The production of gas in the intestine is a normal physiological process. But under certain conditions, a person might experience bloating (flatulence) – the excessive production of gas. Most often this is caused by the errors in nutrition and eating foods that contain fiber.
Dietary fiber is contained in food. It may be soluble or insoluble in water. Water-soluble dietary fibers can reduce appetite, slow the digestion process, lower the level of sugar and cholesterol, but more often lead to gas production. Such dietary fibers are not digested by the enzymes (protein substances which regulate all biochemical processes necessary for the normal functioning of our body), but serve as a nutrient environment for the beneficial microflora of the large intestine. Useful intestinal microflora is an important component of our health. It participates in fat and water-salt metabolism, in the synthesis of vitamins and amino acids; it also regulates immunity and removes toxins.
Sufficient intake of fiber helps to prevent many diseases, such as obesity and diabetes, atherosclerosis and hypertension, as well as oncological diseases. In the fight against obesity, the inclusion of fiber in the diet allows to improve the work of the intestines, which in turn not only prevents constipation, but also helps to normalize the level of cholesterol and blood sugar. According to dieticians, it is recommended to consume at least 20-25 g of fiber every day.
The successful resolution of any problem requires dealing with its cause, and with increased gas production, there may be many factors:
Intestinal dysbiosis (which is commonly called dysbacteriosis) is a condition in which the balance between the beneficial and pathogenic bacteria in our body is disturbed, which leads to the development of various diseases.
Such discomfort can be seasonal, more often it shows itself in the summertime, when we begin to consume a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits. Usually, later our body gradually reconstructs itself and after 3-4 weeks it feels great.
All foods can be divided into 4 groups:
Each of these groups contains products that can cause both excessive and moderate gas production. The greatest discomfort comes from such carbohydrates as sweets, cakes, and fast food. Why exactly this group of products, which we love the most, provokes gas?
Wheat and sweet foods contain a lot of oligosaccharides (complex carbohydrates – for example, lactose, fructose, sucrose). In the intestine, they break down to monosaccharides (simple carbohydrates) and get into the bloodstream. The transformation of oligosaccharides into monosaccharide requires the presence of specific enzymes. If the synthesis of these enzymes in the body is disturbed, for example, because of the intestinal dysbiosis, the ingestion of foods rich in carbohydrates results in increased gas formation.
Another factor is the presence of a large amount of indigestible cellulose – the processing of such food by microorganisms of the large intestine is usually accompanied by increased gas production. For example, with the use of rye or wheat bread, gas formation can be much intenser compared to the diet products such as bran or loaf since they contain more fiber insoluble in water. Mushrooms contain indigestible fiber – chitin, so the discomfort in the intestines after eating them can be bigger compared to eating cucumbers or zucchini. If we eat watermelon or prunes, the risk of gas formation will be higher than when consuming raspberries or strawberries due to the increased content of dietary fiber
When facing excessive gas, it is necessary to pay careful attention to your diet. The following recommendations can help:
You can give up your favorite food or use drugs that reduce gas production. The pharmacies offer a lot of medications which reduce the surface tension of the gas (gas bubbles in the intestine blow up which brings a relief). Such drugs do not directly affect the cause, but only remove discomfort once it occurs.
Is there any way to prevent and not fight gas formation without limiting yourself in the choice of food? For these purposes, dieticians recommend alpha-galactosidase enzyme. It is an enzyme that helps to break down the oligosaccharides into monosaccharides at the digestion stage in the small intestine, thereby preventing the process of gassing in the large intestine. This remedy can be used as an additive to food when eating foods that cause flatulence. *
* Products stimulating gas production: vegetables (artichoke, mushrooms, cauliflower, bean sprouts, sweet peppers, Chinese cabbage, carrots, cabbage, cucumbers, eggplant, green beans, lettuce, pumpkin, potatoes, radish, seaweed (nori), spinach, tomatoes , turnips, zucchini), fruits (apples, apricots, blackberries, canned fruits, dates, dried fruits, figs, mangoes, nectarines, papayas, peaches, pears, plums, persimmons, prunes, watermelon, bananas, blueberries, melons, cranberries, grapes , kiwi, lemon, lime, mandarin, orange, passion fruit, pineapple, raspberry, strawberry, mandarins), cereals rye, corn, corn, oats, cereals, chips, pancakes, pasta, noodles, pretzels, wafers, oat flakes, oat bran, popcorn, quinoa, rice, rice bran), beans (soybeans, soy products (soymilk, tofu), all kinds of beans, peas, cashews, bulgur, lentils, miso, pistachios), herbs (chicory, artichoke, all kinds of salads, onions, garlic, carrots, parsley, sorrel, celery, spinach, dandelion greens , asparagus), bakery products (rye flour bread, Borodinsky bread, grain bread, wheat bread, rye bran, wheat bran Meth, bread).