels and get rid of that bloat.

Fennel Seeds are your buddy when it pertains to food digestion. In addition to being a diuretic – they also have a substance that might quiet gastrointestinal concerns. If you’re not into the concept of brewing a cup of fennel tea, you can easily slip it into practically any meat or pasta dish as a stomach-soothing spice.

Have a slice of Watermelon. Water retention can also be a reason you might be feeling bloated.  If your body is dehydrated, bloating can be a possible cause.  Strangely, the best way to get extra water into your system is to consume more and more water filled foods.  Watermelon will not only flush your body with water, it’s also a great source of potassium.   

Peppermint is such a great stomach soother, and reports show that peppermint oil fights cramping and gas. So the next time you feel bloated after a big dinner, sip on a cup of peppermint tea to soothe yourself.

Cucumbers are your belly’s buddy when it concerns bloating. Another watery veggie, they consist of quercetin, which is anti-inflammatory and may minimize the swell.

Papayas are loaded with an enzyme called papain.  This enzyme has actually been revealed to stop stomach troubles. Papain can help break down proteins in your system, making it easier to swallow food that’s tough to digest.

Ginger has actually long been celebrated for the many benefits it has for upset stomach issues.  Both an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, it’s been revealed to combat everything from aging to the most severe issues of bloat. Drink a cup of ginger tea or chew on some raw ginger post-feast if you find yourself in a serious state of uncomfortableness.

Eating is synonymous with the holidays.  Take the time to slow down, enjoy the food and do what you can to prevent getting bloated!  Happy Holidays.