Let’s face it – everyone has gone through the pain and discomfort of bloating, gas, and flatulence – and while it can be embarrassing, it is also normal. As a matter of fact, the average person will burp or pass gas around 20 times a day. There are a number of reasons why this can happen: if you eat too quickly, for instance, you can swallow too much air and cause bloating. Excessive gas can also be a sign that your body might be having a hard time digesting certain foods, even foods that are good for you and give you a lot of fiber. Below are five of the top foods that are most likely to produce gas.
Although this sounds strange vegetables – like fruits – contain sugars and these sugars can be the cause of intestinal gas during the digestive process. Asparagus, broccoli, artichokes and cabbage, for example, all contain the sugar raffinose while onions and artichokes contain fructose. Vegetables high in soluble fiber, like peas, also can produce gas as they break down in the large intestine.
Fruits can cause gas for the same reason that vegetables due: they contain sugar and soluble fiber. The biggest culprits in this category include apples, peaches, pears and prunes, which are all rich sources of sorbitol, a sugar sometimes used in diet products like gum or candy. The soluble fiber in fruits, like those found in vegetables, are a source of intestinal gas.
Starchy foods – this includes wheat products, potatoes and corn – are very high in carbohydrates. As those carbohydrates break down in your system, gas is inevitably produced as a by-product of this process. Curiously enough, though, one form of starch that does not seem to lead to this problem is rice.
Going along with the sugar theme, milk and milk-based products like cheese and ice cream contain the milk sugar called lactose. This can be extremely hard for your body to digest if it is not able to produce sufficient amounts of the enzyme lactase to help break it down and those with lactose intolerance often have to forego these products altogether to avoid gas and abdominal cramping and discomfort.
Oats and oat-based products like oatmeal, oat bran muffins or oatmeal cookies – are great for your health and can lower cholesterol levels, but because these products are so high in soluble fiber than are also great at forming gas. It is better to eat them in small quantities or to increase their intake slowly to give your body time to adjust.
The foods listed above are incredibly healthy and bring with them wealth of benefits and no one is suggesting a diet that is free of fruits, vegetables, dairy and grains – little would be left by meat! However, if you are not used to a high-fiber diet (and many Americans are not) but are trying to get healthy, add these things in gradually to give your body time to get used to them so that you can enjoy these delicious, healthy foods without worry.
More by Christine . S