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How to Reduce Gas and Bloating

Here is an exerpt taken from Dr. Jillian’s Fix Your Digestion blog

An enormous percentage of the population experiences uncomfortable flatulence, gas and bloating on a weekly and sometimes even a daily basis. We think this is “normal”, but in fact it is not and often gas and bloating are symptoms of something else afoot in either the diet, the gastrointestinal system, or both.

When considering gas and bloating, we can think of three main things and work from there: one, the foods we eat. Two, the system we put the foods into and three, the interplay between the foods we eat and the system we put them into.How to Reduce Gas & Bloating


First, let’s talk about food. Some foods are inherently hard to digest, some foods aren’t actually even recognized by the human gastrointestinal tract, and some foods can be irritating and thus cause gas and bloating if taken in excess. Here are some of the worst foods for digestive health.

Foods that are hard to digest are things like gluten – which is found in the grains wheat, barley and rye, and all of their products – casein, which is the protein that is found in milk and milk products. Of course, if you are like most people, you may have spent the last week or so eating gluten and dairy products like a champ.

Interestingly, fiber can be hard to digest too. For people that don’t typically eat a high veggie, high fiber diet, once fiber goes on board in a big way it can really contribute to gas and bloating. Best to go slow there. Beans, in particular, contain certain fibers and carbohydrates that can be hard to break down.

Some individuals, genetically speaking, don’t do well digesting foods that are rich in sulfur-containing compounds. The cruciferous family of veggies, including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale and bok choi all can be rough to digest for some individuals.

Then, we have foods that aren’t recognized by the human gastrointestinal system. As such, they remain whole and intact and do not get broken down. These large unbroken particles create gas and bloating when they hit the small intestine.

Heading up this list is soy. Soy has oligosacchardies in it that are not recognized by the GI tract of humans. Additionally, soy contains protease inhibitors, essentially blunting protein digestion with consumption.

Sugar alternatives like Splenda, sucralose, acesulfame, and some of the sugar alcohols like maltitol are very hard for the GI system to break down and thus can contribute to gas and bloating. Have you ever read the label on a bag of sugar free candy? Warning: excessive consumption can have a laxative effect. Oops. That’s after you’ve basically blown up like a balloon.

Want to learn more? Read the full blog here