Stomach bloating is typically the result of overindulging in gassy foods and drinks. People commonly report a stretchy, puffy sensation in the tummy and painful abdominal cramps. Bloating can also be the result of excess water in the body. If this is the case, a certain vegetable may do the trick.
According to TV doctor Dr Oz, if bloating is triggered by an accumulation of fluid in the body, eating a cucumber can help to offset the effects.
This is primarily due to the fact that cucumber is a natural diuretic.
As he explained, diuretics assist a person’s kidneys in releasing water from their body.
“The high water and low fibre content of these tasty vegetables can cause increased urination, which in turn, makes you feel slimmer,” he said.
Cucumber is also a rich source of potassium, which counters the negative effects of high sodium intake – one of the primary causes of fluid retention.
As medical website LiveStrong explained: “When you consume more potassium, sodium is excreted through urine. Potassium, therefore, can be useful in reducing water retention caused by excessive sodium intake.”
Bananas are another rich source of potassium that can help reduce tummy swelling, according to Dr Oz.
“If your bloat is a result of yesterday’s salty dinner, try adding sliced banana to your morning oatmeal for some balance,” he advised.
If a person’s bloating is gas-related, the NHS recommends cutting down on foods known to cause wind and bloating.
“But make sure you still eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day,” noted the health site.
Another simple self-help tip is try and reduce air intake.
According to the NHS, people can do this by:
- Not talking and eating at the same time
- Sitting down to eat (sitting upright and not slumped over)
- Reducing the amount of fizzy drinks they consume
- Stop chewing gum and chewing with their mouth closed so that they’re not taking in excess air.
If the bloating persists, it may be a sign of a more serious underlying condition.