Health

6 Foods That Banish Bloat, Constipation, Indigestion, and Other GI Issues

GI issues aren’t any fun. Upset in the GI tract can lead to issues like stomach aches, uncomfortable bloating, constipation, and more. The good news is, you can cure them with at-home remedies.

Pineapple eases belly bloat.

Summer indulgences like ice cream and hot dogs double your risk of indigestion. If a fun meal has left you bloated and uncomfortable, nibbling on 1⁄2 cup of raw pineapple could cut your symptoms by 55 percent in 20 minutes. University of Connecticut researchers say this tropical treat contains a compound (bromelain) that encourages the release of digestion-enhancing bile, speeding the breakdown of proteins and fats and promoting stomach emptying.

Chicken soothes stomach aches.

Chicken is packed with a helpful amino acid called L-tryptophan that your intestines quickly convert into the painkilling, digestion-enhancing hormone serotonin. No wonder three separate studies suggest that adding four ounces of skinless chicken to a meal can ease abdominal pain in as little as 30 minutes. What’s more, studies prove you’ll also cut your risk of future stomachaches in half if you enjoy a serving of chicken daily.

Chocolate fosters regularity.

If warm-weather diet changes are making your GI issues worse and your bowels a bit loose, savoring two ounces of rich and creamy dark chocolate daily can get you back to normal in 48 hours, plus help prevent future flare-ups if you indulge daily, report researchers in The Journal of Nutrition. Dark chocolate compounds (flavonoids) coat and soothe the digestive tract lining, improving fluid absorption so stools are less watery.

Almonds prevent heartburn.

Munching on four almonds at the end of each meal and snack could prevent heartburn as effectively as OTC medications, Canadian scientists say. Almonds’ mix of healthy plant fats and minerals speeds stomach emptying, reducing pressure on the tiny valve between your stomach and throat.

Popcorn speeds digestion.

As the temperature creeps up, fluid intake often doesn’t, and that leads to uncomfortable bouts of constipation for 40 percent of us. The good news: Finnish scientists say snacking on three cups of fiber-rich air-popped popcorn stimulates intestinal muscle contractions, providing relief within 40 minutes, and enjoying popcorn daily lowers your constipation risk by 52 percent.

Cantaloupe calms queasiness.

Eating one cup of cantaloupe when your tummy is feeling “off” can reduce feelings of queasiness by as much as 50 percent in 15 minutes. That’s the word from British researchers, who say cantaloupe’s distinctive aroma calms the nausea center of the brain, plus this fruit’s rich stores of beta-carotene tamp down indigestion-triggering inflammation in the stomach lining.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine.

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