Feeling Gassy? Foods and Other Causes of Gas
There are many foods that can cause gas but there are also many ways in which a person can get gassy. Through my own trial and error and sometimes learning the hard way, I’ve become numb to certain foods that cause even the slightest gas (or wind as they say over in Europe and elsewhere). I have also included foods below that can cause bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation.
Whether you are following the low-FODMAP diet or not, learn this list to for the sake of yourself and those that are nearby 🙂
- Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage (savoy), onions, leeks, garlic, artichokes, asparagus, cauliflower, mushrooms, shallots
- Carbonated drinks and drinks made with artificial sweeteners or fructose
- Dried fruits
- Fruits, such as apples, applesauce, apricots, blackberries, cherries, lychee, nectarines, peaches, pears, persimmons, plums, tamarillo, watermelon
- Legumes – Most beans and peas as well as pistachios and cashews
- Milk and milk products – the problem is the lactose content
- Sugar alcohols found in sugar-free foods (sorbitol, mannitol and xylitol, anything ending with -ol)
- Whole-grain foods or wheat-based foods/products
Try any of these FODMAP friendly foods to help relieve gas:
- Water – Drink plenty of it to help “flush” out your system
- Peppermint – The University of Maryland’s Medical Center states: “peppermint relaxes the muscles that allow painful digestive gas to pass.” Try enteric coated peppermint capsules, peppermint leaves and organic peppermints (not made with sugar alcohols).
- Cinnamon – In Ayurvedic medicine, cinnamon is used to balance digestion and help restore the stomach to a balanced state. Sprinkle it on lactose-free yogurt, kefir, in gluten-free oats or use it after you eat to aid in digestion by adding a teaspoon to decaf green tea. If you have diabetes, sprinkle cinnamon on high carb foods to lower the impact on your blood sugar levels.
- Fresh, raw Pineapple – Bromelain, found in pineapple, is an enzyme that aids in digestion and helps prevent inflammation and swelling. I have found many sources that say you should consider eating pineapple alone so the bromelain isn’t used up digesting other food.
- Flax seeds – Making a smoothie? Need a topping for your lactose-free yogurt? Add some flax seeds as they can prevent excessive gas and fend off constipation.
- Green juice – made with kale, spinach, lemon, ginger, and carrots. Green juice can help alkalize the body and reduce gas.
Plan on drinking this fresh juice only if you have access to a toilet for a couple of hours as it may help flush you out – quickly!
Things You Might Do to Produce More Gas
- Not exercise, or even go for a walk
- Chew gum
- Use a straw to drink
- Have or create distractions while eating (which makes you eat more or maybe faster) watching TV, checking your phone, or doing both at once; working on a project, etc.
- Getting too much fiber in your diet by way of supplements or foods
- Stressful lifestyle
Other Causes of Gas
- Food intolerances
- Auto-immune conditions
- Celiac Disease
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) which can lead to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Diverticulitis or an inflammatory bowel disease (BD) like ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.
- Peptic ulcer disease
- Bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine from diabetes
- Panic disorder, anxiety, depression
Whatever the reason is for gas or other digestive symptoms in your life, don’t forget to get in some meditation every day or stress-relieving activities. Having a digestive disorder, food allergy or auto-immune condition can cause physical discomfort, but one of the first things you can do is relieve mental discomfort and treat your mind kindly. Then be more aware of the foods you eat, and how you eat them. If you’ve sought out health advice and feel you’re getting nowhere, keep researching to find a system and a health professional that works for you.
Treat your whole self – mind, body and soul.