Flatulence is a natural process of the body expelling unwanted gas. According to The American College of Gastroenterology, the average person passes gas (flatus) approximately 10-20 times a day.
Swallowing a lot of air can cause flatulence; however, most of this air is expelled through belching. Rapid eating, gulping beverages, drinking through a straw, chewing gum, and smoking are some ways of swallowing too much air.
Excessive flatulence is most commonly caused by undigested food. When food is not digested in the stomach or small intestine, it passes into the large intestine where good bacteria breaks it down, thus producing gases (including hydrogen sulphide - the smelly gas).
Some foods, like beans (well known for causing gas), contain a fiber that is hard to digest. Lactose intolerance can produce excessive flatulence because the body does not have the enzyme to digest lactose (a sugar). Junk foods, constipation, and digestive disorders are other common causes of gas.
• Beans are nutritious and you shouldn’t avoid them. There are a few things you can do to prevent beans from causing excessive flatulence:
- Add fennel, cumin or epazote to the beans when cooking.
- Add apple cider vinegar to the beans during the last stage of cooking.
- Add lemon juice prior to serving beans.
• Avoid overeating. Eating small frequent meals can help in stopping flatulence.
• Chew your food thoroughly. This is where digestion begins. Take a bite of food and set the fork down until you are done chewing. Don’t chew with your mouth open.
• Eat unprocessed foods. If you make a transition from eating a lot of processed foods to unprocessed foods, you will initially have excessive flatulence because of the change. It can take up to a month for your body to adapt. Transitioning to a high fiber diet can also cause this problem.
• Vitamin C, B vitamins, and folic acid help proper digestion.
Natural Remedies that will Help in Stopping Flatulence
• Chew 1 tablespoon of fennel seeds after eating to avoid excessive flatulence.
• Soak fresh ginger slices in lime juice and chew on after meals to stop gas.
• Add 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger root to 1 cup of hot water, steep for 10 minutes, strain, and drink after you eat a gassy meal. This will help digestion and prevent excessive flatulence.
• Add 1/2 teaspoon of dry ginger powder, a pinch of rock salt, and a pinch of asafoetida in a cup of warm water and drink to get relief from excessive flatulence.
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This post is part of the series: Other Bowel Problems
Natural remedies for bowel problems.