For many people who seek to live a natural lifestyle, there is an unfortunate side effect of all those nutrient-rich meals-lots of gas. And because flatulence is not the most enjoyable topic to talk about, many natural-health advocates do not even realize that this is a common problem among people whose diets are centered around fruits and vegetables. So, to anyone reading this, you are not alone. And fortunately, excessive flatulence is not something that anyone has to live with. You do not have to compromise your natural lifestyle.
Causes of excessive gas
Excessive gas is not caused by any one thing. There are literally hundreds of factors that are known to contribute to it, and most cases of severe gas result from a combination of different things. For natural-food advocates, excessive flatulence tends to result from a combination of these factors:
- Food combinations: People who eat healthy natural diets tend to eat a wide variety of foods every day, sometimes combining lots of foods in a single meal. While this is generally good for one’s health, many food combinations are known to cause gas.
- Too much fiber: Fiber in moderation is good. Too much of it all at one time can cause gas.
- Difficult-to-digest foods: Food that are chemically complex are difficult to digest, and one side effect of this is gas buildup. The most common culprit is foods that are high in fat, as the human body has difficulty processing many types of fats. Dairy products are also commonly in this category.
- Fruit and vegetable sugars: The sugars contained in fruits and many vegetables tend to release a lot of gas during the digestive process, and this gas of course gets caught in the stomach and the digestive tract.
- Lactose intolerance: Many people are lactose intolerant and do not even realize it. Lactose intolerance results in digestive difficulty, which can lead to serious gas.
- Carbonated beverages and alcoholic drinks: Sodas and other carbonated drinks commonly cause flatulence, and beer and other alcoholic beverages are also big culprits.
Whatever the cause of excess gas, it often requires one to try multiple different solutions before hitting upon one that works. Here are a few of the most effective ways to reduce gas.
- Simplify your diet. Most natural eaters know that a healthy diet should consist of a wide variety of healthy foods, but nowhere does it say that the full variety should be consumed every day. The digestive system does not react well to too many different things. So try to simplify your diet by planning it so that you only have a few different types of food every day.
- Slowly introduce new foods. Are you thinking about introducing a new food into your diet? Do so a little at a time. For example, let us say that you want to start eating spinach. Start by adding a few spinach leaves to your salads for a few days, then move on to small spinach side salads, and eventually move on to full means that incorporate spinach. This way, you give your body time to adjust to the new food, and you can also monitor the results to see if spinach is a potential cause of gas.
- Reduce sugars. Fruit sugars are big culprits behind gas, so try reducing them. It is okay to have a little bit of sweet fruit, but too much can cause problems. See if cutting back helps.
- Experiment with dairy. If you think dairy foods may be at least partially behind your gas, try avoiding them for a few days.
- Chew properly. We rarely think about the effect that chewing has on our digestion, but when you think about it, it makes sense. Poorly chewed food is difficult for the digestive system to break down, and when the body has trouble breaking down foods, gas typically results.
By Marc Courtiol