Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Got Gas? Natural Solutions to Avoid It!

We all have gas and a certain amount after eating is completely normal. It is also normal for the body to release the gas. This is done either through belching or farting. On average, adults fart about 16 times a day. Each fart equals about ½ liter of gas or more than 2 cups of “shared air”. A fart is a mix of nitrogen, carbon dioxide, oxygen, methane and hydrogen sulfide. The hydrogen sulfide is what causes the unpleasant odor sometimes associated with “passing gas”.

Gas created by swallowed air, such as when drinking soda, usually is released through belching. One of the most common causes of farting is poor digestion. Bacteria in our intestinal tract turns undigested sugars into gas that is released by farting. Excess gas that is not released causes bloating.

Certain foods tend to produce more gas than others. This can vary for each individual and sometimes it is a combination of certain foods that produces excess gas.

Foods to Avoid to Reduce Gas
  • Vegetables like broccoli, brussel sprouts, and onions and beans contain a sugar that is not absorbed or digested and our intestinal bacteria turns it into gas.
  • Dairy products can cause excess gas, especially for people that are sensitive to lactose.
  • Foods with sugar and simple carbohydrates can cause excess gas and bloating. That includes fructose, the natural sugar found in fruits, and the ever popular high fructose corn syrup found in the majority of processed foods. Foods that have fiber, sugars, and starches create gas when they are not digested and absorbed and result in being broken down in the large intestine.
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Artificial sweeteners or other foods with sugar alcohol
Natural Solutions to Avoid Excess Gas
  • Eat slowly to avoid swallowing air.
  • Avoid using straws for drinking as they lead to swallowing more air.
  • Steam foods instead of boiling them.
  • Avoid drinking during a meal, drink before eating instead to avoid losing stomach acid that helps break down foods.
  • Supplement your diet with digestive enzymes and probiotics like acidophilus and bifidus
Supplements
Our favorite enzymes contain natural food enzymes that can help break down fats, carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. It is also microblended with 25 mg of bluegreen algae, adding specific vitamins and minerals that many enzymes need for optimum ability to function. For the body to get the most out of food, the intestines must be healthy. Acidophilus plays a key role in supporting the health of the small intestine. Our favorite probiotic bifidus creates a favorable environment for the growth of "good bacteria" in the large intestine.

For some people, chronic or painful excess gas can be a symptom of more serious conditions including Irritable bowel syndrome, colon cancer, peptic ulcer, or gastroesophageal reflux disease. If changes in diet and improving digestion don’t relieve painful or chronic gas, consult your health care professional to see if you have another condition and what treatment options are available. Everyone has gas, and for most of us improving the digestive system and making some dietary changes can help keep down the amount of gas in the body which means less need to belch and fart. It's that simple.



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