One of the best food groups you can add to your diet if you’re dealing with a bloated belly is vegetables.
“Veggies are the lowest calorie food out there, and one of the most nutrient-dense foods too!” says Roxana Ehsani, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN, registered dietitian nutritionist and National Media Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “They are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and dietary fiber. They are jam-packed with nutrients and health benefits.”
However, it’s one food group that Americans rarely get enough of.
“Specifically over 90% of Americans are not eating the recommended amounts each day,” says Ehsani. “Veggies are also high in water content, so they can help hydrate you and hit your daily fluid goals each day as well.”
So thanks to their high water content and dietary fiber, consuming certain veggies can help your gut health, as fiber helps move things through your digestive tract, aiding you in having regular bowel movements and preventing constipation—and bloat that’s making your belly a bit rounder than normal.
If you’re looking to decrease your bloat for a flatter belly, the #1 veggie you should add to your diet is ginger.
“Ginger is one root veggie people may not think too much about, but it’s definitely the #1 veggie to include in your diet when you are looking to debloat,” says Ehsani.
She notes that ginger has many medicinal properties than can both flatten your belly as well as soothe your gut from the inside out. Specifically, ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that ease inflammation that can cause a larger belly. It also has enzymes that can help the body digest food more easily, helping to prevent that post-meal bloat.
“If you’re suffering from an upset stomach or nausea, ginger can help calm down your nausea as well,” says Ehsani. “It also has anti-inflammatory properties, so it can help reduce muscle pain or other types of inflammation in the body like arthritis. Ginger contains digestive enzymes that help your body break down proteins, so can help you better digest protein-rich foods.”
So next time you’re looking for a flatter belly, reach for some ginger.
Ehsani suggests that you can make a cup of ginger tea or add grated ginger to your next stir-fry.
Looking for more ideas? There are so many ways you can get more ginger into your diet for a flat belly.
“It’s so versatile! You can grate it and add it to soups, or add it as a spice when marinating chicken or fish,” says Ehsani. “You could add fresh or dried ginger to smoothies, smoothie bowls, or even your bowl of morning oats. You could add it to pretty much any sauce or marinade or dressing even.”
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