Feeling puffy and full around your midsection? You might be bloated, which is a general swelling near the abdominal area. Bloating can sometimes be painful, but most of the time it’s just plain old not-so-pretty, and has been known to impact the egos of confident and fit women everywhere.
Can’t button your jeans? Deflating your Buddha-belly is easier than you think, and can be naturally achieved by loading up on these foods and drinks with diuretic properties. Beat the battle of the bloat by literally flushing water weight from the body.
Mint Tea. Mint, or menthe, has long been used for reducing bloating. The most efficient way to gain its diuretic value is by drinking mint in tea form. Add four mint leaves to your next glass of hot tea; the warm water helps extract the diuretic qualities. Not partial to mint’s refreshing punch? Green tea is also a diuretic.
Berries. Take advantage of your local farmer’s market this season and pick up a crate of bloat-banishing raspberries. The high water content in berries increases your urge to go to the ladies room, thereby decreasing your abdominal bulge. Zeel Expert, dietitian to the stars and self-proclaimed fiber fanatic Tanya Zuckerbrot recommends a cup of raspberries a day for a low-carb fruit with 8 grams of fiber (roughage is ideal for weight loss too).
Asparagus. Asparagus is an all-star in the de-bloating department, thanks to a special amino acid known as asparagine, or aspartic acid. A powerful diuretic, asparagine can also be blamed for giving urine a distinguishing odor in individuals who lack the enzymes that break it down. Get it while it’s hot though; asparagus season ends soon!
Red wine. And you thought it was only good for its resveratrol content. Yet your nightly Malbec also has diuretic characteristics, improving your body’s ability to expel excess sodium and alleviating any unwanted bloat. Just be sure to take it easy at happy hour; consuming too much alcohol can dehydrate the body.
Dandelion Leaves. No longer just a backyard weed, herbalists now tout the benefits of dandelion leaves (note: not the roots) for their diuretic capabilities. Dandelion leaves can be ingested in tea form, as well as via supplements and liquid extracts. Sip three mugs of dandelion tea daily by steeping one to two teaspoons of loose, dried leaves in hot water for about five minutes.