For many people, flatulence is not only a physical but also a psychological burden. We give tips on how you can combat the causes of flatulence.
The stomach feels bigger and it growls: You can feel the flatulence clearly and you usually smell it at some point.
Although many are ashamed of it: You shouldn’t hold back pupils – then it can be painful. Instead, it is better to discreetly let them out in an unnoticed moment, a little apart from other people.
So that you don’t have to go through such situations so often, you can try to hone your menu. Although that seems easier than it is. The nasty thing is: healthy things are the most likely to cause gas.
Nevertheless, there are worthwhile approaches. Experts give tips on how to keep the unpleasant gases in check.
How does flatulence arise?
First, a brief explanation of how flatulence actually occurs: “Gases in the intestine are partly responsible for the feeling of being bloated, but also increased intestinal contents,” says Viola Andresen from the German Society for Gastroenterology, Digestive and Metabolic Diseases (DGVS ).
The gases are created when the bacteria in the large intestine metabolize fiber from food. Some of the gases are broken down again by the bacteria, some are first transported via the blood and finally exhaled and the rest is released from the body as pups.
You don’t usually have to worry about flatulence, says the senior doctor and head of the nutrition team at the Israelite Hospital in Hamburg. “It’s mostly part of normal digestion.” But: “If flatulence appears as a new symptom or is very stressful, it should be clarified.”
These are the triggers for annoying gas
The causes can be varied: Often it is certain flatulent foods that you have eaten (more on this below). Some people have trouble digesting milk or fructose. Incorrect colonization of the intestinal bacteria can also be behind this. Or you have eaten too hastily and swallowed a lot of air.
A lot of gases are produced, especially when dietary fiber is metabolized. But we shouldn’t do without them. According to nutritionist Gabriela Freitag-Ziegler from the Oecotrophology Association (VDOE), fiber is very important for good digestion and protection against many diseases.
“In particular, onions, cabbage, legumes, but also whole grain bread and some vegetables and fruits cause gas in some people,” she says. A first tip: cooked fruits and vegetables are usually better digestible than raw.
Try out the tolerance of food
In addition, you can gradually get used to high-fiber foods and try out small portions to see whether you can tolerate the cabbage or the lentils, advises Freitag-Ziegler.
If that doesn’t work, you should swap individual foods instead of excluding entire groups. “Not all cabbages are the same,” says the nutritionist. If you can’t tolerate white cabbage, you can try pointed cabbage. “It is more tender and easier for many to tolerate.” There are also big differences when it comes to lentils: “Small lentils, like the red ones, are often easier to digest.”
Herbs and spices can also help to reduce the formation of these annoying gases: above all caraway seeds, fennel and aniseed. “But fresh basil, dill, and thyme also ensure taste and a good gut feeling at the same time,” says Freitag-Ziegler.
Whole wheat bread is not just wholemeal bread
Many people avoid wholemeal bread because it causes gas and gas. But it deserves a second chance. “There are many varieties here too and it’s worth trying out,” says the nutrition expert. Her tip: “Whole-grain bread made from finely ground whole-wheat flour is easier to digest.”
When it comes to bread, there is something else that counts, she adds the way it is made. Long walking and resting times ensure that substances that are difficult to digest are broken down in the dough.
And as with so many physical complaints, the same applies to flatulence: exercise helps. “That stimulates the intestines and the gases are transported better,” says medical doctor Andresen. Because if they are “stuck”, there are no unpleasant fists. But you often have a stomach ache for this.
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