Pictured recipe: Asparagus and Smoked Mozzarella Pizzettes
Feeling puffed-up? You're not alone: About 10 percent of Americans admit to feeling bloated "regularly," even when a big meal isn't involved.
Of course, eating too much can be a cause, but so can eating too fast and eating the wrong things.
"Bloating can be caused by both the foods we eat and the environment in which we consume those foods. There is not one type of food that causes bloating for everyone, we are all different so it is important to pay attention to the foods that typically cause bloating for you," says Ashley Reaver, R.D., a registered dietitian at Ashley Reaver Nutrition LLC in Oakland, California.
Try keeping a food diary for a week to track each bite and your bloat level afterwards.
"Some may find that they feel more bloated after consuming dairy products, while others may find that they don't tolerate foods and beverages containing sugar alcohols," says. Michelle Hyman, M.S., R.D., C.D.N., a registered dietitian at Simple Solutions Weight Loss.
Constipation can also be the cause of bloating, if that's the case with you, "gradually increase your dietary fiber intake—think whole fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans—and drink more water," Hyman suggests.
Regardless of why you're bloated, here's how to potentially help your tummy feel more like its usual self.
What to Eat to Help Bloating
Since each person, each digestive tract and our responses to certain foods is different, it's important to individualize the elimination of foods, Reaver says.
"A low-FODMAP diet is a relatively new treatment for consistent gassy bloating. FODMAPs are types of carbohydrates that can cause excess gas in the digestive process for some people, particularly if the microbiome lacks a variety of healthy bacteria," she says.
On a low-FODMAP plan, you'll likely reduce the intake of certain foods like onions, Brussels sprouts, stone fruits, dairy and gluten.
Try eliminating all of these items, then introducing one back at a time and noting symptoms in your food journal. Then, if you're still experiencing bloating symptoms, try these four foods.
Take your taste buds on a trip to the tropics with this vitamin C-rich fruit. It contains enzymes that may promote speedier digestion, according to Hyman.
Try this bloat-fighting recipe: Papaya-Avocado Salad
This fruit is aptly named—since it's 92 percent water, it can boost hydration and help flush excess sodium out of the body, Reaver says.
Try this bloat-fighting recipe: Watermelon Salsa
"Stalk" this vegetable when you're feeling bloated, since it contains loads of asparagine, an amino acid that acts as a diuretic and helps you flush out extra fluid, Hyman says.
Try this bloat-fighting recipe: Asparagus and Smoked Mozzarella Pizzettes
Brew a mug of this soothing, calorie-free beverage. According to Hyman, the herb's menthol may help relax stomach and intestine muscles involved in digestion. Not into hot tea? Try our iced version.
Buy It: Traditional Medicinals Organic Peppermint Herbal Leaf Tea ($22.71 for 96 bags, amazon.com)