Stomach upsets are bothersome and painful to deal with. But, you can find relief with some healthy diet additions. These 6 delicious superfoods are packed with nutritional compounds to help ease cramps, bloating, and gas!
Bell peppers curb cortisol release.
Great news from a research team based out of Norway: Munching on one cup of sweet bell peppers daily can reduce your risk of fun-sapping queasiness, abdominal bloat. and indigestion by 60 percent. The credit goes to bell peppers’ rich stores of flavonoids, plant nutrients that calm the adrenal glands, reducing their production of the indigestion-fueling stress hormone cortisol.
Cucumbers settle GI nerves.
Cucumbers are chock-full of salicylic acid, a compound that calms sensitive pain nerves in the digestive tract. In fact, scientists from the University of Connecticut say munching on cucumber can calm an upset stomach in 20 minutes and halve your risk of future flares if you eat one cup daily. Bonus: Salicylic acid eases inflammation in the lining of the stomach and small intestine, improving digestion.
Pineapple banishes gas-producing bacteria.
If a summery treat like an ice-cream cone or hot dog causes belly bloat, nibbling on fresh pineapple could quickly tamp down that uncomfortable feeling — plus cut your risk of gassiness by 70 percent, say researchers from the University of Delaware. That’s because the tropical fruit’s natural digestive enzymes quickly break down carbohydrates and fats in the intestines, before sulfur-forming bacteria can turn them into gas.
Honey heals the digestive tract.
We love picnics, but our risk of food poisoning soars during those fun gatherings since bacteria grow fast when food sits in the sun. Honey to the rescue! Researchers at Texas A&M University say raw honey’s antimicrobial compounds hinder bacterial growth, preventing GI troubles when you enjoy one tablespoon daily.
Chicken calms stomach spasms.
The barbecue staple contains an essential amino acid that your digestive tract uses to make serotonin — a calming hormone that relaxes spasming stomach muscles and improves digestion. Enjoy 4 ounces of chicken daily, and scientists from Britain say you’ll reduce your risk of indigestion by 55 percent, and you’ll bounce back 70 percent faster if your stomach is upset.
Strawberries regulate muscle contractions.
Road trips, seasonal diet changes and bouts of dehydration raise the risk of constipation, but snacking on strawberries can help! The gems are rich in anthocyanins, a type of antioxidant that encourages gentle muscle contractions in the intestines to ease constipation and prevent slowdowns if you eat them regularly.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.