Usually, digestive gas isn’t much more than an embarrassing occurrence every now and then, depending on where you are and who you’re with. In fact, it’s a sign that your digestive system is working well. But there are some foods and habits that can make it frequent and uncomfortable. Here are some surprising things that can cause digestive gas and bloating.
1. Food Triggers
Some foods just tend to cause more gas than others. These include brussel sprouts, beans, potatoes, broccoli, and cauliflower.1 Often the culprits are carbohydrates combined with proteins. Our digestive system may sometimes find these hard to digest. These undigested foods are then broken down by bacteria which then release gas as a result.
2. Cooking Method
Some foods like pulses and legumes have tough skins which can be difficult to digest. Soaking them can help make it easier to break down. Fried foods may also cause more bloating, so stick to roasting, broiling, steaming and sauteeing.
Our digestive systems need lots of water to function properly. Water is needed to break down foods effectively. If you’re not drinking enough water, you may experience indigestion and bloating. Try drinking a glass of water half an hour before a meal to helps things go smoother.
4. Eating And Drinking Too Quickly
Eating or drinking too fast often results in us taking in too much air. Activities like chewing gum, sucking on hard candies or drinking through a straw can also cause you to swallow air in the process.2 This air makes its way back out through belches.
5. Food Allergies
Food allergies like lactose intolerance or celiac disease are conditions where the digestive system cannot digest certain compounds. With lactose intolerance, people cannot digest the sugar ‘lactose’ present in milk and milk products. With celiac disease, people cannot digest the protein gluten in wheat and other whole grain products. When those with these disorders ingest these foods they can’t digest, they will experience bloating and digestive gas.3
Stress is also another factor to consider. People may not eat enough when stressed. Others tend to swallow more air when they are nervous. Often when you are anxious, your stomach doesn’t digest food as efficiently as it normally does, leading to indigestion.
Ways To Combat Gas
Gas and indigestion are common problems faced by most people but if you are really bothered by your symptoms, there ways to combat it.4
- Avoid chewing gum, hard candies and drinking through a straw.
- Quit smoking.
- Avoid fried foods, too many high-fat foods, and carbonated drinks.
- Stay away from high-fiber foods for a few weeks and then slowly reintroduce fiber to your diet.
- Eat slowly and eat smaller meals throughout the day.
- Try to reduce stress levels with yoga, meditation, or aromatherapy.
- Natural dietary supplements of enzymes and probiotics may help reduce gas and bloating.
- Try natural foods like papaya, ginger, peppermint tea, and fennel tea which are known for their digestive properties.
If you notice accompanying symptoms like diarrhea, constipation or weight loss, make sure to see a doctor. Often chronic gas problems are indicative of underlying health problems.
In the end, all of us experience indigestion and digestive gas. Just make sure to have a healthy diet that includes a wide variety of all the food groups and avoid foods that may trigger you personally.
|↑1, ↑2||Symptoms & Causes of Gas in the Digestive Tract. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive And Kidney Disorders.|
|↑3||Symptoms & Causes of Gas in the Digestive Tract. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive And Kidney Disorders.|
|↑4||Treatment for Gas in the Digestive Tract. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive And Kidney Disorders.|