Gas can make you feel uncomfortable. It is also embarrassing to pass gas at inopportune moments or in a conspicuous way. It’s normal for your body to produce some amount of gas. But if you’re constantly feeling bloated and uncomfortable because of gas, there are a few things you can do to reduce bloating and flatulence.
What causes gas?
Gas enters your digestive tract when you swallow air while eating or drinking. Did you know that sipping drinks through a straw, talking while eating and chewing gum actually make you swallow more air? Gas is also produced by the food we eat, especially foods that are hard to digest. Food that does not get digested in the intestines travels to the colon, which is replete with bacteria. The bacteria present in the colon ferments this undigested food, releasing gas.
Easy remedies for gas
These natural remedies can get rid of gas build-up in your digestive tract and reduce discomfort and stomach pain.
Buttermilk: Buttermilk contains probiotic bacteria which helps your body digest food better. Drinking a glass of buttermilk after meals can help fight acidity and bloating.
Warm lemon water: Lemon contains hydrochloric acid which helps your body break down food better and reduce the production of gas.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV): Lack of acid in the stomach leads to indigestion and acid reflux which can cause gas and bloating. By consuming ACV, you can supplement stomach acids and boost your digestion. Don’t like the strong taste of ACV? Try Setu ACV Gummies. These supplements contain pure, unfiltered ACV, but minus the harsh taste. They balance your stomach pH, and improve your gut health and overall digestion.
Ajwain or Hing: Ajwain contains a substance called thymol which helps release gastric juices and boost the digestive process. It is effective at fighting indigestion and gassiness. Hing or asafoetida has anti-flatulent, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties and is effective at easing gassiness as well.
Foods to avoid
Our diet is majorly responsible for gas and bloating. So, let’s look at the foods to avoid for gas problem.
Cruciferous vegetables: Plants belonging to the cabbage family like broccoli, cauliflower, Bok choy, radishes and watercress make you gassy because they contain a type of sugar called raffinose which remains undigested, causing gut bacteria to ferment it and thus releases gas.
Legumes: Beans, peas and lentils are all gas-producing foods. These protein-rich foods contain sugar and fibres that do not digest easily. So, when they reach your large intestine, your gut bacteria feast on them and produce gas in the process.
Dairy products: Products like milk and cheese contain a sugar called lactose. If your body doesn’t have the enzymes required to break down lactose, you’ll experience bloating and gas after eating such dairy products.
Foods to eat
Thankfully, there are foods that prevent gas. Add these to your diet to keep bloating and gassiness at bay.
Lean meats: Lean meats contain protein that is easily digestible by our body. Beef, chicken, eggs, fish and turkey do not cause gas if cooked with non-spicy recipes.
Fruits: Low-sugar fruits like bananas, kiwis, grapes, papaya, oranges, and berries are safe to consume.
Certain vegetables: Vegetables that are low in carbohydrates like bell peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, spinach, carrots, lettuce, tomatoes and spinach do not cause gas.
Rice: While whole grains cause gas, rice does not. If you want to add whole grains to your diet, introduce them slowly to reduce their gas-forming potential.
You can further reduce gas by following these simple tips:
- Make sure to soak beans and legumes in water before they are cooked. This helps minimize the gas-causing compounds within them.
- Avoid carbonated beverages as they contain a great deal of gas.
- Eat and drink slowly so that you swallow less air.
- Do not go to sleep immediately after eating. Lying down soon after eating could cause indigestion or acid reflux which lead to the formation of gas.
- Cut down on fatty foods and eat foods that prevent gas High-fat foods take longer to digest and hence, produce gas.
Gas relief in babies
Babies are prone to gas and colic as their digestive systems haven’t matured yet. If your baby’s stomach feels hard to the touch, or if they cry and curl their legs towards their chest, they could be suffering from gas.
You can relive your baby of gas by:
- Using a slow flow feeding bottle to reduce the speed at which your baby drinks milk. A fast-flowing nipple leads to more air entering the baby’s stomach while feeding.
- Whenever your baby is gassy, take a look at your diet. This will help you zero in on foods you’re consuming that are upsetting your baby’s digestion.
- Tummy massages can help relieve your baby of gas. Use your thumbs to gently massage the lower right side of your baby’s tummy. Then move upwards in a clockwise direction till you reach the lower left side of the tummy.
Gas relief in pregnancy
A pregnant mother’s digestive system slows, causing gas. You can get relief by keeping yourself hydrated, going on slow walks, avoiding fatty foods or foods that are hard to digest and reducing stress levels by practicing meditation or deep breathing.
Seeing a doctor
In addition to being embarrassing, gas could also be a symptom of a more serious digestive issue. This is why it’s important to speak to your doctor if your body is producing a lot of gas, or if you have symptoms like fever, weight loss, diminishing appetite, diarrhoea, vomiting or bloody stools along with gas. If you experience such symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
1) How does the body get rid of gas?
Gas is released from the body through burping and flatulence – two absolutely normal processes, but ones that invite many jokes.
2) Can probiotics help with gas?
Yes, they do. They help replenish good bacteria in the gut. Good gut bacteria can diminish because of an unhealthy diet, illness or medication. Good gut bacteria aid the digestive process, thus reducing gas and bloating.
3) Is chronic gas always caused by illness?
Chronic gas could be caused by many factors. While illness is a very likely factor, it can also result from lactose intolerance or as a reaction to certain foods.
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