We all suffer from gas (toots, farts, breaking wind, flatulence, intestinal gas) occasionally and most of us try to make light of it so as not be embarrassed but continual bloating, farting and/or burping is not the norm.
The average person farts 14 times every day and the amount of actual gas released ranges from as little to one cup to as much as a half-gallon per day!!!
Gas occurs when a food does not break down properly in the stomach and small intestine. As a result, the food makes it into the large intestine undigested. Bacteria then ferments these undigested foods producing gases such as hydrogen, carbon dioxide and methane that eventually escape!
The good news is that it’s completely avoidable. Diets high in junk and processed foods, too much sugar, wheat and dairy make the problem worse as do:
- Eating the wrong foods at the wrong time or in the wrong combination
- Eating too much salt and not drinking enough water
- Food intolerances, these can cause water retention. Wheat and dairy are often culprits
- Stress leads to poor digestive function meaning food will sit in the gut for longer than it should, this then ferments and gas is produced!
- Not chewing your food properly can result in an increase of bacteria and yeast, which produce gas
- Strenuous exercise straight after a meal
Follow these 5 tips to improve your digestion and help avoid those unwelcome arrivals!
#1 Drink 1 ½ – 2 litres of room temperature water daily. Ice cold water can give you gas. You need to drink more not less if you have water retention and bloating to help your body dilute the salt in your tissues remove it from your body.
#2 Include the following foods in your diet which contain the nutrients you need to improve your digestion: celery, chicory, miso, raw sauerkraut, brown rice, millet, ground flax seed (1 tablespoon per day), fennel, dill, mint, ginger.
#3 Avoid refined carbohydrates (white rice, bread, pasta, cookies etc), alcohol, sugar, wheat, dairy, carbonated drinks, caffeine, salt, processed or packaged foods.
#4 Eat fruit alone, wait 30 minutes after eating fruit before you eat any other food.
#5 Chew thoroughly until food becomes mush in your mouth – remember your stomach doesn’t have teeth, your mouth does!
Try out my Miso Soup recipe below to help ban the bloat!
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, halved and sliced in thin half moons
2 medium carrots, sliced
4-8 medium shitake mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger root
- Heat the oil in a soup pot on medium-high. Add the onion and saute for about 8 minutes, until translucent. Add the carrots and saute
- for another 6 minutes, until carrots begin to soften.
- Add the mushrooms, garlic, and ginger, stir, and cook for 5 minutes more, stirring continually (add a small amount of water to prevent
- sticking if needed). Toss in the kale and / or bok choy and / or snow peas, and pour in the water and tamari. Reduce heat to simmer
- for about 10 minutes. Throw in the scallions.
- Turn off heat. Use a mug to scoop out some liquid to mix with the miso, then pour back into soup and stir to combine.