Flatulence, gas, farting, breaking wind – whatever you call it, we’ve all done it. And we’ve all suffered the embarrassing consequences. Gas is uncomfortable and, worse, it smells! Nobody wants to be the cause of a room clearing out faster than a skunk on the run from a neighborhood dog. But what causes gas, and more importantly, what foods are most likely to make you fart?
The average person farts around 14 times a day, but that number can vary widely depending on diet and lifestyle. Some of the foods most likely to cause gas are high-fiber foods like beans, whole grains, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower. Other offenders include dairy products, artificial sweeteners, and carbonated drinks.
If you’re looking to avoid gas and bloating, try avoiding these common culprits:
Beans are an excellent source of fiber, protein, and iron – but if you’re prone to flatulence, they might just be too good. While there is no scientific evidence that beans cause more gas than any other food, many people do report greater sensitivity to bean consumption. If you’re a big fan of the legume family, try saving them for either your main meal or as a snack – rather than eating large portions at once.
2. Cruciferous Vegetables
Broccoli, cabbage, and brussels sprouts contain carbohydrates called oligosaccharides which cannot be digested by human enzymes alone. When these vegetables enter the gut undigested they undergo fermentation by bacteria present in the large intestine, leading to the production of methane and carbon dioxide.
3. Dairy Products
Dairy products are a common source of gas because they contain lactose, a sugar that is difficult to digest for some people. If you experience discomfort or bloating after eating dairy products, try switching to lactose-free dairy or taking a lactase enzyme supplement before eating them.
4. Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose are often blamed for causing gas and bloating. While there is no scientific evidence to support this claim, some people do find that these sweeteners cause digestive problems.
Wheat is a high-carbohydrate food that can be difficult to digest for some people. If you find that wheat products cause you problems, try substituting other grains like quinoa or buckwheat.
6. Carbonated Drinks
Carbonated drinks like soda and beer contain carbon dioxide, which can cause gas and bloat. To avoid this problem, try limiting your intake of carbonated drinks or switch to non-carbonated alternatives.
7. Onions and Garlic
Onions and garlic are two of the most common food offenders when it comes to gas production. Both foods contain high levels of sulfur compounds which can be difficult to digest.
8. Prune Juice
Prune juice is often recommended as a natural way to constipation – but it’s also one of the most common causes of gas. This is because prune juice contains a type of carbohydrate called oligosaccharides that cannot be digested without special enzymes.
Raisins are another food that can cause problems because they contain high levels of a type of sugar called sorbitol, which is poorly absorbed by the body and sometimes causes gas and diarrhea in large quantities.