The Best Tips to Prevent Excessive Gas and Bloating
Excessive gas is an embarrassing phenomenon that causes discomfort not only due to the sound or smell, but also because it can cause abdominal pain. Almost everyone suffers from gases, but there is what to do about it, especially with the right nutrition and supplements. There is nothing to be ashamed of: the average healthy person emits gases up to 15 times a day. They often have no voice or smell, but when something normal becomes a problem that repeats dozens of times a day, it becomes unpleasant and causes abdominal bloating and pain. Before you run to the doctor or hide in the bathroom, here are some explanations and tips that can help:
What are the causes of gas?
Most of the gases emitted are regular air that enters the digestive system “accidentally” while breathing. This action occurs when talking and eating simultaneously, chewing gum, during stressful situations, or when we gasp a lot of air. Other factors such as lack of exercise, changes in eating habits, smoking, allergy and wrong combination of food ingredients may cause gasses.
In about 30% of the population the problem occurs daily and disturbs the quality of life. Gases are also created from a bacteria naturally found in the intestines that “eat” undigested leftovers. Factors that contribute to it are mostly processed foods with artificial sweeteners and also foods rich in fiber such as whole grains, legumes, beans and cruciferous vegetables. While they aid digestion, over-eating them can cause excess gas for some people. Liquid dairy products also contain lactose, such as milk and yogurt, that may create gas for those who have lactose intolerance.
It it dangerous?
Healthy people can develop excessive gas due to an improper diet or stress. But if it happens frequently and causes you discomfort and pain, you can consult with your doctor, and consider conducting an examination to rule out bowel disease, lactose intolerance, candida, celiac disease and irritable bowel disease.
What can you do?
First of all try to maintain a regular breathing, so as not to swallow too much air. Irregular breathing is caused by stress and talking during eating. Regarding nutrition, you can minimize the consumption of milk and dairy products (if you are sensitive to them), high-fat foods, soda drinks, chewing gum that causes unnecessary swallow of air and artificial sweeteners that the body doesn’t digest well. Beans are also known to cause gas, but since sprouted beans tend to produce fewer of them, you can search for them in supermarkets. Also cabbage family vegetables (cruciferous family) like cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli produce gases. You should not give up on them completely, but if you want to avoid the awkward side effects, it is recommended to boil them before eating, or dissolve caraway seeds, cumin, turmeric, nutmeg or cinnamon on them before cooking, or cook them with potatoes that absorb gases. More foods that can cause gases are mainly cereals and whole grains and some fruits: bananas, peaches, prunes and raisins.
What is best to eat?
Rice is the only grain that doesn’t cause gas and can be combined with meals, but even in this case you should not overdo it, as too much rice causes constipation. As for vegetables, fennel is one of the most recommended to treat stomach and digestive problems. It is known as a detoxifier, fights infections and helps release the toxins through urine.
Various spices also help the digestive system and help to reduce gas, and you can read about them in detail in my previous article about the top 10 herbal teas for better digestion.
What about supplements and medications?
There are various products in the market, such as coal tablets that absorb gas, products that contain digestive enzymes such as papain or bromelain that help break down food, and probiotics supplements that alter the population of bacteria in the intestines and reduces gas. You will need to try and see what works best for you. As for the coal tablets there is a need to take into account that the substance doesn’t absorb only the gas but all in its path, so it is not recommended for those taking medications or other supplements. If all of this does not help, you can contact your doctor.
– Chew well: gases are often caused because of poor absorption of carbohydrates. Good chewing helps to start the process of digestion before swallowing. Chewing well is also good to reduce the smell that is generated due to sulfur-rich proteins in the intestines.
– Eating more often, but less is better: some people find that eating five small meals a day rather than three or two large meals helps them in reducing excess gas. In addition, reduce the amount of fat in your meal to reduce gas formation.
– The digestive system is personal and unique: each person may have different sensitivities. Check if particular foods that are mentioned here are those that cause you excessive gas, and reduce them in your menu. After your situation has improved, try to combine them in small quantities, and be attentive to your body.
You can also try this delicious digestive smoothie which contains digestive enzymes that help the process of digestion.