While warmer temperatures have us dreaming of all the succulent barbecue eats and tasty fairground foods to come, we know that indulging in our favorite treats often comes at the price of feeling bloated. Whether your temporary bulge is a result of acid reflux or poor digestion, we've discovered that you can actually eat certain foods to make the discomfort go away!
Almonds neutralize heartburn-inducing acid. Memorial Day festivities mean burgers, hot dogs, and other fun treats. But these foods cause heartburn flare-ups for 56 percent of us. What can help? Nibbling four almonds after every meal and snack, which Stanford University researchers say banishes the burn as effectively as OTC meds. The nuts’ healthy plant fats quickly neutralize stomach acid that washes up into the esophagus. Plus, almonds speed stomach emptying to reduce pressure on the tummy valve and keep acid in your stomach.
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Marshmallow tea eases bloat-triggering inflammation. Crisp salads and fruity desserts are a refreshing change from winter’s heavier fare—but that abrupt dietary shift can lead to bloat-triggering intestinal inflammation. A tasty Rx: Sip six ounces of marshmallow tea—hot or iced—before each meal. University of Hawaii researchers say this mild brew cuts risk of bloating and belly pain in half—plus eases symptoms in 30 minutes if you’re already uncomfortable. Credit mucilage: a marshmallow tea compound that coats and soothes the digestive tract to reduce production of damaging inflammation.
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Pineapple nixes sulfur-forming bacteria. As summer nears, we gravitate toward treats like sodas and ice cream. The catch? They form gas in the GI tract. If your belly is embarrassing you, eating 1 cup of raw pineapple daily can tamp down severe gassiness in as little as five days—and a single serving can offer immediate relief, say University of Delaware researchers. Fresh pineapple contains plant enzymes that quickly break down carbohydrates in the digestive tract before sulfur-forming bacteria can turn them into gaseous wastes.
If outdoor activities and vacation planning have left your tummy in an uproar, a 4-ounce serving of chicken could end your queasiness in as little as 30 minutes—and enjoying chicken daily could cut your risk of future tummy turmoil 55 percent, British researchers say. Chicken is loaded with L-tryptophan, an amino acid that stimulates the lining of your digestive tract to produce the tummy-soothing, digestion-enhancing hormone serotonin.
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Berries enhance digestive motility. Even if you’re normally regular, sudden upticks in perspiration as the weather warms can lead to uncomfortable bouts of constipation, British researchers say. To cut your risk 52 percent, nibble one cup of your favorite berries (fresh or frozen) each day. Harvard scientists say berries are rich in anthocyanins plus soluble and insoluble fiber—a trio of nutrients that improve fluid balance in the colon and keep food moving by encouraging gentle muscle contractions in the digestive tract.
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Honey destroys microbial invaders. Up to 48 million of us could be hit with a bout of food poisoning over the next few months. Yet eating one teaspoon of unpasteurized honey three times daily could prevent that misery—and help you bounce back in less than half the time if you do become ill. According to researchers at Texas A&M University, raw honey is rich in natural antimicrobial compounds and enzymes that quickly destroy invading bacteria, plus speed healing of a damaged and inflamed digestive tract lining.
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