If you’ve ever found yourself struggling to get into a pair of jeans that once fit like a glove, you know the pain of belly fat.
The good news is that you’re not alone. The bad news? Well, in addition to the health risks of belly fat – which include bloating, there are plenty of people out there looking to take advantage of your plight.
Some offer products that promise to rip the pounds right from you. In reality, the only thing they’ll be ripping from you is your hard-earned cash.
The truth is, if you want to flatten that belly you need to focus on improving your health over time – primarily, your digestive and gut health.
Let’s explore that link further and take a look at 9 super belly-flattening foods!
#1 – Avocado
Wait, isn’t avocado fatty? Yes, but it’s the good kind of fat – the sort your body uses to burn bad cholesterol.
Avocados are also high in dietary fiber, B-complex vitamins and vitamin C. These are all nutrients that your digestive system and metabolism – two mechanisms heavily associated with weight loss or gain – need to function properly.
#2 – Asparagus
If you’ve been feeling bloated or noticing that your belly is puffy, asparagus can help. It’s a diuretic, meaning it relieves water retention – a common cause of abdominal discomfort.
It also helps your body flush waste products like undigested foods thanks to its low sodium content and high fiber levels.
Further, the insulin in asparagus acts as a prebiotic, nourishing the healthy, fat-controlling bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract.
#3 – Papaya
As reported by WeWomen.ca, eating papaya regularly can help reduce body fat due to its unique enzymes.
These enzymes help your body break down food quickly, reducing stress on your digestive system.
The enzyme papain in particular helps flatten your stomach. As a bonus, it also reduces bloating caused by things like diarrhea, gas and constipation.
#4 – Cucumbers
Right back to the greens we go!
Cucumbers contain an antioxidant called quercetin. Studies have shown that quercetin assists in the mobilization – conversion to energy, that is – of stored fat, including that on your belly!
Quercetin helps with bloating as well by putting the brakes on pro-inflammatory enzymes, as reported by Health.com.
#5 – Berries
Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are filled with nutrients and antioxidants that can help your digestive and metabolic systems.
In one study, researchers noted a drastic loss in belly fat when mice ate blueberries regularly for 90 days. Researchers believe this is due to the presence of ketone in blueberries (and other berry types) – a substance which has been definitively linked to weight loss.
#6 – Quinoa
If you suspect your efforts to lose belly fat are being hindered by overeating, quinoa can help. Like other whole grains, quinoa is high in fiber and protein. This makes you feel full much faster than other unhealthy foods.
Quinoa also helps with bloating by keeping your large intestine moist, thereby preventing constipation and other digestive disorders.
#7 – Mushrooms
Mushrooms are actually the only natural dietary source of vitamin D out there. Why is this important? Well, vitamin D is crucial for fat loss.
Another great thing about mushrooms is that you can actually eat quite a lot of them without consuming many calories.
Another great thing about mushrooms is that they have a low glycemic index, meaning your body digests them slowly. As a result, you feel full for a long period of time.
#8 – Yogurt
This last one is really special.
In a recent study, participants who ate three servings of yogurt daily lost 81% more belly fat than those who didn’t. 81%. Just let that sink in for a moment.
Okay, cool. The yogurt that worked best was low-fat Greek yogurt, which is high in calcium – a nutrient that stops fat from being stored in your cells.
Yogurt is also a probiotic, meaning it helps maintain healthy bacteria in your gut. This is key to preventing and reducing the bloating that often comes along with excess belly fat.