Summer is the time for fun: going to the beach, riding your bike, walking the dog, and just being outside reaping the benefits of outdoor living. But it’s no fun to go to the beach or pool with a bloated belly. Oftentimes, food sensitivities or allergies can contribute to a puffy summer bloat, so definitely consider checking with your doctor if needed. As a second line of defense, consider eating an anti-inflammatory diet for a week or two and see if you notice any difference. Chances are, you will—and I bet you’ll feel better, too.

Check out these food tips for saying good-bye to summer bloat:

Cherry Surprise

Muraleedharan Nair, PhD, professor of natural products chemistry at Michigan State University, has shown in lab experiments that tart-cherry extract can stop the formation of some inflammatory agents 10 times better than aspirin. His findings fueled a cult of cherry-juice devotees among arthritis patients who swear by two tablespoons of concentrated juice daily. In recent research, Nair found that sweet cherries, blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries produce similar effects.

Peppermint Iced Tea

Place a couple of bags of peppermint tea in a glass pitcher and let it “sun” for a couple of hours. Remove the tea bags, add natural sweetener (like stevia extract) and ice, top with a mint leaf and voila! Your belly flattening tea is ready to go.

Pineapple Love

Enjoy de-bloating pineapple (which contains bromelain that aids in protein digestion—hence, flatter belly) on top of your yogurt (which contains probiotics “good” bacteria for good digestion).

Just the Flax Ma’am

Top your smoothie or cereal with fiber-filled ground flax. Simply use your (not for coffee) mini coffee grinder for grinding these little baby seeds and then sprinkle them everywhere!

Fiber Schmiber

The American Heart Association recommends 25 to 30 grams of fiber daily, so be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, ground flax, fiber-rich cereal and nuts/seeds.

I make it simple with one uber-super salad, filling up on all that I need in one sitting. Sliced veggies, lean protein, healthy oil (olive oil vinaigrette) and maybe even some berries!

EFAs are for Real Moms

Real moms agree, healthy fats are the new “black” when it comes to eating in style! The two primary EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids) are known as linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3). According to the American Heart Association’s website, Omega-3 (n-3 polyunsaturated) fatty acids are essential fats that your body needs to function properly but does not make.

Humans must eat them through food, which means getting EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) from seafood, such as salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel or shellfish, and ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) from sources such as walnuts, flaxseed, and canola and soybean oils.

So get out there and enjoy your healthy meals AND have a trimmer, sexier tummy.

See you at the beach!

Image Source: SXC