Do you often suffer from the sluggishness and discomfort of belly bloating? You might juice, but aren’t sure how to make juices for belly bloating.
It’s a fairly common thing to have happen. It makes you feel like you’ve swallowed a soccer ball that’s just sitting there in your tummy. Often your abdomen “pooches out” so you can’t fit comfortably into your clothes.
Bloating is a sign of excessive gas in your intestines or that fluid has built up between the cells in your abdominal area. Often, bloat can be prevented or reversed just by altering your daily diet and drinking plenty of water and other healthy fluids like juice.
Among other things, a diet that’s high in salt can cause water retention, which in turn sometimes brings on bloat. That’s because the excess salt dehydrates your body’s tissues, so it retains water to combat it. It’s pretty clear what you should do if your high-salt diet is causing your bloated feeling and belly distension – cut back on salt and processed foods, and drink lots of water to flush out all that extra salt in your system.
Overindulging in alcohol (especially beer) or carbonated soft drinks (the bubbles cause gas) sometimes brings on bloat. You know what to do there, too. And sometimes bloat is associated with a gastrointestinal upset like indigestion or constipation.
Besides drinking more water and cutting back on your salt, alcohol and carbonated beverage intake, is there anything else you can do? Are there specific juices that will help make the discomfort of bloat go away? People have a tendency to reduce their fluid intake when they’re feeling bloated.
Their theory (conscious or otherwise) is that their body is retaining water, so the bloating should correct itself if they drink less water and other fluids. In truth, though, people who are suffering from tummy bloat should drink more juice and water, not less.
That’s because retaining fluids is your body’s way of preventing dehydration. So, when you’re fighting bloat, drink plenty of juice, water and other fluids, not less.
Here are four common fruits and veggies that you can use to make juices for belly bloating:
Lemon is a gentle, natural laxative and diuretic. Because lemon possesses these properties, drinking lemon juice can help alleviate constipation and flush the excess salt from your system. Once the extra salt is removed, your body will reduce the amount of water it retains (thereby helping you to “debloat”). Try drinking lemon juice with some peppermint leaves sprinkled in (the peppermint helps with indigestion).
Between the lemon and the peppermint, you’ll enjoy a wholesome and flavorful juice that can help reduce your bloat. As with any juice you’re drinking to fight belly bloat, drink it directly from the glass (not through a straw) so you’re not swallowing any extra air (which can be another cause of bloat).
Celery has long been used to regulate the bowels and control excessive intestinal gas. Compounds in celery have been shown to reduce the amount of water that’s retained by the body, and its high water content can help flush out excessive amounts of salt. Juicing it by itself, or adding some stalks to your regular juice recipes can help you fight off belly bloat.
Likewise, cucumber’s high water content make it one of the great juices for belly bloating. Like the other types of produce I’m highlighting in this article, cucumber is a natural diuretic. It contains so much water that it helps remove excess salt from your system, in turn helping to prevent water retention and thereby helping to reduce bloating. Juicing cucumber will give you a healthful anti-bloat beverage with a cool, refreshing flavor. Or, you could simply add some to your usual juice recipes.
Virtually every type of melon provides health benefits, but watermelon’s extremely high water content (about 92% of a watermelon’s flesh consists of water) means it’s a potent natural diuretic. Like juicing lemon, celery, and/or cucumber, juicing watermelon can help flush excess salt from your system.
That, in turn, will “convince” your body that it doesn’t need to retain water in order to protect itself against the possibility of dehydration that excess salt can cause. Juice it by itself, or add some to your usual juice recipes to help combat belly bloat.
As you can see, lemon, celery, cucumber and watermelon all have properties that can help you fight belly bloat. You can add one or two of them to your regular juice recipes, or, for the strongest effect, make a juice that contains all four.
One note: Melons are best juiced alone, however, I do not think its the biggest deal to mix them with other things every once in a while. Just make sure you have a restroom handy for a couple of hours after you drink this “super bloat-fighting juice” – the diuretic effects of these fruits and veggies mean you’ll probably be urinating quite a bit.
Besides helping to fight your belly bloat, juicing lemon, celery, cucumber, and/or watermelon ensures that you’ll get a big dose of healthy nutrients at the same time.
A few other ways to fight belly bloat:
- Reduce your overall salt/sodium intake
- Avoid eating too many processed foods
- Limit your intake of carbonated beverages and alcohol
- Eat high-fiber foods
- Limit the “gassy” foods you eat (Brussels sprouts, onion and beans, among others, are otherwise healthy foods that are notorious for producing intestinal gas)
- Make sure you get enough exercise and sleep
- Drink plenty of fresh water in addition to your juice
- Fresh aloe vera juice will soothe a sore or sour stomach that could also cause belly bloat- add a little bit to your juices every day
- Try to swallow less air – drink directly from the cup, glass or other container, not through a straw
- Avoid high-fat foods
- Avoid eating large meals – eat four to six smaller meals per day instead of three large ones.
A “banish belly bloat” juice recipe:
- 1 cucumber, sliced
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 lemon, peeled
- 2 apples, cored and sliced
Juice all of these ingredients together in your juicer. Drink immediately. If you’d like to add optional green leaf lettuce, this will help too. You should notice a difference in your bloating within one day, but if you still feel bloated, drink this juice (or one of the other juices for belly bloating) for a few days until you start to see improvement.
Mark Dilworth, BA, PES Her Fitness Hut