words by Molly Jennings

I once heard a quote that really stuck with me, “abs are made in the kitchen”. Don’t get me wrong, exercise plays a huge role in achieving a flat tummy… but a thousand crunches a day is not going to solve your tummy troubles if you are filling your trunk full of junk. Changing the foods you put in your body is what really makes the most noticeable difference. So Hip & Healthy have compiled 5 awesome foods to help you achieve the gorgeously sleek tummy that you’ve always wanted.

This coral coloured fish is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. What has that got to do with getting a sexy midriff you might be thinking? Well, these super healthy fatty acids have been shown to help promote fat burning by making your metabolism more efficient. Eat up!

Another reason that we might not be able to achieve a lovely flat tummy is because our gut is inflamed. Kale, and its long list of health benefits, has natural anti-inflammatory properties. Try adding kale to  your salads for an anti-inflammatory kick or to your smoothies to create the perfect flat tummy breakfast or that much needed 4pm pick-me-up. We promise you won’t even notice it’s in there!

These delicious nuts are packed full of protein, healthy fats and fibre, which keep you feeling fuller for longer, helping ward off sugar cravings. Fibre is particularly important for a flat tummy as it keeps our digestive system in check making sure we don’t get that nasty sensation of felling “clogged up”, which is usually accompanied by a bloated and distended tummy. Almonds are such a convenient, tasty snack and perfect when on the go. And let’s face it – who isn’t these days!

The name gives it away. Watermelon is – yes, you guessed it – full of water (around 92% to be precise). This tropical fruit is great for flushing out toxins and extra water from your system, which in turn, reduces puffiness and water retention.

These poor little guys have been given a bad rep in the past for being bad for you (due to their cholesterol content) but really, you’d be hard pushed to find a more brilliant all-round protein source. Eggs are flat-tummy friendly because the protein in them keeps you feeling full for absolutely ages and they really help banish any sweet cravings. So before your reach in to the cookie jar, boil an egg and have it as a snack or scramble them and add some smoked salmon for the ultimate flat tummy combo! Sound like a good breakfast option? We think so!

Image: Wild Heart Bikini by Vix available at Beach Cafe (http://www.beachcafe.com/wild-heat-bikini)