With bikini season in full swing, try these 14 flat stomach foods now...
Summer is officially here – the sun is shining, our flip flops have made their first outing and we’ve even got the Pimms in for BBQ season.
As it’s hit peak bikini time, we’ve put together the best gut-friendly foods to introduce into your diet. The result? More energy and a flatter stomach.
‘Eating plenty of greens will help by keeping your bowels moving. Try low sugar veggies like broccoli, green beans and kale,’ says nutritionist Lorna Driver-Davies from NutriCentre.
‘Avoid quick release carbs, which will raise your blood sugar quickly then make it plummet again. This happens because your body releases adrenaline and cortisol to stabilise things, which both contribute to fat around your middle. Swap to wholegrain alternatives that release energy slowly,’ says nutritionist Dr. Marilyn Glenville.
‘Getting enough “good oils” in your diet is key for reducing bloating, as they help keep your bowels moving by lubricating your stools. Aim for loads of Omega 3, avocado, flax oil, olive oil and nuts,’ says Lorna Driver-Davies.
‘This good quality protein slows down the rate that the stomach processes food and delays the passage of the carbohydrates through it. As soon as you add a protein (be it animal or vegetable) to a carbohydrate, you change it into a slower releasing carbohydrate, that will keep your sugar levels steady and energy up,’ says Dr Marilyn Glenville.
‘If you do only one thing, cut your sugar, as this prevents bad bacteria from over-growing in your gut. Instead add cinnamon to your latte or porridge. It’s great for digestion, anti-fungal – and will keep your sugar cravings at bay,’ says Lorna Driver-Davies.
‘Research has shown that leucine, one of the essential amino acids found in eggs, can help with weight loss by stabilising blood sugar levels and encouraging the body to shed fat,’ says Dr Marilyn Glenville.
‘Celery helps flatten your stomach because it’s an excellent diuretic as a result of its high potassium content, which makes it great for limiting water retention,’ says Lorna Driver-Davies.
‘Adding walnuts to your diet will help maintain your ideal weight over time, as they contain fats that help to boost your metabolism,’ says Dr Marilyn Glenville.
‘Eating probiotic-rich foods is essential to help flatten your stomach by keeping your good bacteria levels up to maximum, thus banishing bloating. You should try live yoghurts and fermented foods, including sauerkraut, kefir, kimchi and miso,’ says Lorna Driver-Davies.
‘Certain herbs, such as peppermint and ginger, genuinely aid the digestive system. This is important because if your body isn’t digesting food properly, your whole system can get out of balance, contributing to bloating,’ says Lorna Driver-Davies.
Asparagus isn’t just a great low-calorie, high-nutrient food. It’s also perfect for maintaining a flat tummy as it helps to regulate the good bacteria in your gut, preventing you from getting bloated.
Fennel has been used to treat gastrointestinal issues in Chinese, Indian, Egyptian and Greek medicine for centuries. The tiny seeds are great for stimulating digestion and their anti-inflammatory properties help to relax contracted intestinal muscles keeping your tummy looking flat.
A breakfast with lots of oats in, such as porridge or oatmeal, is a great way of setting you up for the day because they contain a healthy dose of protein, calories and fat. It will give you energy and keep you full, without making you feel bloated.
Aside from being packed with vitamin C, lemons are a great way to battle fluid retention which can leave you feeling swollen. Try adding a slice of lemon to hot water in the morning for an easy way to get more of the fruit into your diet.