Flatulence has several causes; most are natural and can be divided into several categories.
This is when flatus is produced within the intestines. This occurs when certain foods are digested producing gas as a by-product. undigested food can also cause flatulence when the food reaches the colon.
This occurs when air is swallowed as we drink, eat, or swallow saliva.
Your diet is a major cause of flatulence and by avoiding the following foods this condition can be brought under control; Limit foods high in oligosaccharides like inulin. Inulin belongs to a class of fructans which are basically dietary fibers.
Beans contain a complex polysaccharide called oligosaccharide. Oligosaccharide has large molecules which are not easily broken down by the digestive system like other sugars. This is because enzymes that digest oligosaccharides are not produced in the small intestines.
Oligosaccharides finds its way into the large intestines where it is broken down by bacteria, this process produces a lot of gas. How many of you love beans; sometimes I can not get enough....
Mushrooms contain a sugar called raffinose which is not fully digested in the small intestines. When undigested raffinose finds its way into the colon, it is fermented producing gas as a by-product. If you have ever had abdominal surgery and have scar tissue avoid mushrooms as they could cause you problems.
Some dairy products like milk and yogurt can cause flatulence. This mostly occurs in adults who are lactose intolerant meaning their bodies do not produce enough of the enzyme lactase. Digestion of lactose takes place in the small intestines; in the case of lactase intolerance it is not fully digested and this results in the production of gas and bloating.
Plums, cherries, prunes, pears, apples, peaches and apricots are known for producing a lot of gas. These fruits are rich in fructose, when you consume more than the body can digest, some fructose ends up in the colon. This sugar is then broken down by fermentation producing gas as a by-product; however, do not ignore the health benefits, but please weigh your options carefully as you know your body best.
Wheat is a starch that contains a natural sugar called fructose. When excess fructose is broken down by ‘good’ bacteria in the colon, gas is produced as a by-product. This is because when the bacteria ferment fructose to ease digestion gas is produced as a by-product.
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A healthy diet must include vegetables because they have many nutritional benefits. Unfortunately some of the vegetables we consume can cause gas. Some of these vegetables may include, but not limited to the following food groups:
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that is rich in anti-cancer compounds. Cruciferous compounds are well-known to be high in sulfur. The fiber in broccoli may not be fully digested in the small intestine, when it finds its way in the colon then this bacteria can cause gas build up.
Besides being very high in sulfur, cabbage contains methyl mercaptan. During fermentation in the large intestines these compounds lead to the production of excess gas.
This is a cruciferous vegetable like broccoli; during fermentation, gas builds up in the colon.
Onions can cause digestive problems and gas build-up. This is because onions contain high levels of fractooligosscharide and inulin which are not easily digested in the small intestines. When these compounds interact with the good bacteria in the colon they are fermented producing gas as a by product. Who doesnt like fried Onions?
Asparagus contain both raffinose and fructans, which are fermented in the large intestine by good bacteria producing gas.
Sweeteners (maltitol, erythritol, xylitol, sorbitol)
All these are natural sugars that are in foods labeled ‘sugar-free’ or ‘diet sweet’. When they find their way into the large intestines they are fermented and gas is produced as a by-product. Read food labels closely and avoid these sugars because they can cause flatulence.
Yes! Potatoes have never been considered a food that can cause flatulence but they do. This is because they are rich in starch and contain natural sugars. When undigested starch finds its way into the large intestines, then it interacts with the good bacteria resulting in gas build up, and to be honest, gas or not, potatoes will always be on my menu; When is the last time you had fried potatoes, fried onions, and gravy?
Our Final Thoughts!
Flatulence can be controlled by avoiding the above mentioned foods. It is always best to look for alternatives that will have no effect on your digestive system. In case of lactose intolerance, it is always best to consider seeing a doctor for enzyme lactose supplements.