Between holding a novel above your head for an excruciatingly long time, applying sunscreen on your friend's back and jumping in the water (only to spring back out because it's too cold), let's face it, laying out at the beach or pool is utterly exhausting — and a cause for hunger.
And because you care about your health, when hunger strikes near the water, you automatically reach in your bag for a good-for-you treat. But as you scarf down your container of raw veggies, you start to get an uneasy feeling in your gut, followed by an ominous rumbling and the inevitable tummy pooch.
Although snacks like raw vegetables are healthy, that doesn't mean the effects are instantaneous. Oftentimes, foods that we think are the best for us can contribute to the biggest temporary bloating, which can be uncomfortable when you're wearing a bikini.
No worries! Here are six pool, beach or lakeside snacks you can safely munch on (bloat-free), according to the experts.
Snacks pre-infused with water are your best bet to combat bloating. "Water-based fruit is ultra-hydrating and contains more electrolytes than coconut water," explains Toby Amidor, a registered dietician.
According to Amidor, that extra dose of H2O will help keep things circulating. "Watermelon also contains L-Citrulline, an amino acid that supports heart and blood vessel health, helps your arteries relax and results in greater blood flow throughout the whole body."
Cooked grilled vegetables
According to Abbey Sharp, a registered dietician and blogger at AbbeysKitchen.com, some of the worst bloating culprits can be the healthiest. "In raw form, uncooked veggies like cauliflower, kale and broccoli contain certain sugars that are difficult to digest and cause bloating," she says. "Cooked veggies eliminate those sugars and are more easily digested."
Of course, cold cooked veggies aren't the most appetizing poolside snack. For something with a crunch, try these baked zucchini chips from SkinnyMom.com.
A favorite dieting trick from Victoria Beckham, snacking on frozen grapes can be a great way to stay hydrated and bloat-free by the water. "On a hot, sunny day, these are a great skinny frozen treat," says Kate Martino, a physician assistant in lifestyle medicine. "They're hydrating and can be snacked on for as long as they stay chilled."
Although it will take a bit more prep time, ceviche can be a tasty, refreshing way to avoid an oncoming stomach pooch. "I recommend ceviche as a regular for poolside munchies, considerings its many health benefits," says Mike Clancy, a certified sports nutritionist. "The simple combination of lightly cooked shrimp or raw tuna, avocado cubes and lemon juice is a guaranteed hit and is very easy on the digestive system." Get the recipe here.
The fact that carbonated beverages cause bloating isn't necessarily breaking news. But just because you aren't reaching for a soda or beer to quench your thirst, doesn't mean your stomach is bound to stay flat. "Stick to lemon and water," says Sharp. "High-sugar drinks and even sparkling water can be difficult to digest and cause you to bloat."
Plain old lemon and water not doing much for you? We hear that! Try adding in strawberries, cucumber and mint leaves for a yummy, refreshing, simple and detoxifying concoction.
Packed to the brim with essential fatty acids, plant-based proteins, potassium and Vitamin E, avocados are superfoods when it comes to smooth digestion. What's more, their healthy fats help absorb the nutrients of other foods, key in ensuring that anything you've eaten moves more seamlessly through your system.
Of course, it can be easy to pair this smooth treat with carb-loaded foods like chips and bread and ultimately negate its digestion-boosting effects. Instead, try eating with tomatoes and cooked veggies or in blending into yummy smoothie form.
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