It's officially summer. And with skimpy sundresses, short shorts, and bikinis upon us, that means there's nowhere to hide. But even if you've been working out all spring, there's one thing that can derail your efforts to showcase your flat(ter) stomach—the dreaded belly bloat.
Luckily, Khloe Kardashian and her enviable abs are here to save the day. PEOPLE reports that the reality star recently shared on her website her top five foods to help battle stomach bloat. But do these foods really help give you a flatter tummy? We asked dietician and New York Nutrition Group CEO and founder Lisa Moskovitz, RD, CDN to weigh in on Kardashian's choices.
As if there already wasn't enough love for avocados, now Kardashian is giving them her full endorsement, too. They're high in potassium, "which is a key player in ridding your body of excess sodium and, therefore, dreaded water weight,” Kardashian says on her site.
Moskovitz agrees that potassium-filled avocados help flush sodium out. "They also have a good source of fiber, and monounsaturated fats which will help keep you full, regulate digestion, and fight inflammation," she added, noting that avocados are still high in calories—so watch your portion size.
It's the perfect season to indulge in this juicy melon, which contains lots of—duh—water. And all of that water helps regulate salt in your system, says Kardashian.
"It is true that fresh fruits and vegetables with higher water content can help alleviate water retention in the body. You can also get similar effects from just drinking a lot of plain old water as well," Moskovitz pointed out. Because watermelon is high glycemic, it can cause blood sugar to spike, "so for those who have to watch blood sugar levels, watermelon is not something you want to be snacking on without limits," she cautioned.
“Ginger is also known for being a powerful antibacterial AND anti-inflammatory food—in other words, all-around goodness for your gut,” Kardashian says on her site.
This ingredient is a little iffier, said Moskovitz. "It may help with bloating but mostly it is best for anti-nausea or poor appetite. Ginger does has anti-inflammatory properties and can also help move things along your digestive tract, which in turn could help alleviate mild bloating."
“Oats balance the bacteria in your gut,” Kardashian claims. “This is known as a prebiotic effect, which improves your digestive system and works wonders to reduce bloat.”
Not so fast, says Moskovitz. "If your issue is an imbalance of healthy gut bacteria which is causing a distended tummy, then oats may be a good addition to your diet. However, they are also very carbohydrate rich, and although they're a good source of carbohydrates, some people find that consuming too many oats actually makes bloating worse, not better."
“Tomatoes are packed with the antioxidant lycopene, which is known to have extremely effective anti-inflammatory and de-bloating effects,” Kardashian says.
Moskovitz nixes this one as an anti-bloating food. "Its high lycopene content acts more as a powerful antioxidant that can protect against free radical damage and oxidative stress: not so much to help alleviate bloating," she said, adding, "In fact, those who suffer from acid reflux or gastritis might actually have worse bloating after eating tomatoes as they are highly acidic which can irritate the lining of your stomach or esophagus." So if you're feeling bloated, take a hard pass on tomatoes.
The final verdict? Moskovitz agreed with Kardashian that avocados and watermelon can help battle bloat; ginger and oats, possibly, depending on the situation; and tomatoes, not so much. To keep bloating at bay, she recommends skipping high-sodium processed foods and snacks, carbonated beverages, chewing gum, and alcohol (darn!). Eating regular meals is also important, she stressed: "Skipping meals, eating large meals, or eating too quickly are all dietary habits that can increase bloating significantly."
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