Food & Nutrition

The 15 Best Foods for Your Belly

These foods can help you beat inflammation and imbalanced gut flora, so you can soothe and shrink your stomach at the same time. Our 21-Day Tummy eating plan incorporates many of these delicious options in its recipes.

High-fiber and antioxidant-rich vegetables


All veggies are good for you. They are high in vitamins, phytonutrients, antioxidants, and fiber and are generally low in calories and low in fat. But certain varieties do contain FODMAPs, or rapidly fermentable carbohydrates that can aggravate your gut, that are difficult for some people to digest. Our plan focuses only on low-FODMAP veggies, especially those rich in anti-inflammatory magnesium and other important minerals. Leafy green veggies (kale, Swiss chard, spinach), bell peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, tomatoes, and potatoes are all good examples. Check out some other foods that are bad for your belly, including high-FODMAP veggies.

Fermented veggies

Fermented preserved vegetarian food concept. Cabbage kimchi, broccoli marinated, sauerkraut sour glass jars over rustic kitchen table. Canned food concept.casanisa/Shutterstock

Fermented foods as a whole are good for your gut, since the fermentation process helps boost the foods’ probiotics. Eating probiotic-rich foods helps boost the good bacteria in your digestive system while helping to eliminate the bad stuff. Sauerkraut, a fermented mix of cabbage and other veggies, is pretty much a stomach superfood. Consider purchasing fermented vegetables, or just fermenting them yourself—here’s a guide. Sauerkraut, carrots, green beans, beets, and kimchi are all great to start with. Here are some more of the best probiotic foods for a healthy gut.

Cruciferous veggies

BroccoliBukhta Ihor/Shutterstock

This group of veggies, also known as the Brassicaceae family, is packed with nutritious benefits for your whole body, tummy included. They’re loaded with antioxidants, and they contain a powerhouse chemical called Sulforaphane that can help fight bad gut bacteria, helping to prevent stomach ulcers and even cancer. Kale, cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli are good examples.

Tummy-trimming fruits


Many sweet fruits have a balanced glucose-to-fructose ratio, which may be easier on your gut than those with more fructose. Try some bananas and blueberries, cantaloupe and honeydew, grapes, oranges, pineapple, papaya, strawberries, raspberries. Here are some more great non-diet foods that help you lose weight.

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Healthy Eating – Reader's Digest