The 7 Best Foods for Your Belly | Reader's Digest

The 7 Best Foods for Your Belly

These foods can help you beat inflammation and imbalanced gut flora, so you can soothe and shrink your stomach at the same time. Our 21-Day Tummy eating plan incorporates many of these delicious options in its recipes. See also: 7 Worst Foods for Your Belly.

By Liz Vaccariello from 21-Day Tummy (Reader's Digest Association)
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    High-Fiber and Antioxidant-Rich Vegetables

    All veggies are good for you. They are high in vitamins, phytonutrients, antioxidants, and fiber and are generally low in calories and low in fat. But certain varieties do contain FODMAPs, or rapidly fermentable carbohydrates that can aggravate your gut, that are difficult for some people to digest. Our plan focuses only on low-FODMAP veggies, especially those rich in anti- inflammatory magnesium and other important minerals. Found in: leafy green veggies (kale, Swiss chard, spinach), bell peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes.

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    Tummy-Trimming Fruits

    Many sweet fruits have a balanced glucose-to-fructose ratio, which may be easier on your gut than those with more fructose. Found in: bananas and blueberries, cantaloupe and honeydew, grapes, oranges, pineapple, papaya, strawberries, raspberries.

    Carb-light Grains

    Almost all grains are carb-dense and therefore may be bad for your tummy. Many, like wheat, are also high in FODMAPs. But since grains are such powerful (and delicious) sources of fiber, we included those that are high-fiber, low-FODMAP, and relatively carb-light. Found in: quinoa, oats, brown rice.

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    Nuts, Seeds, Nut Butters

    Nuts and seeds are great sources of energizing protein, low-fermentable (read: belly-soothing) fiber, and anti-inflammatory fats. But some nuts contain FODMAPs, so stick to this list. Nut butters made from these are also great options. Found in: almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, peanuts, pecans, pine nuts, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds.

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    Lean Protein

    Naturally carb-light, protein usually doesn’t cause digestion issues. But choose lean sources, since many are high in saturated fat, which can trigger inflammation. Found in: eggs, fish, lean cuts of beef, pork, skinless poultry, seafood, tofu, and tempeh.

    Greek Yogurt

    It has twice the protein of regular yogurt and less belly-irritating lactose.

    The Federation of Maple Syrup Producers

    Maple Syrup

    It has the least fructose compared with other sweeteners. You may tolerate maple syrup better than high-fructose honey or agave nectar.

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