Diets in Review - Find the Right Diet for You

The Magic Nutrient That Banishes Bloat

I love summer, but one of the things about this sweltering time of year that I really have a hard time with is feeling bloated and heavier when the humidity starts to peak around 80% and upward. My rings don’t fit on my fingers, my ankles feel wider, my belly feels a bit jollier, and the list goes on.

honeydew melonWhether you experience these same feelings of puffiness because of the weather, hormones or from a night of debauchery, there is a natural solution to help you to get rid of that excess water-weight and it’s found right in the foods we eat. The electrolyte potassium is a powerful ally to have around your kitchen when those bloated symptoms start to puff up. Potassium works its magic by counterbalancing sodium, which we all know is a primary culprit in feeling bloated.  Eating foods that are high in potassium has a diuretic effect so you’re able to eliminate that extra water and start feeling more like that svelte you.

Foods that are potassium-rich are in full bloom this time of year and all of these foods offer a host of other nutritious benefits too, in addition to packing a powerful potassium punch. Aim for getting about 3500 to 4000 mg of potassium a day.  But if your feeling bloated last for more than a day or so and it is accompanied by digestive distress, put a call into your doctor just to make sure nothing else is going on.

Slice into some honeydew: Potassium-rich honeydew melon is a surefire way to take the pudge off your bloat.  It is also super high in Vitamin C and contains only 65 calories per one cup. 

Bake a batch of sweet potato fries: Sweet potatoes are another potassium-winner. They are also loaded with Vitamin A: One cup contains 769% of your recommended Vitamin A! Slice up a sweet potato, toss in a tablespoon of olive oil and bake in the oven for about 35 minutes.

avocadoAdd an avocado to your salad: In addition to avocadoes containing those fabulous heart-healthy fats, they are also packed with potassium. Make a salad with fresh spinach, which is another potassium powerhouse, and throw in a few slices of avocado.  Just go easy on the salad dressing since one cup of diced avocado contains 22 grams of fat and about 250 calories.

Peel away a banana: No discussion on potassium would be complete without mentioning the world’s most popular fruit, the banana. One banana contains between 500 to 750 mg of potassium. Slice a banana in your cereal or yogurt or freeze one and then blend it with a few dashes of soymilk for a quick frozen treat.

Using natural foods to cure some of our most uncomfortable maladies is just more proof that eating a diet that is comprised of whole foods will keep us feeling and looking great.

Happy Noshing!

July 23rd, 2008

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