Passing gas is normal and expected. The average man experiences flatulence 14 times per day. Women tend to expel a little less but are more likely to struggle with bloating. There are steps you can take, however, to minimize the discomfort and embarrassment. Here’s what you need to know.
Gas and bloating are caused by air trapped in the GI tract.
You often swallow air while eating or drinking. The bacteria in your gut also produce gas while digesting what you’ve consumed. Both are a normal part of the digestion process.
Some habits cause more gas than usual.
Most people swallow more air than normal if they are eating fast. Slow down and enjoy your meal. Take smaller bites and chew more. Drinking with a straw also delivers more air into your digestive tract. You should also stop chewing gum. It’s another way we introduce air into our digestive system.
Some foods cause more gas than others.
Beans and raw veggies such as cauliflower, cabbage and bok choy are well known for their ability to cause gas. That’s because they contain indigestible carbohydrates such as raffinose and stachyose. The bacteria in our gut break down these carbs for us and produce gas in the process. Give your body some help digesting these nutrient-rich foods. Cook your veggies and soak your beans before you cook them if gas and bloating are an issue.
For many, these aren’t the only foods which cause gas or bloating. Check out our guide to FODMAPs to learn about other common culprits, such as apples, onions and milk.
Battle gas and bloating by supporting your gut health.
Because bloating is often associated with an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in your gut, promoting the growth of the good guys may also help. You can do this by boosting your soluble fiber intake. It acts as food for the beneficial bacteria, helping them thrive. Each scoop of Sunfiber provides 6 grams of good-for-your-gut fiber. Bonus: It’s gentle on your gut and won’t cause uncomfortable side effects unlike some of those other fiber supplements. Want to know more about Sunfiber’s prebiotic effect? Check out this resource.