Bikini Body Foods – What Should We Choose? (Part 1) - Beat the bloat

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Worried about baring your body on the beach? Nutritionist Christine Bailey reveals how certain foods can help solve the problem.

Help! Summer’s here and we can’t always hide our trouble spots under baggy jumpers and cosy trousers. Even if you’ve been following a fitness and healthy eating programme, some things are hard to fix. But don’t panic – here are some key foods and supplements that can come to the rescue.

Beat the bloat

We all feel bloated from time to time, but if it’s ongoing, it’s worth checking for any underlying health issues. Avoiding certain foods can be helpful in reducing gas, with the top culprits including beans, pulses, chewing gum, fizzy drinks, onion and garlic. Food intolerances to foods such as gluten or wheat can contribute to fluid retention and bloating, so if you suspect this may be a factor, try avoiding the suspect foods for a few weeks to see if symptoms improve. Keeping a food diary can help, or seek support from a nutritional therapist who can do food intolerance testing for you.

·         Hormonal helpers. If bloating is particularly noticeable at certain times during your menstrual cycle, try including more phytoestrogen-rich foods to help balance hormones. These include flaxseed, soy, alfalfa sprouts, fennel, celery and oats.

·         Sip coconut. Drinking more water may not be the first thing on your mind when your belly’s swollen, but staying properly hydrated can help cleanse the body and stimulate your digestive tract. Coconut water is rich in electrolytes, particularly potassium, which can help reduce water retention.

Coconut water is rich in electrolytes, particularly potassium, which can help reduce water retention.

Coconut water is rich in electrolytes, particularly potassium, which can help reduce water retention.

 

·         Go herbal. Certain herbal teas can help relieve fluid retention and bloating. Peppermint tea relaxes tense muscles in the digestive tract, allowing gas to dispel more quickly and easily. Fennel is a carminative, promoting digestion – the tea and seeds can be helpful in reducing gas. In addition, kick-start the day with a glass of hot water with a squeeze of lemon to promote digestion and, for fluid retention, try dandelion and nettle teas for their diuretic properties.

Peppermint tea relaxes tense muscles in the digestive tract, allowing gas to dispel more quickly and easily.

Peppermint tea relaxes tense muscles in the digestive tract, allowing gas to dispel more quickly and easily.

·         Belly burners. Fermented foods such as yoghurt and kefir contain beneficial bacteria that may improve digestion and reduce bloating. Studies have also shown that low-fat dairy products can help you burn belly fat too – up to 70 per cent more fat if consumed regularly. This appears to be due to the fact that a high amount of calcium helps break down fat cells more effectively, and lower cortisol levels.

·         Choose chia. If you’re prone to constipation, include chia seeds daily with plenty of water. Chia seeds and flaxseeds are rich in soluble fibre and help promote elimination and bowel movements. Simply add a tablespoon to a morning smoothie daily.

Chia seeds and flaxseeds are rich in soluble fibre and help promote elimination and bowel movements.

Chia seeds and flaxseeds are rich in soluble fibre and help promote elimination and bowel movements.

Top summer supplements

·         Protect your skin with these natural remedies.

·         Antioxidant complex. Helps skin regeneration and protects skin from damage.

·         Collagen. Helps prevent sun damage and reduces inflammation.

·         Hyaluronic acid. Helps keep skin moisturized.

 

 
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