If you’re headed for the beach this summer, the last thing you want is bloat. So in order to feel beach-ready, load up your cooler or picnic basket with some beach foods that’ll help promote digestive activity and keeping bloating at its absolute minimum.
“You want to ensure you are eating foods and nutrients that promote gastrointestinal health and reduce water retention to look and feel at your best,” registered dietitian Erin Palinski-Wade, and author of 2 Day Diabetes Diet and Belly Fat Diet for Dummies, tells Sporteluxe. “To fight against bloat, you want to limit your intake of excessive saturated fat, added sugars, and sodium. At the same time, increasing your intake of foods that aid the digestive process such as artichoke can be beneficial.”
The true reason artichoke is such a powerful de-bloating ingredient is because it “helps to increase the production and release of bile from the liver, which aids in the breakdown of fats,” Palinski-Wade explains. If you don’t enjoy artichokes, reach for a liver detox supplement to help.
“Healthy skin plays a large role in feeling summer ready,” Palinski-Wade continues. “For glowing skin, strong nails, and glossy hair, adding vitamin C and silica to your diet can help your body to naturally produce more collagen (unlike drinking collage supplements which wont necessarily end up as collagen in your skin).”
“Achieving a healthy body weight can help you to look and feel at your best,” Palinski-Wade says. “Ensuring you are taking in adequate lecithin in the diet can help to support normal fat metabolism, assisting your efforts. You can find this nutrient in foods such as kidney beans, but if you struggle to take in adequate amounts daily, consider adding a high-quality supplement.”
If you’re looking for the best beach foods to stash away with you on your trip, make sure to add these to your grocery shopping list:
“Artichoke helps to increase the production and release of bile, aiding in the digestion of fats and helping to reduce bloat and constipation,” Palinski-Wade says.
You can serve artichokes grilled (just cut them in half, drizzle with olive oil, and place on the grill), sauteed (in a pan with spices and oil), or steamed on the stovetop for easy service.
Our favorite breakfast toast addition is getting its rightful place on this list, as well. “The good fats within this fruit act as a nutrient booster, helping to enhance the absorption of vitamin A, an essential nutrient for healthy skin,” Palinski-Wade adds.
Try any of our 11 favorite avocado recipes that will satisfy any craving to figure out what you want to eat pre-beach trip, and once you get ravenous post-ocean swim session.
3. Blood orange
Get your vitamins in this fruit! “As a citrus fruit with one of the richest sources of vitamin C, this refreshing option can help to aid collagen production promoting healthy, youthful skin,” Palinski-Wade says.
As part of your beach foods arsenal, the blood orange is possibly the easiest to consume. Simply peel and eat. It needs very little work (though you can add it to drinks, infused water, and even desserts) before it’s ready to serve.
“The omega-3 fatty acids help to reduce inflammation while also providing a good source of quality protein in the diet,” she tells us.
You may not think of this popular digestion-friendly food as also one to help fight back against bloat, but in a surprising way, beans are a great solution.
“This high fiber food can reduce the risk of constipation while providing a good source of the metabolism supporting nutrient lecithin,” Palinski-Wade says.
6. Ice cold water
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. At home, at the beach, wherever you are. Always be hydrating especially on warm and hot days when heat stroke and heat exhaustion are more likely to manifest. You’ll want to continuously drink water — especially if you’re also consuming beer or alcohol — to help keep yourself from dehydration.
“Adequate hydration helps to prevent water retention, but ice cold water can also provide a metabolism boost, helping to promote a healthy body weight,” she adds. “Even slight dehydration can zap energy and increase bloat, so carry a water bottle with you as a constant reminder to drink more.”
These little red berries are not only for the holidays. Bring them out in the summer months because their benefits are powerful all year long. “Not only are these rich in fiber and antioxidants, but the anti-adhesion properties of cranberries can help to fight against urinary tract infections — something you definitely want to avoid before vacation,” she adds.
What else you need to know:
You’re likely on-the-go and traveling — in addition to hitting up the beach — so it’s more important than ever to stay on track with your diet and meal plans. Outside factors and temptations might try to derail it, but keep strong.
“Plan ahead as much as possible,” Palinski-Wade continues. “If you will be eating out, do some research beforehand to know what foods are available so you can have a game plan on what to order.”
If you can, bring a cooler of food, she suggests. “If you can stay at a hotel/beach rental with a kitchen or a refrigerator, you can stock up on healthy options when you first arrive so that you can stay on track with your plan (and save money at the same time),” she says.
So the next time you’re headed out for some sand and surf, make sure you’re prepared. And that comes down to your food, as well.