You don’t have to make up elaborate excuses (like blaming the dog) for flatulence after meals. And you don’t have to avoid eating those foods known for their musical properties. Beans can be giant culprit when it comes to flatulence (gas) because they are broken down into a certain sugar in your intestines that bacteria love to eat. When certain bacteria feast on this bean sugar, the waste is methane (sulfur dioxide gas) and nitrogen gas. Other culprits include veggies like cabbage and Brussels sprouts. The natural sulfur in eggs can also be an offender, as can milk and dairy products.
But many natural remedies can minimize that volatile combustion of nitrogen and sulfur dioxide gas in your system.
What Causes Gas?
Flatulence comes from a combination of ingested air (from eating and swallowing) and gas produced in the digestive tract. Intestinal gases arise from an overabundance of bad bacteria in your gut. This overabundance and lack of bacterial balance is usually caused by poor eating habits or eating certain foods. When not enough good bacteria are present in your gut, the waste in your system becomes a gas feeding ground for the bad bacteria. What creates bad bacteria or kills off the good bacteria?
- Tap water, full of chlorine and fluoride
- Antibiotics and certain medications
- A diet rich in fermented foods and beverages (wine, beer, cheese, vinegar, dried fruit, risen breads, baking powder, and pickled foods)
- Too much blood sugar, which can give rise to bacteria that cause constipation and gas
Chronic gas may also be a symptom of a larger problem, such as diabetes, thyroid imbalance, poor liver health, or intestinal disorders.
For quick relief, try acidophilus, bifidophilus and the probiotics cited in Digestion. Antibiotics are known for killing good bacteria, so if you’ve taken them, be sure to take probiotics for one month to reintroduce your system to the good bacteria.
In the Eastern Indian culture, people eat a yogurt cucumber dish and other yogurt recipes, which are high in acidophilus and other exotic probiotic cultures. Another piece of Ayurvedic advice is to eat fennel and anise seeds after a meal to stop flatulence. They are chewy, taste great, and also freshen your breath. Besides probiotic cultures, you can also try these cures:
- Take digestive enzymes such as papain, bromelain, and protease.
- Gas associated with acid indigestion can be minimized or cured with carbon tablets.
- Put a couple of drops of peppermint or anise oil in a glass of water and drink before meals.
- Naturopaths also recommend kelp for flatulence. Along with relieving gas and bloating, the iodine in kelp can help you maintain a healthy weight by keeping your thyroid gland functioning normally.