We “pass gas” an average of ten to fifteen times a day. It mostly comes from swallowed air, but can also come from chewing gum, drinking carbonated beverages and eating whipped foods such as egg whites or whipped cream. This type of gas is not usually a problem because it is odorless, mostly made up of nitrogen with a little carbon dioxide and oxygen.
According to Womans World magazine, the foods to avoid that may cause embarrassing gas are beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, apples, eggplant, onions, popcorn, prunes and raisins. Our intuition tells us that there’s something wrong with this advice. We all know that these foods are good for us because they contain nutrients and fiber that our bodies need.
Gas and bloating are usually a bi-product of of the fermentation of small pieces of undigested foods by the bacteria in our intestines.
This fermentation produces the stinky gases like hydrogen sulfide and methane which has the odor of rotten eggs. Yuck!
Foods from the cabbage family , dried and sulfured fruits, and beans all contain sulfur which gives gas a rotten egg smell. The cabbage-family group of foods (cruciferous vegetables) contain anticancer chemicals called glucosinolates and are important for good health.
can also cause gas if your digestion is not in order. People with lactose intolerance may experience gas when they eat dairy products.
If you are experiencing foul smelling gas or bloating it could be due to one of these imbalances:
- low stomach acid (do you regularly take antacids?)
- inadequate levels of intestinal flora (could be due to overuse of antibiotics)
- low pancreatic enzymes to digest your food
- overgrowth of yeast or “bad” bacteria in your digestive tract
- food sensitivities, especially to wheat and grains
- Chew your food well and eat slowly
- Eat a high fiber diet, but increase fiber slowly
- Cooking beans: soak overnight covered in water with a tsp of baking soda. Drain well and rinse before cooking. If you don’t eat beans regularly, only eat a small amount to start
- Are you lactose intolerant? Eliminate dairy for two weeks and then slowly add back in to see if you notice a difference.
- Do you have food sensitivities? Keep a food diary to see what you notice when you eat certain foods, or test to see which foods might be giving you a problem.
- Do a stool test to see if you have too much yeast or an imbalance in good bacteria to bad bacteria so you know how to support your system to improve digestion.
- Are you low in digestive enzymes or hydrochloric acid? Try 1tsp apple cider vinegar in 8 oz water before breakfast for a few weeks to see what you notice – this could just be the answer!
- Check for parasites – they often cause gas so if you’ve tried all the other suggestions, do a stool test to see if you have parasites hanging out. There are many natural remedies that are very successful in purging these pests to heal your digestion.
- Have some fennel or anise seeds on hand. Simply chew on a few seeds after a meal to cleanse the palate and relieve gas. How nice!
- Common herbs can relieve gas such as: basil, oregano, marjoram, parsley, thyme, celery seed, peppermint, spearmint, fennel, bayberries, caraway seed, cardamom seed, catnip, cloves, coriander, lemon balm, and sasaparilla.
Enjoy some delicious meals and relieve gas all at the same time using common herbs in your meals. Deeeelicious!
© Robin Nielsen, NC
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