Joking and talking about being gassy can be hilarious, but when it happens to you especially if it’s a frequent occurrence, it can definitely be a no laughing matter! Everyone’s been there with that bloated uncomfortable feeling that makes you feel heavy. Sometimes it can be so bad you can’t even concentrate on the task at hand. Did you know everyone passes gas around 14 times a day, and we even do it in our sleep? As embarrassing as it may be there is no way around it because gas is part of the natural digestive process our bodies have to go through. Gas can come from two sources, normal breakdown of foods by innocent bacteria that is naturally present in the large intestine or from swallowed air. Swallowed air can be caused by gum chewing, sucking on hard candies and even dentures. These things can cause the amount of saliva produced and swallowed to increase which then increases the amount of air we swallow and in turn, causes gas.
Symptoms of gas can show up as belching, bloating, abdominal pain and flatulence. Whether having gas is regular for you or only happens on occasion it’s important to know a big contribution of it’s cause is found in your diet. While not all these foods will cause gas for everyone it is important to know gas-triggered foods especially if you’re gearing up for a special event, you just might to stay clear of these. The best and easiest way to find out if certain foods cause you gas is to try going a week without having it and see if the symptoms subside. Many of these foods are still healthy for you so make sure to consult your doctor because you may not want to completely cut them out of your diet.
Asparagus can be cooked and prepared in so many delicious ways that you will never get bored of it. They taste lovely steamed and lightly salted and even do really well on the grill. They’re an excellent source of vitamin K and fiber and could actually be considered a natural diuretic.
Along with being a natural diuretic, asparagus contains complex carbs called raffinose galactose. Our bodies don’t have the proper enzymes to fully break these down. In result, this causes the bacteria found in our gut to ferment the food so we can process it. This process then leads to excess gas.
So many of us love these little trees for their health benefits. Just to name a few broccoli like asparagus, is a good source of vitamin K and fiber. It is also a great source vitamin C which is good for building collagen which is important to help form body tissue and bones. There are so many health benefits to broccoli however it could cause you gas too.
Like asparagus, broccoli also contains raffinose. As we know now this is complex carb has difficulty breaking down in our bodies causing us gas. This then can cause us to bloat and feel uncomfortable. Cooking broccoli may not eliminate bloating but it could help. Softening the fiber and shrinking its portion can take up less space in the gastrointestinal tract making them easier to digest.
You know the song, “beans, beans a musical fruit”, I think you know the one. Well, there is a reason why beans have their own fart song because they can cause gas too! The reason behind it is because beans contain a sugar called oligosaccharide that our bodies cannot fully break down.
The oligosaccharides are large molecules that make their way through the digestive tract to the large intestine still unbroken. Bacteria that are present in the large intestine will then have to break down the oligosaccharides and this process causes gas which will then come out as flatulence. Beans do offer a great source of protein especially for those who follow the plant-based diet so make sure to consult your doctor if you believe beans to be the culprit of your constant gas before you cut them completely out of your diet.
Cauliflower is a great alternative for those on a low carb diet because you can make it mock carby-foods you love like rice or potatoes. It also offers a good dose of vitamin C and can act as an antioxidant that searches and collects harmful free-radicals that are in our bodies. However, considering cauliflower has non-digestible carbohydrates makes it a food that causes gas as well as bloating.
Cauliflower is also a strong source of sulfur which can lead to a smellier kind of gas. While that alone may want to turn you away from cauliflower having a smelly gas can have its pros too. Foods that are rich in sulfur-containing glucosinolates could help lower the risk of some cancers such as colon cancer and lung cancer.
Cabbage can give a salad an extra crunchy texture and can even add extra flavor. It is also often used in dinners like cabbage rolls or cabbage soup. It is known for its nutritional supply of vitamin K, C and B6 and so much more. There is no wonder why so many people enjoy having cabbage in their diet. However, when it comes to foods that can give you gas, cabbage too could be the culprit.
Like broccoli, cabbage contains the indigestible sugar, raffinose. As we already learned our bodies can’t break this down fully causing bacteria in the digestive tract to ferment the sugar and then result in gas and sometimes bloating. Green cabbage also contains a significant amount of fiber and more specifically contains insoluble fiber that increases the movement of waste in the digestive tract. If food is moved through the digestive tract too quickly it could result in diarrhea. So the next time your experience gas make sure to check if cabbage may have been the cause.
Have you ever experienced an increase in pungent odors coming out of the rear several hours after eating delicious little Brussels sprouts? This is because our bodies have a hard time digesting them which leads to our intestines to do the hard work.
More specifically, sprouts contain cellulose which is hard for our digestive systems to process. This then will result in a lot of the original Brussels sprouts to enter the colon. It is then gets digested by gut bacteria. While the intestines are breaking down the sprouts this process will release a variety of gases and will have to pass eventually.
A lot of dairy products contain lactose, a sugar that is present in milk. Lactose can have difficulty breaking down in the digestive tract especially if there isn’t enough enzyme lactase (an enzyme found in the intestine that breaks down lactose).
Depending on how much lactase enzymes your body produces will determine how sensitive you are to lactose. The quantity would be quite low for someone who is lactose sensitive or intolerant. If that happens to be you, you know how much a little bit of milk in your coffee can affect you. Make sure to consult your doctor if you suspect you are lactose sensitive.
Considering sodas are carbonated, and you’re basically drinking gas and there is no wonder why this could be a gas-triggering drink. What goes in, must come out, right? On top of carbonation, sodas are also filled with sugar or more commonly known, corn syrup. Both of these sugars will head straight to the bowel quickly and can cause gas buildup. The bacteria will eat the sugar and then need to pass it as gas.
All of this can lead to abdominal pain, cramping, bloating and most obvious, flatulence. While you may think sugary sodas are the only gas-triggering beverages then think again. Even carbonated water can give you gas. Considering swallowing excess air can even cause gas, so can drinking liquid gas. Consider cutting out the carbonated drinks to help subside your excess gas.
Prunes are well known to help relieve constipation because of their natural laxative capabilities. However, they too could be causing you excess gas and or bloating. To be more specific, prunes contain a sugar called sorbitol. This sugar is slow to break down in the body which can lead to gas and bloating.
Sorbitol is slow to break down but moves to the bowel quickly which is why it can help relieve constipation. You may want to make sure to stay clear of prunes if you have a special event coming up. You wouldn’t want to risk bloating, gassiness or diarrhea before something important!
We have already learned that many healthy foods that contain fiber and complex carbs can trigger gas but garlic is relatively low in both those departments. Although, garlic still makes the gas-triggering food list. This is due to its starch contents.
Garlic has starches that our bodies have difficulty digesting. It will move from our stomach to the small intestine and then any undigested garlic that enters the large intestine will have to be broken down by bacteria. The starches from garlic can create a byproduct that is in the form of a gas. The gas is made up of carbon dioxide and hydrogen and then on top of the bacteria releases methane making your flatulence to have a foul odor. Garlic seasons many dishes nicely but if you’re going on a hot date you might want to stay clear of it because you could have more than bad breath!
Artichokes may be a rarely eaten food amongst many people. If you’re like me and usually only have artichokes if its served in a dish at a restaurant then you might want to stay clear of artichokes if you have an event coming up. People who rarely eat artichokes are more likely to have gas problems caused by them.
Globe artichokes and Jerusalem artichokes are both high in indigestible fructans, a polymer of fructose molecules. The fructans are what can cause gas and bloating in our stomachs. Some studies show that if you eat hard to digest veggies like artichokes with fennel seeds it may greatly reduce gastrointestinal issues.
Mangoes are delicious and sweet fruit, especially if you can get them fresh. Mangoes are high in fiber and fructose and when you eat large quantities of a fruit that is high in both of those then it can cause bloating and gas.
A ripe mango may not do much harm to your digestive tract but one that is not fully ripe will. Sometimes cravings hit and we lose the patience to fully wait for our fruits to ripen. It’s almost ripe, good enough right? Wrong, when fruits like mangoes aren’t fully ripe they still contain a ton of digestive resistant starches. When the fruit ripens these starches turn to sugar which is easier to digest but if you consume it when it is still high in starch you may experience an unpleasant gas side effect.
Snow peas make the gas-triggering food list for a couple different reasons. First, they contain galacto-oligosaccharides which are a chain of sugars. These sugars are hard to digest and in result will end feeding bacteria found in our gut. As we already learned previously when this happens it can result in bloating.
Furthermore, snow peas also have fructans and they are high in polyols. These are usually only partially absorbed by our bodies and cause more stomach issues. To avoid any problems, you may want to pick an alternate snacking choice to help avoid gas. Luckily, there are plenty of options available to you.
Deep fried food may be a guilty pleasure food that we all like to indulge in every once in a while. However, fried foods can trigger gas too. A lot of restaurants cook fried food because it cooks quickly but also offers a crave quenching flavor and crunch that will keep everyone coming back for more.
Deep-fried foods take our stomachs a lot longer to break down and digest. Due to this, this will allow excess gas to build up and can result in bloating. Make sure to stay clear of deep-fried foods before special occasions and to eat them in moderation.
Just like milk, cheese too is a dairy product that can trigger gas. A lot of cheese is made from curdled milk which means they too contain lactose. We know now can be hard for the body to digest dependent on the amount of lactase in our bodies.
Cheese may be naturally addictive thanks to casomorphins but if you experience gas, bloating and possibly IBS after each consumption of cheese you may need to give up. There are dairy-free cheeses at the supermarket. Make sure to talk to your doctor to discuss the possibilities of being lactose intolerance and what options are available to you.