Foods to eat today to feel better tomorrow

There are certain foods that you know will make you feel worse tomorrow. Going out for pizza and beer then swinging by the ice cream shop just isn't a good idea anymore. You know a night like that will leave you feeling bloated and sluggish.

However, on a positive side, there are foods that you know will leave you feeling amazing tomorrow. When you commit to eating clean and lean dishes loaded with fresh fruits and veggies, you'll wake up feeling happy and full of energy. Here are a few to keep in stock.

Raspberries

Berries of any kind are always a good idea. They are full of antioxidants and taste amazing. Food Transformation Coach and Founder of Cookin' up Fitness Kameo Snyder told me just how great they really are.

"Bright red, sweet, and delicious, raspberries contain rheosmin, a raspberry ketone that increases enzymatic activity of adipose (fat) cells, decreases pancreatic lipase production inhibiting fat storage, and increases metabolic activity allowing food to move quickly through the gastrointestinal tract promoting regularity and weight loss," Snyder said. 

"Raspberries are mostly water, packed with fiber and contain a large variety of concentrated anti-inflammatory phytonutrients that protect the body from illness. One delicious cup provides eight of the 25 grams of recommended dietary fiber needed per day, and 'tis the season to enjoy. Raspberries are ripe and ready May through November." So toss a couple in your morning smoothie or yogurt or enjoy them on their own as an afternoon snack.

Watermelon

It's safe to say that we all need to drink more water to feel better, and watermelon is a delicious way to do that. "Watermelon is 90 percent water, and staying hydrated can help you de-bloat," Registered Dietitian Lauren Manganiello told me. "Watermelon is also a natural diuretic." So watermelon helps hydrate us while getting rid of the bloat. Win-win!

Ginger

When I was pregnant with my second child, I was taken out by nausea and ginger became my best friend. Ginger is known for soothing tummy troubles and will always leave you feeling better.

"Fresh ginger sliced in a cup of hot water warms you up and keeps your digestion running smoothly," Herbalist Lisa Akers told me. "Plus, it soothes upset tummies and helps to alleviate bloating." Ginger is able to make our stomachs feel better because it helps reduce inflammation in the body.

"Ginger's anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties work wonders on bloat. Ginger contains a digestive enzyme called zingibain, which helps the body break down protein," Dr. Alex Roher told me. "It also has a calming effect on your intestines, reducing inflammation in your colon, which will help the food you eat to pass through your system more easily, reducing the bloat and gas you experience."

Pineapple

Is there anything more refreshing than juicy pineapple slices on a hot day? It's sweet and satisfying while helping you feel better tomorrow. 

"The natural enzyme bromelain that is found in pineapples is efficient at breaking down the proteins we eat," Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Autumn Ehsaei told me. "It can aid in faster and easier digestion and may help reduce feelings of indigestion or bloating." 

So if you do opt for a pizza and beer night, make sure to end it with pineapple for dessert (or throw some on your Hawaiian pizza!).

Mint

Mint helps us feel better for a number of reasons. For one, it helps with bloat and digestive issues. It also helps curb our sweets cravings. Forgoing that brownie for a mint tea will always make you feel better the next day.

"I love sipping on mint tea in the evenings after dinner, partially to help curb any sweet cravings, but also to help aid digestion of my meal while reducing bloat and fullness," Ehsaei told me. "Mint leaves can relax the digestive tract, helping foods move through it more easily. I always have herbal mint tea on hand, but also grow mint in a small pot on my back porch so that I can have access to the fresh leaves any time."

If you have been noticing upset stomach or bloating in the evenings, give peppermint tea a chance. "Natural peppermint tea (hot or cold) has been used for centuries to tame troubled tummies and aid digestion," Cardiologist Dr. Luiza Petre told me. "It has both anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties that beat bloat also. Additionally, peppermint calms down the entire digestive tract and allows gas to pass."

Artichokes

A big bowl of creamy spinach artichoke dip probably won't help you feel better in the morning, but the fresh stuff will! Artichokes are great for our digestive systems and are full of fiber to keep us full.

"These fun veggies are full of fiber, which will help your large intestines work better. It's also has been shown to reduce symptoms of heartburn and indigestion," said Akers. "As a bonus, artichokes are bitter, which stimulates digestion." Try roasting or even microwaving one for an easy afternoon snack.

Fennel

Many of us have used dried fennel in our cooking, but eating the fresh plant can help your stomach feel better tomorrow. That's because, as Dr. Petre told me, fennel can stimulate your digestion and help your body break down food. That means less time for food to hang around in your stomach to cause gas and bloating. She also said that it has a compound in it that calms down spasms in your GI tract, which can offer you some relief from gassy cramps.

So if you're not feeling too hot after a heavy meal, pull out the fennel and chomp away.

Cucumbers

Another fantastic food to get rid of bloating is cucumber. Not only do cucumbers help de-puff eyes at the spa, they do the same thing for the entire body.

"Cucumbers are very hydrating and easily tackle the water retention aspect of bloating. They contain the flavonol antioxidant quercetin, which has been proven to help fight inflammation in the digestive tract and reduce leaky gut symptoms," explained Dr. Petre. "Cucumbers also help cleanse the liver (our main detoxifying organ) by removing waste materials and toxins from the gut and blood. Finally, the seeds are a great source of magnesium that can hydrate the digestive lining and gut which helps avoid constipation." 

There are lots of ways to enjoy cucumbers. Try adding fresh slices to your water, dipping them in hummus, or tossing some on your lunch salad.

Fish

I will admit, I've never been a seafood fan. I want to like it, but there's just something about that smell. However, after doing my research for this piece, I may have to rethink my stance. Eating fish every week is an amazing way to feel better right away.

"Not only is it healthy, packed with protein, and low in calories, the omega-3 fats that are found in fish help to regulate your body's internal clock, in part through its effects on the release of melatonin, a hormone that regulates your sleep cycle," Herbalife Director of Nutrition Susan Bowerman told me. "Better sleep at night means better energy levels the next day." Now that it's summer, try grilling your fish for tacos or a salad topper.

Avocados

I was thrilled to hear that eating avocados today can help you feel better tomorrow, because who doesn't love them? Adding mashed avocado to just about any meal adds a creamy, satisfying touch while being incredibly healthy.

"Avocados are one of the best foods you can eat, and they rarely cause digestive problems or inflammation," Weight Loss and Nutrition Expert Dany Schaper told me. "They are basically brain fuel, and the healthy fat will help you feel fuller and keep you going longer." Not that you needed an excuse to whip up a big bowl of guacamole, but now you have it!

Blueberries

Almost all of the nutrition experts I spoke with raved about blueberries and their ability to help you feel better fast. They're high in antioxidants and proven to help prevent chronic diseases.

"I love incorporating blueberries into smoothies, salads, yogurts, and more. They're rich in anthocyanins, a category of phytonutrients that may help protect against the development of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other chronic conditions," Registered Dietitian Wendy Lopez told me. "They also add a refreshing burst of sweetness, especially during the summer months. One of my favorite recipes are these creamy and subtly sweet Bite Sized Vegan Blueberry Cheesecakes!"

Whole grains

Most of us don't get enough fiber, and that can mean upset stomachs. Whole grains provide us with a great fiber boost to get us feeling better in no time. "The more fiber you eat, the less time food spends in the stomach, which helps keep food and acid from coming back up." Ronald Primas, M.D. told Health. To easily incorporate more whole grains into your life, start looking at where you're eating white breads and pastas, then replace them with the whole grain variety. You won't notice a difference in taste, but your stomach will thank you!

Leafy greens

Eating a diet high in fresh greens is always going to leave you feeling better. "Spinach, broccoli rabe, kale, and Swiss chard are all high in both water volume and fiber, two key components to keeping your gastrointestinal tract moving," Keri Glassman, R.D. told Today. "And of course, they are low in calories and packed with antioxidants helping you reap all the other clean eating benefits, from skin health to preventing cancer and promoting weight loss. Some greens such as fennel and dandelion act as diuretics helping to reduce bloat while filling you up at the same time." Whip up a salad for lunch or throw some spinach in your morning smoothie. The more, the better!

Listen to your body

The best way to choose the right foods is to pay attention to how they affect you. If you notice that you always feel like you have more energy when you drink a green smoothie in the morning, make note of that and plan to do it more often. Our bodies are smart, and they will tell us what foods to eat more of. They'll also tell us which foods to avoid, so listen up.