Living with digestive disorders such as IBS can often mean living with an uncomfortable, embarrassing problem: excessive flatulence and gas.
But instead of problems, we want to talk today about solutions. What foods might you be eating that cause flatulence and gas? What foods can you eat to prevent it? And how might you prevent or treat excessive gas?
Which foods can cause flatulence and gas?
Not everyone will react the same way to every type of food. But there are some types of foods – or the components found in them – that commonly lead to gas:
Raffinose – Beans contain significant levels of this complex sugar, which is also found – in smaller doses – in vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage.
Starches – When starchy foods such as corn, noodles, potatoes and wheat break down, they produce gas. Rice is the only exception.
Fructose – This sugar is used as a sweetener in sodas and fruit drinks, but also occurs naturally in artichokes, wheat, onions and pears.
Sorbitol – Another sugar, this one is found in fruits such as apples, peaches, prunes and pears, and is also used to sweeten sugar-free products.
Fiber – Soluble fiber, which dissolves easily in water, is found in oat bran, peas, beans and most fruits. It doesn’t break down until it hits your large intestine, where digestion produces gas. Foods with insoluble fiber, which doesn't break down the same way, produce little gas. This fiber is found in wheat bran and some vegetables. Read our recent blog post about fiber to learn more.
Which foods may reduce it?
Just as different foods may cause gas in different people, some foods might help prevent or reduce flatulence and gas in one person, but not another. Here are some foods dieticians say can be helpful to people dealing with excess gas:
- Raw honey (not for children under 1)
- Green juices made from kale, spinach, cucumbers, etc.
And while it's not technically a food, drinking a lot of water can help prevent gas, while also keeping you hydrated and flushing out toxins.
IBS and gas
Everyone deals with gas. It's part of digestion. But people with conditions such as IBS often find they have trouble getting rid of gas, and some IBS treatments can worsen gas pains.
Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to lessen gas:
Try over-the-counter treatments, with an eye towards ingredients such as charcoal, simethicone, and alpha-galactosidase.
Keep a food journal, which may help you determine which foods cause flatulence and gas. Later, we'll look at some foods that cause gas, and a few that can prevent it.
Stress can trigger IBS symptoms such as gas, so you may want to look for ways to reduce stress in your life, such as yoga or meditation.
Foods that contain probiotics can restore gut integrity and reduce gas and bloating.
If you're living with a digestive disorder such as IBS or Crohn's, Proper Nutrition can help.
The bioactive peptides found in our Seacure and Seavive supplements work directly in your digestive system to reduce the symptoms of digestive disorders, regulate digestion and restore your gut integrity.
Visit our website to find out more. By taking just a few capsules a day, you can lead a more active, comfortable life.