After you eat, stomach acids break down your food, which will be either used or eliminated. This breakdown process creates gas. Most intestinal gas comes from swallowed air and bacterial action (there are 400 different kinds) in the intestines. Malabsorption and poor digestion also contribute to gas. Poor dietary habits feed excessive growth of bacteria and yeasts such as candida albicans, which dine on sugars and whose activities produce copious amounts of gas.
- Food Allergies
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Too much processed food
- Eating fruit with or after meals (fruit is best on an empty stomach)
- Lactose Intolerance
Our modern processed diets are often devoid of digestive enzymes and probiotics, both of which are vital to proper digestion. If you are experiencing excessive flatulence on a regular basis, it is time to examine your diet and make some changes. The first order of business is adding more live foods and subtracting dead ones! Adding organic salads with a simple dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to lunch, dinner and even breakfast can work wonders in your digestive tract. Also helpful are chicken, bone and vegetable broth-based soups. Leave out tomatoes, russet potatoes, bell peppers and eggplant, which are nightshades and harder to digest. Wheat, gluten, grains and dairy also cause gastrointestinal issues for many people.
Keep a food diary. Note everything you eat for one week and when gas occurs, to determine any correlation with your diet. Overgrowth of candida albicans is often a culprit of gas as well. Going on a candida cleansing diet is an optimal way to reduce gas.
After meals, steep and drink a tea made from any of these: aniseed, fennel, basil leaves, chamomile, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, peppermint, sage. Steep about 1/2 teaspoon in 1 cup boiling water, then add honey or lemon to taste. Drink one to three times each day.
Herbs that help to dispel gas and prevent bloating are called carminatives. Many culinary herbs like dill and fennel are also carminatives, and can be added to foods to help get rid of gas, bloating and stomach upsets.
Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme. Sprinkle any of these herbs on foods to help digestion and cut bloating.
Cardamom seeds. These ramp up digestion. Add them to lentils or sautéed vegetables before cooking.
Cloves. Eliminate gas. Sprinkle on apples and pears when baking. Add 2 to 3 whole cloves to rice before cooking.
Fennel seeds. Help digestion and freshens the breath. For gas, drink it as a tea by steeping 1/2 teaspoon seeds in 1 cup boiling water for ten minutes. Sprinkle them over vegetables during cooking or add to stir-fries.
Coriander. This helps in the downward movement of foods being digested and can ease cramps, hiccups, bloating, and flatulence. Crush the seeds into powder and add to foods such as vegetable stir-fry. Its flavor really enhances curry and Middle Eastern dishes, too.
Turmeric. Turmeric is a curative and delicious spice found in curry powder. You can add turmeric to rice or season mild foods with curry powder, which contains turmeric. However you use it, it helps elminate gas.
Cultured foods are fermented and full of friendly bacteria. Add these back in with the following cultured foods. Try to have one to two servings of probiotic-rich foods/beverages per day. Here are a few recommendations:
Plain yogurt with live cultures. Helps alleviate gas and bloating.
Sauerkraut. Raw only.
Kombucha. This is a fermented beverage made with a kombucha mushroom culture. It is an excellent intestinal cleanser.
Soak your beans. Legumes are very difficult to digest unless they have been soaked for at least eight hours prior to cooking. Soak overnight in a covered ceramic or glass bowl with a bit of salt. This also cuts down on the cooking time.
Remove grains, sugar and dairy. Experiment by removing these items from your diet for two weeks. These are the most common offenders. Butter, ghee and plain yogurt are OK. If taking out all grains is difficult try going gluten-free instead.
Drink lemon juice. Stir 1 teaspoon lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda into 1 cup cool water. Do not use ice water, which can cause intestinal spasms. Drink after meals.
1. Take a Daily ProbioticVSL#3
Is essential to maintaining gut health, eliminating candida overgrowth and cutting down on gas. Click here for our candida cleanse recommendations and here for tips on adding more alkaline foods to your regimen- acidic bodies tend to produce more flatulence.
2. Digestive EnzymesDigestive Enzymes
Are also helpful for those with malabsorption issues. This product in particular is designed for each stage of digestion for protein, fats, carbohydrates and lactase.