We have to discuss your recent gassy habit. You might be embarrassed by it, and it may have even made you uncomfortable. But it might not be your fault.
If you’ve been eating more fruits, legumes, and vegetables while keeping all the junk food out, this may be the reason you’ve been farting more.
Are we saying you should stop eating these food items? No, we are not. There’s a lot of benefits you will get from eating them in the right proportion, and no amount of farting should stop you from eating them.
Instead of abandoning your healthy diet because of the farts, we think it’s better if you understand why it happens. So, in this article, we shall focus on what causes your flatulence and how you can get around it.
How Diet Affects Gas Production
When you go on a healthy diet, one thing that changes is the amount of simple sugar and fiber you take. Fast foods usually have a high glycemic index because they have been over-processed.
The consequence of this is that they will contain fewer fibers, fewer complex sugars, and more simple sugars.
On the other hand, healthy foods will contain more complex sugars and fibers than simple sugars. This is especially true for food items like legumes, vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain cereals.
This difference in sugar and fiber content is one of the main ways diet affects gas production.
The presence of more complex sugars and fiber in your food means that you may fart more than usual. Not all complex sugars will cause you to fart. But complex sugars that cannot be digested will. Examples of such complex sugars are raffinose, verbascose, and stachyose.
Effects of Vegetables and Legumes on Flatulence
In vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower, you will find some of these sugars. In legumes like beans, peas, and lentils, you will also find some of these sugars. But do you know why they trigger flatulence?
Well, the human body does not contain the enzymes needed to break them down. So they are passed through your gut unchanged until they get to the large intestine. In the large intestine, they are broken down by bacteria that produce the enzymes that can break them down.
When they are broken down, different gases are produced. These gases are released from the body when you fart. This is how and why you fart when you eat vegetables and legumes on a healthy diet.
Effects of Fruits on Flatulence
Like vegetables and legumes, fruits also contain fibers and a complex sugar that is not readily digested in your gut. You will find that apples, bananas, oranges, and many other fruits contain Sorbitol. Sorbitol is a complex sugar that your body will not digest.
Since it is not digested by your body, it reaches your large intestine unchanged. In the large intestine, it is broken down by bacteria and gases are produced.
The gases produced when bacteria digest Sorbitol in your body are released by farting. This is how fruits can make you fart.
These complex sugars and fibers in vegetables, legumes, and fruits will cause you to feel full quickly. If you consume them too much, they could also make you bloated. But the good thing about them is that they can help with constipation.
Dairy Products and Flatulence
Dairy products also cause flatulence. But in the case of dairy products, the complex sugar involved is lactose. The effect of flatulence caused by lactose varies from person to person.
Lactose is digested by lactase, an enzyme in the body. But this enzyme is deficient in some people. Such people will experience a lot of farting when they consume dairy products. This disorder is called lactose intolerance.
If you are lactose intolerant, you will not digest lactose well enough. The undigested lactose reaches your large intestine. In the large intestine, bacteria break it down to form gases.
Lactose intolerance can be caused by illness, injury, surgery, or it could be genetic. Also, as you grow older, you eat dairy products less frequently. This change in your diet will cause your body to reduce the amount of lactase it produces.
So, while you may have enough lactase to digest lactose in your usual diet, your lactase may not be enough for large amounts of dairy products.
Foods That Cause Increased Flatulence
The following are some foods that can cause increased gas production:
- Brussels Sprouts
How to Reduce Flatulence
As we mentioned at the start of the article, you shouldn’t abandon your healthy diet because you have become increasingly flatulent.
Instead of putting it all aside because of the gas, you can get around the excessive farting while maintaining a healthy diet.
For one, if you are just making the change to a healthy diet, you should incorporate these foods into your meal plan gradually. Take them in small portions and increase the servings over some months. By doing this, your body slowly adapts to them, and you will not be easily overwhelmed.
Also, you may choose to stick to eating small portions of these foods. With smaller portions, the production of gas is reduced.
You can reduce flatulence by soaking your beans for hours before cooking it. After soaking the beans, drain the water and cook with fresh water. By soaking beans, you reduce the quantity of non-digestible sugar in it.
You may also eat alternative food items. For instance, instead of pinto beans, you may opt for black-eyed peas. Instead of brown or black lentils, you should eat bright-colored lentils.
Since cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower cause flatulence, you may opt for lettuce, cucumbers, and spinach. You can also get dairy products with low lactose content instead of the usual.
When you start eating the right meals, you will likely fart more than usual. You may not be able to stop the farting, but you can adjust to it.
Although farting a lot can be caused by what you eat, it can also be caused by certain medical conditions. If your flatulence is accompanied by worrisome symptoms, you should consult with a medical doctor.