Although sodium is essential for a healthy body, a significant majority of Americans eat more than twice the recommended amount, according to the American Heart Association. While those salty snacks might be tantalizing to the taste buds, they’re quite dangerous to the body’s health. A high-salt diet increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. In addition to those long-term health hazards, eating too much salt can make you feel bloated.
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Although it may seem counterintuitive to drink water when your body is already full of the stuff, it’s actually necessary. Water is a diuretic, so it triggers your body to remove excess water and flush sodium from your digestive system, says registered dietitian Joy Bauer in "Women's Day." After eating too much salt, your body holds onto water because it’s trying to prevent dehydration. Drinking water is a gentle reminder to your system that you’re well-hydrated without the extra water retention. Although water should be your main drink of choice, ginger, chamomile and peppermint tea can also help you debloat. These types of teas not only act as diuretics but also calm your digestive system.
If you just can’t imagine guzzling another ounce of water, turn to water-rich fruits instead. Watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, oranges, pineapple, grapefruit, celery and cucumbers are all effective choices when trying to debloat. If you need to eat on the run, toss these water-rich fruits into a blender with a bit of yogurt -- also high in water -- and a few ice cubes for a tasty, debloating smoothie.
The American Heart Association explains that potassium is a powerful ally in your fight against sodium retention. Potassium plays a double duty in the body, not only encouraging sodium excretion but also relaxing blood vessel walls and lowering blood pressure. Potassium-rich foods include bananas, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, oranges, melons, apricots, raisins and yogurt. The association recommends a daily potassium intake of about 4,700 milligrams for the average adult.
Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise can help relieve bloating symptoms by keeping fluids moving through your system. Staying active can also push gas through your digestive tract, a common culprit of tummy discomfort. A brisk walk or gentle jog are great options for debloating after a salty meal. But if your bloated belly is preventing you from these types of exercise, spend a few minutes practicing yoga. Focus on yoga twists, which gently massage and squeeze your body’s digestive system, promoting more effective digestion.