A longer version of this article originally appeared on Livestrong.com.
When it comes to belly bloat, drinking enough (of the right kind of) liquid can help flatten distended abs. Getting rid of bloat means being properly hydrated, so aim for at least eight glasses of liquid per day, and don’t forget to consume plenty of fluid-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables. In addition to water, which should be your main source of hydration, there are certain foods and spices that can help reduce a bloated belly and even burn belly fat. From coconut and citrus to papaya, yogurt and peppermint smoothies, battling belly fat never tasted so good.
1. Kiwi, Zucchini and Apple
This bright-green smoothie bursts with health benefits from kiwi, kale, zucchini and green apple. Not only are these green fruits and veggies low in calories, but they also provide fiber to help regulate blood sugar levels and keep your hunger at bay. When it comes to the fat-fighting powers of apples, it might be about more than just fiber. Studies have shown that overweight women who ate three apples (or pears) each day for three months lost more weight than others who ate a similar fiber-filled diet that did not include fruit. Green apples contain compounds that help cleanse the colon and the bowels, burn fats and toxins and promote the growth of “good” bacteria in the gut.
2. Chocolate, Cannellini Bean and Cinnamon
Creamy and chocolatey, this smoothie is so indulgent that it’s hard to believe it’s packed with superstar ingredients. Quality dark chocolate (anything above 65 percent cacao) contains antioxidants and healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, which help speed up metabolism. The unique addition of cannellini beans provides protein and fiber to make you feel full longer and regulate digestion. Beans are also a good source of iron, a mineral that, when lacking in your diet, can slow down your metabolism. The potassium and resistant starch in the banana can help reduce bloat and may give your metabolism a slight boost. To spice things up further, cinnamon contains powerful antioxidants called polyphenols that can help improve insulin sensitivity and create a thermogenic burn that helps your body burn fat. Full recipe: Creamy Chocolate, Cannellini Bean, and Cinnamon Smoothie
3. Grapefruit, Ginger and Turmeric
This zesty smoothie bursts with grapefruit, ginger and turmeric. Grapefruits can increase the body’s digestive enzymes and burn up stored body fat. Ginger has been used for centuries as a natural remedy to accelerate gastric emptying and treat bloating. And as a close relative to ginger, turmeric provides powerful anti-inflammatory properties and can help give you a boost in fat burning. Finally, the live beneficial bacteria in yogurt (aka probiotics) helps tame tummy bloat by improving digestion.
4. Carrot, Mandarin and Cayenne
This tangy, orange-hued smoothie is spiked with just enough cayenne to give it a satisfying kick and help liven up your metabolism. Naturally low in calories and full of nutrients, carrots are a smart food for weight loss. Foods that are rich in vitamin A (like carrots) can influence fat storage. Researchers have noted that obese people tend to have low levels of vitamin A in their tissues, which can prevent cells from working at optimal levels. Fruits like mandarins and apples are low in calories and provide fiber to help fill you up and aid with digestion. Raw almonds not only provide protein and fiber for staying power, but they also contain healthy monounsaturated fats to help your body burn fat and fight hunger. Full recipe: Carrot, Mandarin, and Cayenne Smoothie
5. Papaya, Yogurt and Peppermint
This tropical mint smoothie tastes so refreshing that you’ll imagine you’ve been transported to a remote island paradise. Packed with vitamin C, papaya contains an enzyme called papain, which helps you break down difficult-to-digest foods, preventing inflammation and belly bloat. And not only does Greek yogurt add a creamy texture to this smoothie, but the gut-friendly bacteria in most yogurts help keep your digestive system healthy and reduce gas, bloating and constipation. Rich in fiber, peppermint promotes digestion and helps your body dissolve gas, which helps make your stomach look flatter.