10 Food Cures
Try: Peppermint tea, fennel seeds
"Peppermint and fennel both work as antispasmodics to relax bowel muscles. This helps prevent pain caused by the buildup of gas, which gets stuck in the gastrointestinal tract when the muscles are constricted," explains Cindy Yoshida, MD, director of the Women's GI Clinic at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
How much? Try drinking one cup of peppermint tea or eating a half teaspoon of fennel seeds after a meal.
Avoid: Carbonated drinks and sorbitol-sweetened foods, all of which are harder for your digestive tract to break down, says Dr. Yoshida. Gas forms when undigested foods are broken down by bacteria in the colon. Also, limit your consumption of beans, tofu, legumes, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower. (Before you eat them, try taking Beano; the supplement contains a natural enzyme that helps break these foods down.)
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