Avoid: salty foodsFabrikaSimf/Shutterstock
Summer is officially here and the last thing anyone wants to think about during swimsuit season is deflating a bloated belly. So what exactly is bloat? And how do you navigate through upcoming wedding dinners, barbecues, and garden parties without bulging in the middle? While it’s true that salty foods can lead to water retention around the mid-section, the key isn’t avoiding fluids but rather skipping the salt-laden snacks like chips and pretzels. “In most healthy adults, bloating is actually caused by excess gas building up in the abdomen—it is typically not caused by fluid retention. If there is fluid retention, we begin to worry about health issues, such as liver failure,” explains Neal Malik, DrPH, MPH, RDN, lead of Master of Science in Nutrition for Wellness program at Bastyr University “Bloating can make us feel downright miserable since abdominal pain and cramping are a common symptom. A distended belly can make it seem as though you have added extra pounds around the waistline, but this usually is not true, and again, it is likely due to the buildup of gas.” Luckily, there are plenty of foods that actually help prevent or relieve symptoms of bloating. Make sure you know the other reasons you’re feeling bloated.
In addition to using fresh yogurt to create a relaxing DIY face mask and ease a sunburn, you’ll want to stock up your fridge with this healthy snack. “Because of its high probiotic content, yogurt is helpful for easing belly bloat,” says Dr. Malik. “It is also lower in lactose, so it may be consumed by those with mild lactose intolerance (but not those with a milk allergy).” Worried you might be lactose intolerant? Check yourself for these seven common symptoms.