by guest blogger Stephanie Eckelkamp, senior associate editor at Prevention magazine
This weekend, before that potent cookout combo of burgers, macaroni salad, and margaritas has a chance to do a number on your stomach, make sure your kitchen is stocked with these seasonal essentials to help battle the bulge.
This melon’s secret weapon? It’s superhigh water content—93 percent! Why that’s good for your stomach: When you’re dehydrated, sodium causes you to retain water and puff out. Eating a few wedges increases your overall hydration and helps flush sodium and excess water from your system.
These veggie-like fruits are rich in potassium—a mineral that helps lower sodium levels in the body, thus reducing bloating. (Another good seasonal, potassium-packed pick: cantaloupe!) We recommend simply slicing them, drizzling with olive oil, and sprinkling with sea salt and pepper. Bonus: Tomatoes contain lycopene, which has been shown in studies to help protect skin from sun damage.
This crunchy veggie is also sky-high in water and is a natural diuretic that helps flush excess fluid out of the body. Bonus: Cucumbers are incredibly low-cal—an entire vegetable packs just 47 calories! Munch on it alone, blend it into smoothies, or add it to DIY spa water with some watermelon chunks.
Like cucumber, this herb is a natural diuretic that helps flush excess fluid. It also provides bone-building vitamin K and immune-boosting vitamin C. Chop it up and add to any salad, or even blend it into a green smoothie for a belly-bloat fix.
- Fresh peppermint
Hopefully you’ve got some fresh peppermint growing right in your herb garden. If not, grab some from the grocery store or even pick up a box of peppermint tea. This powerful herb is an antispasmodic, meaning it relaxes the digestive tract, allowing belly-bloating gas to pass easily. Experts recommend consuming it—via tea, in a smoothie, or by simply chomping on a few leaves—before and after your meal for best results.
Stephanie Eckelkamp is a senior associate editor covering food and nutrition at Prevention magazine and is also a certified holistic-health coach. She’s obsessed with her pup, Milo, and loves to get a little crazy in the kitchen. For more from Stephanie, visit StephEckelkamp.com.
Adapted from an article originally published on Prevention.com