Category Archives for Gas

The Gassy Bunny – Do Carrots Cause Gas?

What’s up, doc? Have you ever wondered if Bugs Bunny ever felt gassy after eating all those carrots? Let’s find out by answering the question – do carrots cause gas?

Carrots are root vegetables that are tasty, crunchy and versatile ingredients for dishes. It can be used as an ingredient for salads, entrées, and even desserts. Cultivated carrots date back to pre-900’s, and it’s mostly purple and yellow.

Did you know that when you eat a carrot, you mostly eat water? It consists of 86-95% of water! 

Daucus carota, or carrots, are rich in the following:

  • Carbohydrates
  • Fibers 
  • Vitamin A
  • Biotin
  • Vitamin K1
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin B6
  • Beta and Alpha Carotene
  • Lutein
  • Lycopene
  • Polyacetylenes
  • Anthocyanins

The most famous health benefit of carrots is its effect on eye health because it is a good source of Vitamin A and Beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is a type of plant pigment that can be converted to Vitamin A. Carrots also contain Lutein, another important key for eye health. It also has antioxidants that can help reduce cancer and heart disease risks. 

Sounds too good to be true? It probably is. But it’s not a reason to binge on carrots just yet. 

A burp here… A fart there…

These are gases from the digestive tract. It’s normal and it comes from two sources:

  • Swallowed air
  • The gas produced by the breakdown of food by the native gut bacteria

Swallowed gas? Who would do that?

Well, swallowing gas is not intentional (unless you try that, of course). One source is that it may come from ill-fitting dentures. This causes the swallowed saliva to have more air mixed in from chewing. Other causes involve sipping from straws, chewing gum, sucking lollipops or hard candies, or even chewing too fast.

The second reason for having gas is the digestion process by the gut bacteria. These gases are the by-products of the process and the quantity depends on the gut microbiome and the type of food taken. 

Everyone has gut bacteria and it helps with the digestion process. The performance of these bacteria depends on the food consumed by the person, as well as the type of bacteria present. Keep in mind that carbohydrates are usually the culprit for gas production in the body. The fermentation of fibers (the digestion process of the bacteria) produces gas, but some starches and sugars can also cause gas production. 

Gas in My Tank

So what does this mean? It means that if you eat food high in fiber or are starchy, you’d end up with a gassy tummy. That’s not a bad thing, because fiber plays an important part in a healthy diet. It keeps the bowel moving regularly. Besides, the amount of gas produced and the speed of production differs from person to person. 

Guess what, for every cup of raw carrots, you get 4 grams of fiber. You also get starch and simple sugars. So, do carrots cause gas?

Gas is normal and eating fiber-rich food shouldn’t be avoided unless you experience constant pain or are prone to bloating. Bloating is a discomfort a person feels after eating, regardless if it is a large meal or not. It usually feels like being full to the brim, and may even cause distention in the stomach.

One at a Time

It is a different case for people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. For some, eating raw vegetables trigger their IBS symptoms. If you experience uncomfortable gassiness whenever snacking on a raw carrot, try blanching the carrots before eating it or try to add it to dishes instead. This makes it softer and easier for the gut bacteria to digest. 

Another good tip would be to reduce the quantity of your carrot consumption. Eat them in small amounts at a time. This will gradually increase a person’s capability to digest fiber. But, if you still feel persistent bloating even after the reduction of a certain food suspect, try removing it from your diet. You can then observe the changes whether it is beneficial for you or not. When testing it out, try not to eat carrots along with famous gas inducers like Brussel sprouts.

If bloating or uncomfortable gassiness persists, ask your physician about how to reduce your symptoms. 

Do carrots cause gas?

Yes, but it’s not a reason to avoid eating carrots even if in small quantities. It contains important nutrients that are beneficial to the body. Carrots are also versatile ingredients that can be a vibrant and interesting addition to your healthy dishes. Even if carrots sound like a superfood, always eat in moderation.

What carrot dish is your favorite? Or do you like them raw and dipped in mayonnaise?

6 Reasons Avocados Can Cause Gas – Explained

You asked and we're here to answer: do avocados cause gas?

The short answer is Yes, they can.

Most people will have no problem eating the fruit, but why is it that some get overly gassy?

Avocados originated in Mesoamerica and were cultivated in the Mexico area as early as 500BC. They were introduced to the Spanish conquistadors by the Aztecs in the 16th century, in a form that the Aztecs called "ahuaca-molli"... which the Spanish then called guacamole and the rest is history... guacamole and avocados spread to Europe and later the rest of the world.

They are very high in "good", monounsaturated fat, are a great source of fiber, have more potassium than bananas, good protein amounts, and they have a creamy texture that nothing can compare to.

BUT... if they are going to cause uncontrollable bursts of flatulence, then are they really worth eating?

Well, in order to answer this question let's first go over 6 possible reasons that avocados are producing this effect...

6 Potential Reasons for Excessive Flatulence

#1) They Contain Sorbitol

Avocados contain what is called sorbitol, which is a polyol (aka sugar alcohol) that naturally occurs in a variety of fruits, such as apples, peaches, different types of berries... and it occurs unnaturally in many types of sugar-less chewing gum.

Sorbitol, unlike its classification of a "sugar alcohol", is neither a sugar nor an alcohol. It is a fermentable carb that is classified as a high FODMAP, meaning people with IBS should avoid it.

However, even if you don't have IBS, sorbitol can cause and upset stomach, cramps, bloating, gas, etc.

The reason behind this is because it isn't completely absorbed by the small intestine and continues into the large intestine where it is fermented by our gut bacteria, producing gas as a byproduct.

#2) They Are High In Fiber

Avocados are a great source of fiber, both soluble and insoluble. The amount of each depends on they type of avocados that you buy. According to SFGate Healthy Eating, half of a California avocado has about 4.6 g of fiber, 63% being insoluble and 37% being soluble, while half of a Florida avocado (larger kind) has about 8.5 g of fiber, 82% of which is insoluble and only 18% soluble. 

Fiber is great, and most of the US population needs more of it, but getting too much (some people experience negative effects after around 40 g per day) can come with downsides.

It is the soluble fiber in particular that is the problem here, because this type of fiber is considered "ferment-able" and is fermented by the bacteria in our guts, just as sorbitol is.

While avocados have significantly more insoluble fiber than soluble, the amount of soluble fiber that they provide is actually quite high compared to other foods.

*Note: This is also a big reason beans have such a gassy effect.

#3) They Have Potential to Cause Borborygmi

Now this is something that almost no one talks about, but very well could cause bloating and flatulence.

Borborygmi is the scientific term for stomach growling, which consist of the sounds made from gas as food moves through the intestines.

Avocados, because they digest rather slowly due to their density and high fat content, and because of their viscosity after being chewed, could have the potential to trap more air as they move through the digestive system... thus causing more sounds.

This, coupled with the fact that the sorbitol and soluble fiber they provide produces gas, could exacerbate the problem or air being trapped in the intestines and causing gassy-ness.

#4) You May Be Allergic

Another potential cause of excessive gas and digestion issues could be an allergic reaction, in which excess gas wouldn't be much of a concern.

According to BetterHealth Channel, about half of people that have latex allergies also are allergic to avocados. This is because the same proteins are present in both.

#5) It Could Be a Histamine Intolerance

An intolerance to histamine also produces symptoms similar to that of allergic reactions, which include everything from hives to digestive issues (like excessive gas).

Histamine is a chemical that communicates messages to the brain, aids in digestion by helping control stomach acid release, and is released after injury or allergic reaction.

An intolerance to histamine can occur when levels get too high. The body produces its own histamine but we also get this chemical from the foods we eat, and avocados are considered high in it.

#6) Maybe They Weren't Quite Ripe Enough

There is an old Spanish saying, "aguacates duros, flatulencia seguros", which roughly translates to "hard avocados, gas surely".

It doesn't rhyme so well in English, but the point it makes is translatable. 

The harder the avocado (less ripe), the more likely it is to cause flatulence. 

When avocados aren't ripe, still hard, they are more difficult for the body to digest. The starches they contain still haven't fully broken down into simple sugars, complex enzymes have yet to denature, and so on... making more than one reason they could lead to gas.

Gas Leak Solutions

What if you can't control yourself when it comes to a fresh bowl of guacamole? Is there any hope?

This would all depend on the reason behind the gas. If highly allergic then even the slightest amount could trigger symptoms... but then again, if you are only worried about the gas that avocados are causing then you likely aren't highly allergic.

If it's excess fiber that is the cause then you could simply consume less fiber in other parts of your diet, such as by eating these "diarrhea friendly" low-fiber foods, if you still want to continue to eat your avocados. And if you've just got a bad case of borborygmi then simply drinking more water as you eat can help.

The easiest solution, and what works pretty much no matter what the reason behind the excessive flatulence, is to simply consume less. 

Or you could stop eating the same avocados

Avocados originated in southern Mexico long before the Spanish arrived, but today the biggest commercial exports come from north of the border, from California and Florida in the USA.

As briefly mentioned earlier, the avocados from California differ a good bit from the Floridian avocados... so you may want to try switching varieties and see how that works.

And if it is guacamole that you have been getting gassy from, then it may also be worth trying a different product. It could be other ingredients in the mix and not the avocado that is the problem.

To Eat or Not to Eat?

Unless eating avocados presents a serious gas problem, such as that which may stem from an allergic reaction, it might be worth it to put up with the increased gassy-ness for the sake of good nutrition.

Avocados are a very well-rounded fruit, nutritionally speaking, with the nutrition facts for a 136 g California avocado being:

  • 9.2 g dietary fiber
  • 2.7 g protein
  • 13.3 g monounsaturated fat ("good fat")
  • 150 mg of Omega-3 fatty acids
  • 2,298 mg of Omega-6 fatty acids
  • 20% DV of vitamin C
  • 13% DV of vitamin E
  • 36% DV of vitamin K
  • 30% DV of folate
  • 20% DV of vitamin B6
  • 20% DV of potassium (689 mg)
  • 10% DV of magnesium (39.4 mg)

... just to name a few.

So you decide... is the gas worth it? 

Now it's your turn: What has your experience been like eating avocados?

Do Brussel Sprouts Cause Gas? – Yes, and Here’s Why

Is it really true that brussel sprouts cause gas? This may be a conclusion you have come to from your own experiences or maybe you have just heard it from someone else.

The truth is that... yes... they can cause gas. In fact, it is actually pretty common and the term "sprout farts" has even been coined to refer to this particular type of flatulence.

But why is it that they cause such unwanted side effects? Why do some people experience gas while others don't? And if you do get bad gas after eating them should you discontinue consumption or is there a way to get around this?

Well... we'll get into all of this but first lets talk a little bit about what exactly flatulence is.

A Briefing on Flatulence:

Flatulence is the word used to describe the release of excess gas from the digestive system out your behind. When gas builds up during the digestive process some of it may come back up through the throat as a burp, while some may be passed as gas.

Gas that comes out as a burp is often the result of us swallowing air when we eat, while gas passed as flatulence often comes from different gases produced from the actual digestion of our foods. This could be varying levels of gases like methane, carbon dioxide, hydrogen, and sulfur that are the result of our gut flora helping break down foods during a process of fermentation.

Why Brussel Sprouts Cause Gas..

Much of the gas producing ability of brussel sprouts can be attributed to something called raffinose, which is a complex sugar that is also found in a number of other vegetables such as...

  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Beans
  • Asparagus
  • Cauliflower

Just about everyone knows that beans give you the farts, or at least many of those who eat them, and it is because of this same complex sugar... raffinose.

But why is it that raffinose causes gas? Well... it is because of a lack of enzymes in our intestines that are needed to break it down. There is not enough of the alpha-galactosidase enzyme produced and this leads to much of it being broken down via bacterial fermentation.

Why such a bad smell?

Something else that you are probably well aware of is that there are a variety of different smells that come as a result of flatulence. There is the rotten egg smell which ranks at the top of the list for most disgusting and then there are less potent more mellow smells as well.

Unfortunately the flatulence that brussel sprouts bring about is often quite fowl smelling. The reason for this is because when raffinose is digested sulphide and mercaptan are produced... and it is the sulphide that is well known for the abominable smell.

Why Doesn't It Effect Everyone?

Like everything, brussel sprouts don't have the same effect on everyone. Some people may experience embarrassing gaseous explosions at the dinner table while others can eat the sprouts without any problem.

So why is this?

Well... there could be many reasons for it. The differences in the gut flora will vary from person to person depending on things like what we eat and our environment. Since the bacteria differs this can cause the gas production to differ.

There is an article published in the Nutrition Journal that takes a look at the differences in flatulence from bean consumption and how it varies. This is very relevant because much of the gas that comes from beans is due to the raffinose, which as mentioned is what is in brussels sprouts as well.

How to Eat Them & NOT Get Gas

There is no real hack to eating them so that you don't get gas. However, you can train your body to become more efficient and overall better at digesting the notorious raffinose that brussel sprouts contain. 

In order to eat them and not get bad gas the best thing you can do is eat more of them. I know this is probably the last thing you want to do but it actually can work. Your body will get used to them and your digestive system will become a pro at digestion.

Conclusion: Eat More!

So don't stop eating them... if you are willing to deal with the farts that they bring about for a short period of time it could pay off for you... your body could adjust so that there aren't such unwanted side effects and then you could enjoy these nutritious plants in peace.

Brussel sprouts are packed with good nutrients and are an excellent addition to just about any diet. They are extremely high in vitamins C and K. According to SelfNutritionData just one mealy sprout (about 21g) will provide you with 22% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin C and 37% of the RDA for vitamin K. They are also a good source of fiber and provide some vitamin A, vitamin B6, potassium, iron, magnesium and more.

What if the side effects are too much to handle?

For the majority of people out there that get gas from brussel sprouts there is probably nothing to worry about. However, as mentioned above, foods effect people differently. If the gaseous explosions you experience are too much to bear then it may be in your best interest to speak to a doctor or even stop eating them altogether.