Bloating is uncomfortable, embarrassing and down-right annoying. There are many things that can cause bloating and digestive discomfort so here our nutritionists explain the best foods for digestion to help you reduce that bloating feeling.
Best foods for debloating
Yoghurts and fermented foods
Probiotics are healthy bacteria that grow in foods which are left to ferment. These foods include:
- yoghurts (including plant-based yoghurts)
- sauerkraut (fermented cabbage)
- tempeh (fermented soya beans)
- kombucha (fermented tea).
Checkout our delicious frozen yoghurt fitness bar recipe.
When these foods are consumed, the probiotics reach the gut where they promote the digestion of foods and help to prevent bloating. Probiotics also promote regular bowel movements, further promoting gut health.
Check out our blog: How to look after your gut through your diet
Green tea is a healthy alternative to standard black tea and full of antioxidants which can help to protect your body from harmful free radicals.
Green tea contains small amounts of caffeine which stimulates the digestive tract and promotes regular bowel movements, which in turn help to reduce bloating.
Ginger is a well known root used for digestive issues. Ginger helps with the speed at which the stomach empties - increasing the rate of stomach emptying can decrease bloating that occurs after eating, and reduce feelings of fullness and discomfort.
Ginger has another benefit - it contains an enzyme called zingibain which helps with the digestion of protein and supports a comfortable digestion.
Papaya is a great tasting tropical fruit with excellent benefits for digestion.
Papaya contains an enzyme called 'papain' which helps to break-down protein and make digestion more comfortable and prevent bloating. Papaya can be consumed fresh or dried and provides many nutrients and fibre. (Caution – papaya is not recommended for pregnant women).
Oats are a superfood for the gut. They contain lots of fibre, including a specific type of fibre called beta glucans. Beta glucans have many benefits for the body including reducing cholesterol levels and lowering inflammation.
Fibre promotes a normal and comfortable digestive process so starting your day with an oat-based breakfast such as porridge or soaked oats is a great start for any gut.
Discover our Exotic Fruit Oatmeal breakfast recipe.
Gluten can cause a heap of digestive issues for many people. Even when gluten sensitivity is not present, gluten may trigger bloating and discomfort.
Gluten free grains such as whole grain rice and quinoa provide fibre and carbohydrates without the complications of gluten. Try to avoid buying overly processed gluten free foods and focus on making high quality gluten free foods at home.
You may be interested in our blog: 5 best carbs for plant-based meals
There is more to apples than just fibre and vitamins. "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" – or so the saying goes!
Apples contain pectin, a substance which holds water and helps to move food along the gut. Pectin promotes regular bowel movements and a reduction in bloating.
As well as the benefits of pectin, apples (especially the core) have probiotics which benefit your gut and the fibre of apples feeds the probiotics in your gut, both helping promote a decrease in bloating. There are many ways to eat apples however if you want maximum benefit from the probiotics, they are best eaten raw and try to eat as much of the core as possible.
Best vegan supplements for digestion and bloating
Curcumin & Turmeric
Turmeric is a brightly coloured root used in cooking with powerful benefits. Turmeric contains a compound called Curcumin which has anti-inflammatory actions in the body. Curcumin has positive and anti-inflammatory effects on digestion and reduces gas, bloating, constipation and provides IBS support.
Probiotics are the good bacteria that live in your gut. They are important for many reasons and low levels of probiotics may lead to digestive discomfort and bloating.
Probiotics help to crowd out unwanted bacteria and yeasts, and they produce over 200 digestive enzymes that assist with the breakdown of foods. They also promote regular bowel movements and synthesise nutrients which are beneficial to the body. The number of probiotics in the gut can be decreased by the use of antibiotics, stress and a poor diet. You may enjoy our blog How to look after your gut through your diet.
Inulin is a prebiotic fibre which feeds probiotic bacteria. The body cannot not digest inulin itself but inulin still provides benefits - the probiotic bacteria in your gut rely on good quality fibre such as inulin as a food source to multiply and thrive. The multiplication of the probiotics enhances digestion and digestive comfort.
What vitamins should vegans take?
Some foods often consumed by those on a plant-based diet such as seaweed and some types of algae contain pseudo Vitamin B12. This is similar to Vitamin B12, but it has no functional use in the body. Pseudo Vitamin B12 competes for absorption with real B12 and can contribute towards B12 deficiency.
Read our blog '5 signs you may be low in Vitamin B12'
Everyone knows that calcium is needed for bones, but did you know that Calcium is also needed for digestive enzymes?
A deficiency in calcium can seriously impair digestion. Calcium is found in some plant foods, however some vegans may need to top themselves up with a daily supplement, either on its own or as part of a multi-nutrient formula.
Discover our Bone & Muscle Support with Calcium.
Zinc is another nutrient that plant-based individuals can struggle to get enough of. Although Zinc is found in plant-based foods, the extra fibre consumed on a pant-based diet can inhibit absorption.
Consuming a multivitamin and mineral supplement is an insurance policy to prevent any nutrient deficiencies. Vitamin B12, Calcium, Zinc and Vitamin D which can also be low on a vegan diet, can all be taken as part of a vegan Daily Multi-Vitamin formula.
Discover our range of vegan vitamins and supplements.
Want to hear more from our nutritionists? Sign up to our email newsletter for insights and exclusive offers: