If you get bloating, you should really learn about this lesser known cause

Acai

Acai

Acai berries are well known for their anti-oxidant properties, but did you know they’re are also rich in essential fatty acids and dietary fibre? The tiny purple fruits can help to speed up digestion and provide more energy – something we all need if we want any hope of hitting the gym after work. Add them to your porridge in the morning or whip up a smoothie bowl for a nutritious snack. Delish!

Leafy Greens

Leafy Greens

Include a portion of leafy green vegetables at every meal to reduce water retention. Kale, spinach and romaine lettuce are all extremely low in calories, full of fibre and offer several vital vitamins and minerals that help to ease water retention without causing the bloating and discomfort that some other vegetables might do.

Peppermint

Peppermint

Peppermint is known for its potent healing and calming digestive properties, so if you’re looking to slim down your stomach, it makes sense to start including it in your diet. The easiest way to do this is to drink it in tea form, so pick up a box from your local supermarket (organic if possible) and try drinking three cups a day. Great for clearing the skin, too!

Green Tea

Green Tea

Addicted to your builder’s brew? It may be time for a change. Swapping to green tea has been found to assist the body in flushing out excess fluids, helping to calm bloating around the stomach caused by water retention. What’s more, it has been found to speed up the metabolism, which can aid the burning of excess fat in the body.

Kelp

Kelp

Get on with the Mediterranean diet and include some seaweed or Kelp into your meals. Prized for its high levels of iodine, kelp helps to create the thyroid hormones in your body. These regulate your metabolic rate – the rate in which your body burns fat. It also contains several minerals which have been found to assist the breakdown of belly fat and relieve water retention. Seek it out in Japanese supermarkets or pick up from health food stores in a supplement form.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar

If you’re looking for a quick fix body detox, try adding a few capfuls of apple cider vinegar to your meals. It acts as a digestive tonic, helping to see off harmful bacteria in the intestines, flush out toxins, and relieve water retention around the stomach. Try adding some to vegetables during cooking, or as a dressing over salad.

Cranberry Juice

Cranberry Juice

As well as high levels of antioxidising vitamin C, cranberry juice has fantastic diuretic properties. This means that it encourages the body to get rid of excess fluids when you go to the loo. Swap out your morning OJ for a glass of sugar-free, all natural cranberry instead.

Asparagus

Asparagus

Asparagus is often considered a luxury vegetable, and not without good reason. Each spear is packed full of vitamins A, B-complex, C and E, as well as containing high levels of skin-clearing zinc and potassium, which assists the removal of excess fluids from the body. Asparagus has also been used to treat inflammations such as arthritis and rheumatism.

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

Delicious, full of antioxidants, AND they help you to lose weight? Tomatoes are definitely among our favourite fat-fighting foods. Tomatoes have been found to reduce inflammation and water retention in the body, as well as reversing leptin resistance. Leptin is a type of protein which helps to regulate metabolic rate and appetite, so our bodies rely on it to shed those extra pounds.

Garlic

Garlic

It might make your breath smell a bit, but each clove of garlic is packed not just with toxin-battling antioxidants, but also a naturally occurring chemical called allicin. When digested, allicin reacts with the blood to create a product capable of killing off many harmful bacteria and viruses that your body may be harbouring – including in the digestive tract. A healthy gut it essential for achieve a flatter tummy – try adding a few raw cloves to your food just before serving to get the most out of it.

Chilli

Chilli

Adding chilli to your food is a great way to boost your metabolism, which helps you to burn fat faster, that’s why it is often included in diet plans. A single chilli pepper also contains a full day’s supply of beta carotene (which is great for maintaining healthy skin, hair and nails) and twice your recommended daily allowance of vitamin C – an essential antioxidant that helps to battle toxins and foreign bodies in the blood stream.

Bananas

Bananas

Contrary to what some people believe, bananas contribute to weight loss NOT gain. Eating a banana is not just a great way to provide your body with skin-healing zinc, brain-powering slow release energy and filling fibre, but can also help you to relieve water retention thanks to the high levels of potassium they contain.

Melon

Melon

Half a melon contains almost twice as much potassium as bananas do, making it a low-calorie, high-antioxidant alternative that can aid the removal of excess fluids around the body. Cantaloupe melon also offers twice the recommended dose of vitamin C too, which will help to support your immune system and keep your skin in tip-top condition.

Watercress

Watercress

Watercress is jammed full of nutrients, including vitamin B1, B2, B6, C and E, as well as minerals manganese, carotene and potassium. This makes watercress a powerful cleansing agent, improving the digestion and nourishing the skin, while its diuretic properties help to flush out toxins and excess fluids. Watercress is also a fabulous source of iodine, which helps to boost your metabolism, so it makes sense to include it in your diet if you’re striving to achieve a flat stomach.

Fennel

Fennel

This liquorice-flavoured root vegetable is packed with vitamin C, potassium, and manganese and has long been used as a remedy for digestive problems. Thanks in part to its high dietary fibre content, it promotes healthy digestion, reducing swelling in the body, flushing out toxins and excess fluids. Fennel tea can also help to stave off hunger pangs, so pick up a box from your local health food shop and get slurping.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon

A sprinkling of cinnamon could be all that’s standing in the way of you and those washboard abs. The sweet spice helps to regulate soaring blood sugar levels by stimulating insulin production. There is some evidence to suggest that cinnamon extract also makes fat cells more responsive to insulin, which means they’re much less likely to hold on to excess energy, and far more likely to burn existing fat stores instead.

Ginger

Ginger

Ever wondered why your sushi comes with a side of ginger? The spicy root has been used for centuries as a digestive aid, because it possesses anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea and antioxidant properties. It also contains an enzyme called zingibain, which helps digest proteins.

Artichoke

Artichoke

Artichokes are rich in fibre, thus helping to speed the digestive process up and relieve bloating in the abdomen, while containing relatively few calories. Artichokes are often recommended by nutritionists for thetreatment of digestive disorders, like IBS, too.

Brown Rice

Brown Rice

If you’re looking to flatten and tone your belly, you should aim to eat a complex carbohydrate that is rich in muscle-strengthening protein and vitamins, like brown rice. It’s better than white rice, because it contains a rich supply of energizing B vitamins, which could help you burn calories faster.

Avocado

Avocado

There is a reason why guacamole exists beyond it being damn tasty! Avocado is often paired with spicy food because it soothes the digestive system after it is irritated by the heat. Avocado also contains potassium, which helps to regulate fluid balance, as well as magnesium, which prevents constipation.

Quinoa

Quinoa

Did you know that, when she wants to get into shape for a shoot fast, Kate Moss eats quinoa instead of cereal for breakfast? That’s because it’s what is known as a complete grain, combining protein, fibre, B vitamins and complex carbohydrates all in one. Eating grains like quinoa will help to boost your metabolism, and burn belly fat faster, as will…

Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds contain a bountiful supply of dietary fibre, which could fill you up for longer and keep sweet cravings at bay, while easing digestion at the same time. They are packed full of antioxidant vitamin E, too, which is essential for skin health, as well as protein and complex carbs.

Natural Yoghurt

Natural Yoghurt

Many diet plans will tell you to reduce the intake of diary, but try not cutting natural yoghut. As a probiotic, live natural yoghurt can help to relieve bloating and discomfort in the stomach, because it contains live bacteria that aid digestion. Opt for a low fat option to cut down on saturated animal fats, too.

Mackerel

Mackerel

Eating plenty of oily fish is a good idea if you want to tone up your tummy, because it is high in protein and low in ‘bad’ or saturated animal fats. It is also a rich source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, which are crucial to proper brain function. Slimmer AND smarter? Sounds good to us…

Papaya

Papaya

Papaya contains a naturally-occurring enzyme called papain, which aids the digestion of protein. It can also help to break down food faster, easing bloating and flattening out your belly in no time.

Pineapple

Pineapple

Much like its tropical cousin, pineapple boasts a digestive enzyme that helps to ease bloating, settle your stomach, and even relieve heartburn. It’s high in natural fruit sugars, or fructose, which could stave off sweet cravings.

Black Pepper

Black Pepper

A simple way to prevent bloating and discomfort after eating? Add a bit of freshly ground pepper to your diet. It’s a natural digestive aid, and helps to relieve bloating at the same time.

Celery

Celery

While it is a myth that celery is a minus-calorie food (that it takes more calories to digest it than it does to eat it) it is still a detoxing stem that can reduce water retention and help to purge your body of toxins.

Liquorice

Liquorice

It’s better for your flat stomach drunk in tea form than eaten as sugary confectionary, but the digestive and anti-inflammatory benefits of liquorice are not to be sniffed at.

Pears

Pears

The high pectin (natural fruit sugars) content contained within pears makes the juicy fruit a strong diuretic and good at fending off unwanted water retention. They are high in fibre, too, which encourages a feeling of fullness and healthy digestion.

Horse Chestnut

Horse Chestnut

The seeds, leaves, bark and flowers of the horse chestnut have been used for centuries to treat numerous conditions, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties. Drink in tea form to reap the belly-flattening rewards.

Leeks

Leeks

High in potassium and vitamin C, leeks are present in many diet plans to relief excess weight around the stomach caused by water retention.

Yarrow

Yarrow

Yarrow might be a common weed to some, but taken in tea or tablet form, it’s a powerful diuretic and has anti-inflammatory properties, great for maintaining a healthy digestive system.

Dandelion

Dandelion

Similarly, if you are looking to lose water weight caused by retention, try drinking dandelion root tea, or a herbal tea that contains dandelion as an ingredient. It is a natural diuretic, and will help your kidneys to flush out excess fluids and sodium. Consider adding a few squeezes of…

Lemons

Lemons

… Lemon to your herbal infusion as well. A well-known detoxifier, it’s a great natural weapon against water retention and could help you achieve a flatter stomach.

Peaches

Peaches

Peaches are great for restoring balance to an upset or bloated stomach, as they have both laxative and diuretic properties due to their alkaline nature.