There’s no denying it, gas is embarrassing. And, if you’re suffering, chances are, you want to know how to overcome this issue – and fast.
Some people are unfortunately quite a bit more gassy than others. Whether it’s you or someone you know (and tend to avoid!), gas causes much discomfort to everyone involved.
While you can’t change your genetics, you can make changes that will help you better control or prevent the gas from happening in the first place. Additionally, you can learn how to get rid of bloating as well along with that gas.
What few people realize is that everyone passes gas on a daily basis. Your body is naturally going to create this gas when you digest certain foods and it needs to be expelled from the body as such. The main difference is that some people, primarily depending on the foods they eat and the state of their internal gut environment, will have a very unpleasant smell added to their gas.
Others may have very strong intestinal muscles, which then cause their gas to make noises, which is just as embarrassing as foul smelling gas.
If you’re really one of the unlucky ones, you may have both, in which case, chances are you avoid the public whenever you’re struck with a gassy day.
While you can try and hold it in, do keep in mind that doing so for too long can also become problematic as it can make you feel bloated and unwell.
To learn more about the science of gas and some of the biggest factors that impact gas development, check out the video below.
Now that you have a bit more details on gas and all that’s involved, it’s time to consider what causes gas in the first place and then the steps that you can do to remedy the situation.
If you want to put gas behind you, the following information will be incredibly useful to know.
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The Top Causes Of Gas
When it comes to the reasons you are gassy, they can be numerous. Most people think that gas is strictly caused by the foods that you eat, but often this isn’t the case. There are a variety of different reasons you may find yourself passing wind, some of which have nothing to do with what you are eating.
Let’s look at the top causes of gas so you can rule out what isn’t impacting you – and what you may need to look more closely at.
High Fiber Diets
Okay, so let’s start with one of the obvious ones – too much dietary fiber can definitely lead to an increase in gas formation. This is especially the case if you go from eating hardly any fiber at all to really taking in a high dose.
High amounts of fiber tend to cause gas because fiber isn’t fully digested in the intestine, therefore as bacteria inside the colon do attempt to digest it, certain gases are released as a byproduct, noted a study published in the Applied and Environmental Microbiology journal.
The main foods that cause bloating and gas to be careful of include oatmeal, bran, barley, beans, lentils, and for some people, bananas as well. Certain vegetables also tend to be highly problematic as well, with the main ones being asparagus, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, and onions.
How To Fix It:
If you are going to add more fiber to your diet, do so slowly. This is the best thing that you can do to control that unwanted gas. Try adding just 2-3 grams per day and hold that constant for 3-4 days before increasing your dosage again.
Also be careful of what vegetables you do choose to include in your diet. Some of the better options that are less likely to produce gas to fill up on if you are really struggling include bell peppers, bok choy, cucumber, fennel, kale, spinach, green beans, lettuce, tomatoes, and zucchini.
High Sugar Diets
Another thing to be on the lookout for is the amount of sugar that you are consuming as part of your diet plan. By now you should know that sugar is a big problem if you hope to sustain optimal health.
Sugar sets you up for weight gain, diabetes, and also robs your body of nutrition as it takes you away from eating other nutrient dense foods.
Gas is yet another reason to avoid sugar. When you consume a diet high in the sweet stuff, the bacteria in the gut may also struggle to digest it and break those foods down, leaving you with foul smelling gas.
Keep in mind that even natural fruit sugars can cause gas (especially considering fruit is also high in fiber), so be aware of this as well. Many fruits also contain prebiotics, which studies show may encourage the production of gas.
How To Fix It:
While you don’t need to eliminate fruit from your diet plan entirely, it is beneficial to pay attention to how much you are consuming. You may also look into consuming some of the fruit varieties that do contain lower amounts of sugar instead. This includes fruits like raspberries, cranberries, grapefruits, cantaloupe and apricots.
Then in addition to that, steer clear of all other added sugar. You should be doing this anyway as part of your overall health problem.
Each and every person is unique in terms of what foods their body handles – or doesn’t handle – well, so you’ll also want to look at certain foods that may be causing you issues.
The main culprits include dairy, wheat/gluten, as well as for some people, fructose. If you find that you are more gassy after eating these foods compared to other foods, that may indicate that you aren’t breaking these foods down as you should and thus, they’re causing gas to build-up.
Dairy tends to be highly problematic for many people, which indicates they are not producing enough of the digestive enzyme lactase to properly break that dairy down.
How To Fix It:
Avoiding dairy – or supplementing with a quality digestive enzyme such as Masszymes will be your best option in this scenario. Digestive enzymes will help ensure that your body has the resources to better break down those foods that you are eating, reducing the chances that you experience gas as a result.
If you aren’t able to pinpoint what your sensitivity happens to be, you may want to consider trying the elimination diet. In this situation, you’ll basically want to take away one type of food at a time for about a one week period. After removing this food from your diet, you should have a better idea of whether or not your gas has started to improve.
If no improvements are seen, move on and try another food instead. Eventually, after doing enough rounds of this you should be able to figure out the problematic food.
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Two other substances that can cause a buildup of gas to occur is chewing gum and soda. While these don’t have fiber and if you opt for sugar-free varieties, they won’t contain sugar either, the big problem here is the fact that they are going to cause you to take in high amounts of air as you consume them.
Essentially, air that goes in must eventually come out. Most people who chew gum frequently throughout the day will notice they feel more bloated than those who don’t.
Likewise, if you have a bad diet soda habit you can’t seem to kick, this could also be the cause behind your gas.
How To Fix It:
If you are looking for a way to freshen your breath and that’s why you are chewing gum, consider opting for mints or mouthwash instead. Both will do just as good of a job and won’t have you swallowing all that air.
If soda is your vice, the best thing to do here is to slowly wean yourself off it or consider some smarter replacement beverages you can have instead. Lemon water for instance is a great way to liven up regular water and won’t give you the gas related issues you’d get from soda.
Unsweetened teas are another excellent idea to consider.
Do you often find that you get a bad case of gas anytime you feel anxious or nervous about something? Perhaps when you are about to make a big presentation, you get a horrible case of gas – which is essentially coming at the absolute worst time it possibly could.
If this is the case, chances are your breathing habits are to blame. Here again, if you are taking in too much air when you feel anxious, using shallow and short breaths and swallowing often, this could be contributing to the gassy state you are in.
Couple this with the fact that if you are in a state of being very nervous, your digestive system may not be working as well as it could be, resulting in food sitting in your gut for extended periods of time.
This in itself can lead to the buildup of bacteria, only making the problem worse and giving what gas you do pass more smell.
How To Fix It:
Try as much as possible regulating your breathing patterns to avoid this. Focus on taking steady breaths in and out and not swallowing more frequently than you have to.
If you really suffer from a serious anxiety problem, you may also consider speaking to a counselor or another professional about this to learn additional tricks that you might consider.
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Using A Straw
Do you typically drink beverages through a straw? While it may be a fun and enjoyable way to consume liquids, it’s not the way to do so if you want a slimmer, gas free body.
Drinking through a straw will also cause an increase in gas to build-up into the body.
How To Fix It:
This one is easy – whenever possible, take the straw out of the glass. You’ll be happy you did.
Rushing Through Your Meals
Finally, at times, it isn’t so much what you are eating that’s causing the problem but more how you are eating it.
Do you often race through your meals, trying to fit them into a busy day? If so, that could be why you are constantly feeling bloated and gassy.
When you eat very quickly like this, it’s also going to cause you to take in additional air with your food, resulting in an increased gas production.
How To Fix It:
The secret remedy here? Slow down. Take your time to eat so you aren’t gulping your food back. And while you’re at it, chew your food more.
Remember that the start of the digestion process takes place when you are chewing your food. If you aren’t taking the time to thoroughly chew your food, this means that the rest of your digestive system is going to have to try and make up for this.
Often, it can’t and thus, gas is produced in result of this.
It can be hard to carve out more time to eat your meals in today’s fast-paced lifestyles, but do your best to take an extra 10 minutes or so at meals. Not only will this help reduce the level of gas build-up, but you may actually gain greater satiety as well, thus it may even help you reduce how many calories you eat overall.
There you have a closer look at the main foods that cause bloating as well as gas along with a few other habits you may have that could be leading to the development of this problem.
If you focus on tending to these issues, you should be able to comfortably put gas behind you.
Has there been something that’s really helped you with your gas production? Do you have a natural remedy that’s worked wonders? Please comment below and share your experiences.
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Cummings, John H., George T. Macfarlane, and Hans N. Englyst. “Prebiotic digestion and fermentation.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 73.2 (2001): 415s-420s.
Jensen, Bent Borg, and Henry Jørgensen. “Effect of dietary fiber on microbial activity and microbial gas production in various regions of the gastrointestinal tract of pigs.” Applied and environmental microbiology 60.6 (1994): 1897-1904.