Had a big night and went on a salty food binge? It’s no surprise you’re feeling bloated. As we enter the silly season, chances are you might be experiencing more bloat than ever. Never fear! Dietitian Susie Burrell has the solution.
Is there anything worse than feeling bloated? That heavy feeling commonly experienced after eating a large meal, indulging in heavy food or after a few too many celebratory drinks.
It often leaves us feeling fatigued, puffy and even carrying a couple of extra kilos of weight so that favourite clothes are no longer comfortable.
While bloating can be experienced for a number of reasons, these symptoms tend to be exacerbated after eating a lot more salt, which dramatically dehydrates us and increases fluid retention.
So if you regularly wake up after a big night out and your stomach is barely recognisable, here are the simple steps to take control of the Christmas party bloat as quickly as possible.
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Start with a green detox
One of the simplest, most natural ways to rid the body of extra fluid is to increase your intake of the mineral potassium.
Potassium is found in high amounts in leafy greens, most veggies, bananas, avocado as well as dairy.
For this reason, starting your day with a green juice made with high water veggies such as spinach, celery, cucumber, kale as well as banana, avo and plenty of ice and water, will not only help rehydrate you quickly, but the high potassium content of a green juice will see the kidneys respond and rid extra fluid quickly.
Plus, you will get a major nutrient hit after consuming so many plant-based foods in a single glass.
Focus on fluids
It may not make a lot of sense to drink more when you are carrying fluid but the simple act of drinking more is what you need to do to help restore fluid balance in the body.
As fluids are also digested more quickly than solid food, opting for a day of liquid food – think yoghurt, soup, smoothies, veggie juices, tea and water itself will empty your digestive tract within a few hours compared to up to a day for solid, more complex meals.
Feed the gut
We are regularly told of the importance of gut health, and indeed ensuring that you are feeding the gut with the pre and probiotic mixes it needs will help to restore balance over time. Specifically probiotic-rich foods, including plain yoghurt with cultures, and fermented drinks such as kefir have been shown to help reduce the symptoms of bloating and improve gut comfort.
Opt for high water foods
Just as green juice will boost your intake of potassium, so too will foods with an especially high water content – think watermelon, berries, cucumber, celery, tomatoes, apples and oranges which are the perfect foods to munch on the day after a big night out.
Seek out a special tea
There are a number of herbal teas known for their specific diuretic effects, including dandelion, hibiscus and fennel tea and while you can have too much of these herbal mixes, opting for a couple of cups will help to reduce bloating within an hour or two.
Black and green teas, too, have a natural diuretic effect thanks to the caffeine they contain.
Susie Burrell holds two honours degrees in Nutrition & Dietetics and Psychology. She is especially known for her practical, easy to understand approach to diet, nutrition and wellbeing.