Do Carrots Cause Gas? The Gassy Bunny

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?

Nicole Castaneda - RND

Nicole is a professional Nutritionist-Dietitian who advocates for food variation, moderation and the effect of food choices on the body. She loves to write light and easy to understand articles about food and gut health.

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