After the indulgent Christmas period, many Australians will find themselves suffering from the dreaded ‘festive bloat’.
Thankfully, there are a number of foods that can improve your digestive health, slim down your figure and rid your body of excess water.
The Healthy Mummy has listed a number of natural foods known for their ‘fat-blasting’ properties – including fennel seeds, ginger, kiwi fruit and celery.
After the indulgent Christmas period, many Australians will find themselves suffering from the dreaded ‘festive bloat’. Thankfully, there are a number of foods that can improve your digestive health, slim down your figure and rid your body of excess water
1. FENNEL SEEDS
Fennel seeds not only add a burst of flavour to any meal but they also have a compound that relaxes gastrointestinal tract spasms that helps relieve bloating.
According to Livestrong, the spice is ‘low in calories and rich in nutrients’ and is a ‘good addition to any low-calorie diet plan for weight loss’.
‘One tablespoon of fennel seeds has 20 calories, 1 gram of protein, 3 grams of carbs and 2 grams of fibre,’ they write.
‘It’s also a good source of iron and can up your intake of calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc and many of the B-vitamins.’
Fennel seeds not only add a burst of flavour to any meal but they also have a compound that relaxes gastrointestinal tract spasms, helping to relieve bloating
Ginger contains zingibain, a digestive enzyme that helps the body break down protein, as well as anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that help with bloating.
A ginger tea after a meal can help stimulate bile and gastric juices that help with digestion which in turn prevents bloating.
Various university studies have also found that ginger can prevent cardiovascular damage, help people feel fuller for longer and can stimulate the body to ‘speed digested food through the colon’.
Ginger contains zingibain, a digestive enzyme that helps the body break down protein, as well as anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that help with bloating
What other foods will support weight loss this summer?
Any berries are fab but blueberries in particular are packed full of antioxidants, Vitamin C, fibre whilst also being relatively low in calories and carbohydrates.
If you are looking for a fat burning boost, adding in a couple of cups of green tea to your day is the way to go. Not only is green tea a rich source of powerful antioxidants that help to prevent cell related damage but there is also some evidence to show that green tea may increase fat metabolism.
Not only are lemons a rich source of Vitamin C, but they are a handy addition to juices and smoothies. Lemon juice is also a low calorie salad dressing; it helps to lower the GI of carb based meals.
Cottage cheese is one of the most nutrient dense foods you can enjoy, with minimal calories especially on a low calorie weight loss eating regime. With a serve giving more than 16g of protein per ½ cup along with calcium, magnesium and Vitamin B12, adding a serve of cottage cheese into your day is a great way to bump your intake of essential nutrients for very few calories.
If weight loss is your goal, white fish is your superfood. Exceptionally high in protein, low in fat and calories, any type of white fish ranging from dory, perch, barramundi, sole, flounder and whiting is a superfood when it comes to weight loss.
Source: Susie Burell
3. KIWI FRUIT
A common addition to smoothie bowls, this pretty fruit is extremely high in fibre and is great for detoxing the bowel.
According to Healthline, a study found 41 people who ate two golden kiwis per day had a 3.1cm reduction in waist circumference after 12 weeks and a reduction in blood pressure.
The fruit is also thought to help with cholesterol, overall gut health and a feeling of fullness.
Pineapple is a summer favourite – but few are aware of the many health benefits it has on the body.
In addition to being high in Vitamin C and other antioxidants, it is also high in manganese, an an essential element for energy production.
Pineapples protect your cells from free radicals, help the body use key nutrients including thiamine and biotin and help synthesise fatty foods.
A natural diuretic, melons are perfect for flushing excess water and salt from the body.
They also act as a natural electrolyte replacement to help with hydration.
Most melons, especially rockmelon, are great sources of fibre and help to keep the digestive tract healthy and as a result, helps with fat control as it keeps people fuller for longer.
They’re also a great way to satiate sugar cravings after a meal.
Most melons, especially rockmelon, are great sources of fibre and help to keep the digestive tract healthy and as a result, helps with fat control as it keeps people fuller for longer (pictured is influencer and model Gabrielle Epstein)
Why is rockmelon a good addition to your diet?
One 100g serve of rockmelon only has 5.7g of sugar, 0.1g of fat and 29 calories. Comparatively, a 100g piece of mango has 11.2g of sugar, 0.2g of fat and has 55 calories.
The potassium in rockmelon sends oxygen to the brain and slows the heart rate, meaning it has a calming effect and it’s packed with beta-carotene, (the precursor to vitamin A), so rockmelon boasts all the benefits of a vitamin A-rich food, like decreased inflammation and a lower risk of developing cancer, heart disease and cataracts in the eyes.
Rockmelon has about 30 times more beta-carotene than oranges, even though it’s paler in colour.
While it’s not great on the flavour front, celery is great for lowering inflammation, healing the body, reducing bloating and lowering high blood pressure and has been touted by celebrities as a ‘must-try’ for glowing skin.
A detoxifying food, celery is said to help cleanse the liver which helps with weight loss and is thought to help the body fight infections by strengthening white blood cells.
Ali Webster, the Associate Director of Nutrition Communications at the International Food Information Council Foundation, told Men’s Health that a lot of these benefits are also largely due to celery being consumed alongside other health changes.
‘Health benefits are often multi-faceted. If a person has made the decision to start drinking celery juice, they’re probably making other changes as well, like eating better overall, going to the gym, or at the very least, starting to pay attention to what and how they eat,’ she said.
‘Celery is full of fibre, magnesium, and potassium, which are important for regularity, bone and heart health. And since celery is low in calories, it can be especially good for those trying to lose weight. But celery alone will not make you drop pounds fast.’
While it’s not great on the flavour front, celery is great for lowering inflammation, healing the body, reducing bloating and lowering high blood pressure and has been touted by celebrities as a ‘must-try’ for glowing skin (pictured is blogger Loni Jane with a juice containing celery)
According to Australian Susie Burrell, Greek yoghurt is an excellent choice as it not only contains much less sugar than the average serve of store bought yoghurt but it is much higher in protein.
This helps to keep your blood glucose levels regulated throughout the day.
‘An added benefit will come if you choose a variety of Greek yoghurt which also contains probiotics, the live bacteria that will help to feed the good bacteria in the gut and is thought to have a powerful role in optimal immune functioning long term,’ she said.
‘Enjoy with some oats for breakfast, as a filling snack, as a light dessert option, add to smoothies and protein shakes or even as a dressing option with vegetables for a daily calcium boost.’