We’ve all experienced that unpleasant feeling after eating a big meal. You know the one, when your belly is bloated and uncomfortable. While it’s not a serious problem to worry about, it can be very annoying and embarrasing to deal with. We can al avoid this dreaded feeling by watching our diet. Knowing which foods can cause flatulence means you can eat them sparingly. Here’s a list of the most common foods that make you fart.
What’s the main cause of gas?
There are many factors that can trigger bloating. It can happen when the food in your stomach is moving too slowly through your digestive system, if you have weak muscles along your tummy walls, or if your diaphragm muscle contracts instead of relaxing. That said, the most common cause of bloating is the food in our diets.
According to Health Direct, bloating and gas is usually caused by sudden changes in diet. One theory is that the food you eat changes the type of bacteria you have in your gut, leading to bloating and gas. Eating a lot of salty foods and carbohydrates can also make you feel bloated, as can swallowing air when you eat too quickly or drink a lot of fizzy drinks.
If you regularly experience bloating then it can be caused by other issues, including:
- Coeliac disease,
- Food intolerance, usually to gluten, wheat or milk (lactose intolerance),
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS),
- Hormones, including before your period or during menopause,
- Some medicines,
- Gaining weight, and
We also have to remember that farting is totally natural. Healthy individuals will still pass gas between 12-25 times a day, but it’s not uncommon to fart more than this depending on what foods you eat. Following the right diet can keep your farting at a minimum!
What foods can make you fart?
Every person is different, and a product that might make you feel bloated could have a different effect on someone else. However, there are a few food ingredients that are known for producing the most gas.
Products containing sugar will most likely cause wind. There are four types of sugars found in food that you should be aware of:
- Fructose – A natural ingredient found in fruit and honey. It is also added to many soft fizzy drinks.
- Lactose – Sweet and natural ingredient of milk. It can also be added to some cereals and breads.
- Raffinose – Natural sugar that can be found in some veggies and beans.
- Sorbitol – Natural sugar found in fruits. It is also added to sugar-free products.
Products that are high in fiber and starches also can cause flatulence. Check out the list of the most common foods that cause bloating and make us fart.
Beans & legumes
Beans and legumes are a great source of protein, as well as many important nutrients like iron (We suggest reading our article: The Truth About Iron In Your Diet And Which Foods Are High In Iron), B-vitamins, calcium, and zing. They’re also full of fibre and most are low in fat. This is why beans and legumes make such a great meat replacement for vegetarians and vegans. That said, beans and some legumes like peas and lentils are also on the list of foods that make you fart.
Beans contain a high amount of complex sugar (raffinose), which our body finds difficult to break down. In addition, the high fibre content of beans and legumes also cause gas. According to some studies, the main cause of gas comes from that foamy liquid inside canned beans and lentils. That’s why most recipes call for soaking and rinsing canned beans before eating. For legumes, it’s advised to soak them overnight and boil to reduce the chance of flatulence.
If you’re newly introducing beans and legumes to your diet, it’s important to give your body some time to get used to digesting them. So it’s best to slowly add them to your diet over a long period of time rather than suddenly eating them every day. Consuming high amounts of beans and legumes in a short time can cause gas.
You can also improve the way your body digests beans and legumes by adding these herbs and spices when cooking them:
- Caraway seed,
- Dill, and
Try to also eat legumes only with vegetables and avoid combining them with meat or cheese.
Dairy products like milk, yoghurt, or cheese from cows and goats all contain a type of sugar called lactose. For many people, the lactose in dairy products leaves them feeling bloated and gassy.
As Better Health Channel explains, “Lactose intolerance is the reduced ability to digest milk sugars, due to insufficient amounts of the gut enzyme called lactase. If our body doesn’t produce enough lactase, lactose is not digested and absorbed in the small intestine in the usual way. Instead, it continues to travel along the digestive tract to the large intestine, where bacteria partially break it down into acids and gases. This fermentation process causes excessive wind, bloating and associated pain.”.
If you experience unpleasant gas after eating dairy products, you should start thinking about how you can adjust your diet to avoid these foods. Make sure to check the labels on any products you buy as many packaged foods contain dairy, like frozen meals and baked goods. Avoid any product with ingredients like ‘milk solids’, ‘curd’, and ‘dried milk’.
Luckily, even if you do experience lactose intolerance you can still enjoy the plenty of lactose-free or low-lactose milks, yoghurts, and cheeses.
Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables
Broccoli is a part of the cruciferous veggies family, together with cauliflower, kale, cabbage, bok choy or brussel sprouts. These healthy vegetables are rich in antioxidants and minerals like vitamin K, C and A. They are also packed with fibre by being low in calories. Such a perfect combination of nutrients makes these veggies an important part of every healthy diet, but the amount of fibre and raffinose can cause bloating and wind in some people.
Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to reduce the gas induced by eating cruciferous vegetables. Soaking them or cooking them well will not have any effect, and boiling them for too long will reduce their nutrient content. That said, you can still adust your diet to slightly reduce the unpleasant side effect of eating broccoli. Do this by squeezing some lemon juice over your meals and limit the amount of high-fat foods you combine cruciferous veggies with. This helps your stomach to empty faster, letting accumulated gas move into the small intestine much easier.
Wheat and whole grains
Wheat and whole grains are a great source of nutrients like B vitamins, protein, antioxidants, iron, zinc and magnesium. Adding whole grains to your diet can help you reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.
Whole grains are also a great source of fibre, and just like all the other high-fibre fruit and veg, are part of the food group that makes you fart. On top of the fibre, wheat and whole grains (except rise) also contain raffinose, which we now know to also be a big factor in bloating. Some whole grains like barley and rice also contain gluten. People who have gluten intolerance might experience that gassy side effect more often than others.
So, how do we reduce the risk of experiencing wind after eating wheat and whole grains? Simply integrate them to your diet slowly and make sure to always drink enough water with your meals to help ease the gas.
For many of us, meat is something that needs to be on the plate everyday. Eating meat gives our body protein, iron, and vitamin B12, all of which we cannot find in plant-based products. That said, our body digests meat much slower than vegetables. This means that sugars and bacteria build up in the gut and can cause gas. On top of that, if your meat is very fatty then the unpleasant side effects can be made even worse – so always try to trim off the fatty bits.
The best way to avoid feeling bloated after eating meat is to make sure to chew your food properly, eat slowly, and avoid big portion sizes.
Sweet, tasty, and full of health! Every complex diet needs plenty of fruits, which are packed with vitamins and antioxidants. Fruit is also rich in natural sugar called fructose. Green apples, grapes, peaches, and cherries also contain sorbitol which is referred to as a sugar alcohol. Sorbitol has a third of the amount of calories as regular sugar, but can produce more gas when being digested. Fruits are also loaded with fibre, which as we’ve mentioned, can cause wind.
Although some fruits can make us feel bloated, we should never leave them out of our diet as they’re such a great source of vitamins. Try to reduce the side effects by eating your fruit slower and following it by a drink of ginger, fennel, mint, or cinnamon tea or water.
Onion and garlic
Onion and garlic are common ingredients of many meals and add flavour to our sauces, salads, and soups. They’re also known for being packed with nutrients like vitamin B, B6, potassium, and folate. Garlic is also rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium, and thiamine. Both onions and garlic are full of flavour without carrying many calories, and both contain fructose, which can cause bloating and gas.
The easiest way to reduce bloating after eating onions and garlic is to cook them well before serving. Some theories even recommend washing peeled onion before slicing it.
We all love sweet things, but we’re also trying hard to reduce the amount of sugar in our diets. So a lot of us opt for sugar-free protein bars, cookies, and diet sodas. Sugar-free products are getting more and more popular as people try to avoid sugar, and while they do have less carbs and calories, they can also make us fart.
Artificial sweeteners are not fully absorbed by our body. This means we don’t get as many calories, however it also means that excess bacteria in our gut will cause flatulence and bloating.
Nuts are a great snack and perfect addition to meals. They’re full of important nutrients like iron, magnesium, protein, and antioxidants, and are known for boosting mood and energy levels.
That said, nuts aren’t easily digested by the body. This is because they contain tannins and phytates which protect the nut from breaking down easily. The longer the nuts stay in your body, the more time your body has to create gas-forming bacterias.
You can reduce this uncomfortable effect by soaking your nuts in water and drying them in the oven. This is an added bonus because it also enhances their flavour!
We can’t imagine a good breakfast without eggs. Poached, fried, or scrambled – we love having eggs any way we like! They’re a great source of protein and vitamins, and their lutein and zeaxanthin content is great for strengthening our immune system.
While eggs aren’t on the top of the list of foods that make you fart, some people might experience wind after eating them. Eggs also contain sulphur-rich methionine, which can make wind caused by other foods smell quite terrible. So if you want to avoid embarrassing unpleasant smells, don’t pair eggs with food that make you fart. Yes, that means resigning from the famous English brekkie and simply having your eggs on toast with some avocado.
How to reduce flatulence?
Even though farting can be uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing, we need to remember that it is a natural part of our digestive cycle. Don’t fully eliminate foods that make you fart from your diet, as each has their own positive impact on your health as well. Instead, try some of these remedies to reduce the effects from eating foods that make you fart.
To prevent bloating from certain foods, avoid eating large portions. Having more frequent meals in smaller portions is more beneficial for an efficient digestive process.
Don’t eat fatty food
Fried and fatty foods are digested very slowly by the body, so they can cause some wind. Try to avoid eating food with large amounts of fat, or choose smaller portions paired with something like a healthy salad.
Avoid chewing gum
Gas can be a result of swallowing air. Chewing gum tends to make people swallow more air, so if you want to reduce the amount of gas you experience then say no to chewing gum.
Give up smoking
Just like chewing gum, people who smoke cigarettes swallow more air and so can experience more gas. E-cigarettes have the same effect. While we’re at it, remember the plenty of other advantages that come with quitting smoking.
Don’t drink carbonated drinks
Drinking fizzy soft drinks and beer can also make us fart, so it’s best to either reduce your consumption or eliminate them from your diet.
Regular physical activity prevents constipation and improves gastrointestinal movement. This is especially important for people who sit at work for most of the day, and for the elderly.
Choose lactose-free products
If there is a suspicion that the gas you experience is caused by dairy products, you can either switch to lactose-free products or take lactase-containing dietary supplements.
Drink herbal tea
There are so many herbal remedies available that have a beneficial effect on digestion, such as cumin, fennel, sage, anise, licorice, and mint.
Eating snacks between your meals has a negative influence on your digestion system as it means it is constantly working. Just give your digestive system a break!