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How do I Prevent Flatulence?

By Lori Smith
Updated May 17, 2024
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The most effective way to prevent flatulence is to avoid foods that cause intestinal gas, which may be different for each person. You can try systematically eliminating certain items from your diet, one at a time. This way, you can discover the foods that affect you the most. As an alternative, there are several over-the-counter remedies available to relieve or prevent flatulence. Proper eating habits should also be adopted to ease discomfort.

Chewing with a closed mouth is not only polite, but it may also help avoid swallowing excessive amounts of air, which often leads to bloating and discomfort. For the same reason, try to eat meals while you are relaxed. Many people find that it helps to take small bites and chew their food longer, breaking down morsels into tiny pieces so that the stomach does not have to work as hard to absorb the nutrients. In other words, the way you eat can be just as important as the type of meals you consume.

Generally, foods that are high in saturated fat, starch, or fiber are most likely to cause gastrointestinal upset. Beans and legumes are commonly known to cause flatulence, but they are not the only foods that can create it. Vegetables — such as broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, and corn — may also contribute to abdominal discomfort and bloating. Dairy products, like milk and cheese, as well as some fresh fruits, can have a similar effect on the body.

Adding certain spices to your meals may counteract the gas-producing properties of some foods. Cumin, turmeric, and caraway are some examples of seasonings you can use to help prevent flatulence. Additionally, you may want to try adding probiotics to your diet, such as yogurt with live cultures or kefir, which are believed to restore the balance of intestinal flora and improve digestion.

Since it is often difficult, and usually ill-advised, to eliminate too many nutrient-rich foods from the diet, many people find that they can prevent flatulence by taking digestive enzyme supplements. Several varieties are widely available without a prescription. These are usually taken at the same time as the gas-producing food is consumed to help break down complex carbohydrates for easier digestion.

Some people find that drinking certain beverages also has an effect on the way they feel. A cup of herbal tea, for example, may aid in digestion and prevent flatulence. Carbonated drinks, on the other hand, can cause abdominal discomfort and should be avoided to control symptoms in people who are susceptible to gastrointestinal upset.

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