How Do You Fight Back Against Bloat? (Healthy Hollywood)

Keri Glassman Keri Glassman

Nutritionist Keri Glassman, who regularly shares her expertise on Access Hollywood and Access Hollywood Live, is answering your nutrition, diet and health questions.

Want to know how celebrities are getting their fabulous post-baby bodies? And, if their diet plan is right for you?

This week’s question…

“How exactly did Margot Robbie wear a tight white dress to the Globes? No matter how much weight I lose, I always feel bloated. Help! What makes me bloat?” ~Hillary B., Reno, Nev.

Keri says…

This definitely depends on you as bloating foods do vary person to person, but you are not alone — we all experience bloating from time to time.

Bloating can be one of two things: a buildup of gas in the abdomen (caused by digestion, swallowed air, or an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine), or it can be water retention (caused usually by carbonated beverages, highly processed foods, fried foods, gum and hard candy, foods with sugar alcohols, cruciferous veggies and beans). Although some medical conditions involving the major organs can cause bloating and water retention, the basic, puffy feeling we have all experienced can often be avoided with a few simple changes (phew!).

How to avoid gas buildup (as a byproduct of digestion):

Beware of beans and vary your veggies: Skip beans and other vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts (there are plenty of other veggies to choose from!). Raffinose, a complex sugar which creates extra gas, is the problem here.

Say boo to the moo: Lactose, a natural sugar found in milk, is to blame here.

Fruit wisely: Ditch apples, peaches, and prunes: Sorbitol, a natural sugar (but is also found in sugar-free candy and gum), is the culprit. But fear not! Papaya and pineapple both contain digesting-aiding enzymes!

Find the right fiber: Soluble fiber, found in foods like oat bran and peas, create gas. However, insoluble fiber, referred to as “nature’s broom”, keeps the digestive tract moving along.

Be pro probiotic: Probiotics can be taken via a supplement, but you can also find them in fermented foods (such as sauerkraut and kefir) and they aid in digestion.

Go for asparagus: Asparagus contains certain probiotic-like compounds, which also help in digestion.

Chow slowly, then walk!: This one is easy-- make sure you don’t swallow excess air when you eat and take your time. After your meal, go for a stroll — it can help you digest your food. Seriously!

How to avoid fluid retention:

Steer clear of salty foods: High levels of sodium cause excess fluid retention, making you look puffy all over. Even if you’re eating healthy real foods you may be getting too much from foods like olives and cottage cheese.

Pack up the processed foods (to be thrown away): Highly processed foods are very high in sodium. They are also often low in fiber which creates one big traffic jam in your intestines and may cause constipation.

Definitely have some dandelion greens: This green acts as a natural flushing agent. Try adding them to your salad or steam them and enjoy as a side at dinnertime.

Find those fruits and vegetables: Although some may initially cause gas during digestion, as your body gets used to digesting them, this will go away. Their high water content helps rid the body of excess fluid: the more water you take in, the less your body will retain it.

Channel celery and fennel: These tasty, crunchy veggies act as diuretics, helping you to lose excess water you’re retaining.

Make time for tea (peppermint, ginger, and chamomile): These teas can help food to pass through the stomach and even can relieve gas. Drinking water alone will also help flush extra fluid from your system.

Next time you find yourself on the “bloat” boat, you now have the tools you need to fight it. Now, go dress shopping!

-- Terri MacLeod & Keri Glassman

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