Beat the bloat for a flatter stomach.

Comments written for Byrdie Magazine on the following foods and their impact on a flatter stomach?

There is so much literature out there on how we can have a flatter stomach. Is it through solely exercise, water intake, a nutritious diet , hormonal changes, or are there certain foods that we eat that make us feel incredibly uncomfortable. Us, women often experience a lot of bloating and  the factors that can influence it are wide ranging. I was asked to write a few comments for an online magazine, Byrdie about whether these foods could have an impact on our stomachs and its distension. Can we beat the bloat for a flatter stomach with those ?This is the first part of 2 blogs i will be uploading.

Oats
Loving porridge oats? Well you should definitely keep up with it, if achieving a flat stomach is one of your health goals. Oats are packed with a form of soluble dietary fibre; ‘beta glucans’ which support healthy digestion and regular bowel movements with the excretion of dietary waste and toxins. These help prevent the bloat. Beta -glucans supports a reduction in the rise in blood glucose levels that occurs after meals. By keeping blood glucose levels stable, we feel fuller for longer and experience fewer of those nagging sweet cravings. This effect can help us lose our belly as part of a nutritious diet and active lifestyle. Jazz up your oats with goji berries, cinnamon, almond milk, and a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds.

Garlic

Garlic is a world-renowned cure-all highly espoused as a home remedy in practically every culture. Studies conducted on animals so far, show that garlic may help in lowering blood glucose levels and lipid profiles in type 2 diabetics, which could help to better manage your weight. However, further research in the field must be carried out on its effect on weight in humans. Garlic’s active compound, ‘allium sativum’ has carminative properties; providing relief for excess flatulence and abdominal distension. A healthy body also relies on a healthy gut, which garlic can help support, being anti-microbial in nature. The latter properties may help to achieve a flatter stomach.

Fennel

We ought to use fennel in our goal in achieving a flatter stomach. This Mediterranean root vegetable has a pleasing licorice and aniseedy aroma with wide- ranging health benefits. Fennel seeds in particular are well known for their essential oils which support the body in absorbing nutrients present in food .They do so by stimulating the secretion of both digestive and gastric juices. Fennel’s carminative properties come from the active ingredient, ‘fenchone’ found in its seeds. Fenchone acts by relaxing the digestive’s tract smooth muscle lining and has long been known to provide relief from bloating, flatulence and indigestion. Its cleansing property is perfect to help flush out excess toxins. Latest research confirms the benefits of consuming fennel tea to help keep hunger at bay .Chew your fennel seeds after meals, use its leaves in your quinoa salads and don’t forget to sip on Heath and Heather’s fennel tea!

Chilli

Chillies don’t only add flavour and spice to our food but support the body’s metabolism through thermogenesis; our ability to produce heat to burn off fat and therefore excess calories. Chillies’ active components ‘capsicum annum’ and ‘capsaicin’, should be your ingredient of choice to help shift that stubborn layer of fat around the middle. Some studies show that chilli peppers cause an immediate increase in metabolic rate to 20% within thirty minutes of consuming a spicy chilli containing meal. Packed with Vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps protect our cells from free radical damage and support the normal production of collagen so is perfect in maintaining our youthful skins !

Asparagus

A luxury vegetable packed with fibre which supports healthy digestion and is particularly low in calories making it a great snack. It has natural diuretic properties so alleviating water retention and minimising the bloat. Asparagus are packed with ‘diosgenin’, a type of saponin (natural plant chemical), shown to support blood sugar level management and better control of the levels of fat .In addition, asparagus also contain ‘inulin’, supporting healthy gut bacteria. All these factors can help to achieve a flatter stomach.

References :

Ahuja, K. et al. (2006). Effects of chilli consumption on postprandial glucose, insulin, and energy metabolism. American Clinical Journal of Nutrition [Pub Med] online .Accessed at: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/84/1/63.long

Bae, J. et al.(2015) .Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) and Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) Tea Drinking Suppresses Subjective Short-term Appetite in Overweight Women. Clinical Nutrition Research [PubMed] online. Accessed at :http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4525133/

Clegg, M. E ; Golsorkhi, M. and Henry, C.J. (2013) .Combined medium-chain triglyceride and chilli feeding increases diet-induced thermogenesis in normal-weight humans. European Journal of Nutrition [online] .Accessed on: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00394-012-0463-9#page-1

El Khoury, D.et. al ( 2012) . Beta Glucan: Health Benefits in Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism. [Pub Med] online . Accessed on: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3236515/

Padiya, R. et al. (2011) Garlic improves insulin sensitivity and associated metabolic syndromes in fructose fed rats. Nutrition and Metabolism . [PubMed] online .Accessed on http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3168415/

Tierra, M. (1998).The Way of Herbs. Published by Pocket Books, New York.