A Dietician Shares 8 Recipes That Can Help Reduce Bloat

tried-and-true recipes I depend on during summer
recipes to reduce bloat"
recipes to reduce bloat

Given the fact that your gut is a vast microbiome containing trillions of microorganisms (code for bacteria, fungi, etc.), gut health is hard to ignore. As more findings on how the gut impacts your mood, immunity, and hormones are discovered, taking care of the gut is becoming top of mind for your overall health. After all, having good digestion helps your body absorb the nutrients it needs.

But let’s be real, we all have those days where digestive drama strikes, leaving us feeling blah. I, for one, have experienced my fair share of bloating and indigestion, making me think twice about putting on anything but stretchy pants. Bloating can have many causes such as consuming salty foods, drinking carbonated beverages, and eating or drinking too quickly. But while some foods can lead to tummy troubles, others can have the opposite effect: healing and helping your gut from the inside. 

Although nutrition and wellness are not a one-size-fits-all prescription, focusing on foods that aid in digestion is key to preventing bloating in the first place. Think: high fiber, anti-inflammatory, and probiotics. Keep reading for a round-up of my trusty recipes that I make as a dietitian to help support my digestion (and keep that bloat at bay).

1. Chia Seed Pudding

recipes to reduce bloat
Source: Eating Bird Food

When it comes to preventing bloat, consider fiber your friend to help move food through your digestive tract since a common cause of bloating is constipation. Chia seeds pack 10 grams of fiber in one serving size, making chia seed pudding a great option to help ensure regular bowel movements.

2. Pineapple Ginger “Tummy Soothing” Smoothie

recipes to reduce bloat
Source: Ambitious Kitchen

This smoothie provides multiple ingredients that are great for digestion and debloating. Some of the star ingredients include ginger, an anti-inflammatory root vegetable that has been shown to help with nausea and aid in digestion; pineapple, which contains enzymes like bromelain that can help with digestion and break down gas and bloating; and Greek yogurt, which contains probiotics to help support your gut microbiome.

3. Cucumber Salad

recipes to reduce bloat
Source: Love and Lemons

Staying hydrated is essential to keeping your digestion optimal and preventing bloat. While you still get health benefits and kudos for drinking water throughout the day, you can help boost hydration with foods that are higher in water content, like cucumbers. Pair them with onions, and you’ll be getting a dose of prebiotics (AKA good food for your gut bacteria).

4. Baked Oatmeal

recipes to reduce bloat
Source: Well Plated

Oats contain a prebiotic fiber known as beta-glucan, which feeds the good bacteria in your gut and helps support a healthy gut microbiome. As a soluble fiber, beta-glucan aids digestion by acting as a sponge to slow down digestion and prevents both constipation and diarrhea—a win-win for any digestion woes. Oats also contain antioxidants that have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects, which can be helpful for those who deal with GI distress, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). And since baked oatmeal is an easy make-ahead breakfast option, you’ll be starting your digestion on the right foot.

5. Shaved Fennel Salad

recipes to reduce bloat
Source: Love and Lemons

Fennel is a vegetable that is often overlooked, but one of its health perks is improved digestion. Fennel has been shown to reduce inflammation in the bowels and decrease bacteria that can lead to gas. ​​In fact, it’s common to eat fennel after a meal in many parts of the world to aid with digestion and relieve gassiness (such as mukhwas or a fennel seed snack served after meals in parts of India).

6. Berry Kefir Smoothie

recipes to reduce bloat
Source: Eating Well

Like Greek yogurt, kefir is a dairy food made from fermenting milk to create healthy living bacteria cultures; however, kefir contains more strains (up to 61, to be exact) of good bacteria. With a variety of good bacteria comes a more diversified gut microbiome, which is great for supporting overall digestive health. Kefir is low in lactose (a sugar found in milk), so it can also be easier to digest for those dealing with dairy sensitivities like lactose intolerance. While you can drink it plain, using it as a base for a smoothie filled with whole fruits and vegetables can help you pack in more nutrients such as fiber, vitamin C, and potassium that support your body’s ability to digest food and keep things moving. For this recipe in particular, berries are a great source of antioxidants and fiber to support health and digestion.

7. Kimchi Brown Rice Bowls

recipes to reduce bloat
Source: Love and Lemons

You’ve probably heard that fermented foods improve digestion. This is due to the fermentation process, which produces good bacteria for your gut (AKA probiotics). There are a variety of fermented foods on the market—kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut—but one popular option is kimchi, a Korean dish made up of pickled cabbage and spices. Try it with this recipe that also includes brown rice, a whole grain that is a good source of fiber and phytonutrients that benefit the gut microbiome.

8. Bone Broth Soup

recipes to reduce bloat
Source: Wholly Tasteful

Bone broth contains glutamic acid, which may help strengthen your digestive tract. It’s also rich in collagen, which plays a role in calming and soothing the gut lining so food can pass through more easily, with less bloating and discomfort. A 2021 study found that bone broth can help reduce inflammation due to its amino acids (protein building blocks). These amino acids may help counteract inflammatory compounds found in the body, making it a good choice for overall health. You can use bone broth as the base for a soup (like in this recipe) or simply drink it on its own as a soothing, high-protein snack.