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Foods That Make You Gassy and Bloated

Updated on November 11, 2014

Why is My Stomach Always Gassy and Bloated?

A gassy and bloated tummy is normally caused by:

  • Swallowed air or
  • Foods you ate or drink.

You may experience gas only sometimes, or it may be frequent. But when it comes to the point where gas pains are preventing you from performing your daily activities, it may need your close attention. Find out what foods cause a gassy stomach and ways to reduce or prevent gas and bloating.

What is Bloating?

When you don't belch or fart often, the gas can build up in the intestines and stomach and cause bloating—the swelling in the abdominal area caused by this gas build-up. Bloating is typically followed by pain in the abdominal area, which can either be light and dull or fast and intense. Releasing air (burping or farting) or having a bowel movement may help to reduce the discomfort.

Bloating is often associated with:

  • Consuming high-fat foods. Fat interrupts and slows down the stomach-emptying process and can add to the feeling of heaviness.
  • Stress or anxiety.
  • Smoking.
  • A gastrointestinal disease, obstruction, or illness.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS, or spastic colon), a disease caused by abdominal pain or cramps and changes in intestinal function.
  • Conditions such as Coeliac disease (which has the side effect of lactose intolerance) wherein the digestive tract isn't able to break down food and absorb some food components.

Foods You Should Avoid to Prevent Bloating and Wind

To greatly reduce bloating, try to avoid or reduce consuming gas-producing foods. The following can often produce gas:

  • Baked beans
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Petcha
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Cauliflower
  • Lima beans
  • Lentils
  • Onions
  • Peppers
  • Chewing gum
  • Fruits such as apples, peaches, and pears
  • Hard candy
  • Lettuce

Foods with Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the main gas makers due to the fact that they’re composed of polysaccharides (a type of sugar that is difficult to digest).

The carbohydrates contained in some fruits and vegetables can produce intestinal gas and bloating. This includes:

  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage and sauerkraut
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Corn
  • Green peppers
  • Leeks
  • Legumes (anasazi beans, black-eyed peas, bog beans, black turtle beans, broad beans, field beans, garbanzo beans, lima beans, mung beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, baked beans, bean salads, chickpeas, chili, great northern, lentils, lentil soup, lima beans, peanuts, peanut butter, peas, pink beans, pinto beans, dried peas, small white beans, split-pea soup, soybeans, soy milk, bean curd, and other soybean products)
  • Onions
  • Parsley
  • Potatoes
  • Radishes
  • Sweet peppers

Breads, grains, cereals, and nuts

Wheat and wheat-products can cause some people to have gas build-up. Try to minimize your consumption of these wheat items:

  • Bagels
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Whole grain breads
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Pastries


Other Gas-Producing Vegetables

Other gas-producing vegetables include:

  • Avocado
  • Asparagus
  • Cucumbers
  • Eggplant
  • Kohlrabi
  • Lettuce
  • Okra
  • Olives
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Rutabaga
  • Tomato
  • Turnips
  • Zucchini

Acidic Foods Should Be Avoided to Prevent Gas and Bloating

You should definitely to avoid acidic foods, such as:

  • Tomatoes and tomato products (spaghetti sauce, ketchup, salsa, etc.)
  • White/red vinegar
  • Citrus fruits such as apples, cherries, grapes, pomelos, orange, lemon, lime, and pineapple

Spicy Foods Can Cause Acid Reflux and Bloating

Limit your consumption of hot/spicy foods and hot spices. Spices may very well be the spice of life, delivering a flavorful boost to our favorite dishes. They also provide important minerals and vitamins. However, unfortunately, hot and spicy foods can also act as a catalyst for the secretion of more digestive acid, increasing indications of acid reflux and bloating.

Some Dairy Products May Cause Gas

Dairy products can cause gas for many, as well, especially those who are lactose intolerant.

Typically though, aged cheeses as well as yogurt products don't yield a stomach upset.

Just in case you are lactose intolerant, avoid all dairy foods from your diet for a 10-15 day period. Keep track of your body’s reaction to observe whether or not there is a gas reduction in the stomach. If there is, reduce or stop your dairy intake, or use lactase natural supplements before eating to help your digestive process break down dairy components.

High-Fat Foods May Produce Gas

Here are some foods high in fat that have potential to produce gas after finishing a serving.

  • Fried food—pan or deep-fried
  • Fatty meats
  • Foods with gravy
  • Creamy soups
  • Rich sauces
  • Rich desserts

Other Food Items That Make You Gassy and Bloated

  • Sugar-free candies. The artificial sweeteners in sugar-free candies, including sugar-free chocolate, can cause digestive problems. Often labeled as sugar alcohols in the ingredients list, they’re used in a variety of food products and drinks from sugarless gums and hard candy to sports beverages.
  • Sugar-free products in general. Avoid products that claim to be “sugar-free" or contain "less sugar,” as there’s a good chance that sugar alcohols are used to substitute the sugar. Other examples of sugar alcohols or artificial sweeteners that you may see in the ingredients list are: cornstarch, erythritol, glycerol, isomalt, lactitol, maltitol, mannitol, sorbitol, and xylitol.
  • Soft drinks. Soft drinks contain carbon dioxide bubbles, which can cause gassy and bloated tummies.
  • Some alcohol. Beer, red wine, and other types of wine made from natural ingredients such as jungle juice and tuba can cause excessive gas in the stomach.

Gas Levels May Vary Depending on Individual

We all emit gas but still, situations may vary by individual. Other people have more gassy problems eating certain foods and drinks compare to others. According to studies, the average person emit intestinal gas 14-16 times a day and produces about 1 to 4 pints of digestive gas. That could be definitely more than you expect.

Most people who consider themselves extremely gassy usually have only fairly normal amounts. But, it could be that it's pretty much more uncomfortable both physically and emotionally to quite a few people than it is to others. Exactly what causes intestinal-gas? The two main causes are: 1. From air that you swallow 2. As a secondary result of food digestion.

Air Swallowing (Aerophagia)

Typically, burping is the result of air that you swallow. Many of us don't swallow air intentionally. You may not be aware that you are swallowing air by doing/consuming some stuffs. These habits can likely increase gas and bloating:

  • If you are smoking
  • Chewing gum
  • Drinking using a straw
  • Sucking on solid candies
  • Drinking a lot of soda or other carbonated drinks
  • Consuming food or drinking very quickly
  • Wearing sloppy dentures

Additionally, any specific health problem that may cause you to swallow air regularly can inflate your stomach. For example, allergic reactions or sinus problems that cause upper airway cough syndrome will make you swallow more air often. These health conditions could build up swelling in the abdominal area.

Those suffering from serious heartburn are likewise vulnerable to swallow air. The common thing most people do to clear the esophagus of stomach acid is to swallow air. By swallowing more air eventually, you'll get an inflated stomach that cause cramps and rambling sounds.

Keep Track of the Foods You Eat

Keep a food journal, write down the foods you have eaten, and record your body's initial reaction(s). If you observe an increase in intestinal gas and bloating after eating certain food items, reduce or stop consuming them. If you’re getting gas problems and having a hard time finding the foods that cause bloating, try to list all the foods that are tummy-friendly, and then add different food every two days to try to identify the foods that cause gas.

Understand that other people can digest food easily compare to others. Some peoples’ systems are unable to digest certain foods while some can eat them without having complications.

Remember: Many foods high in carbohydrates produce gas and bloating (as opposed to those containing more fats and proteins, which generate a small amount of gas). Starch-containing foods like rice, maize, noodles, pasta, potatoes, pulses and wheat, usually produce gas.

Hope this article helped! Remember, gas is nothing to be ashamed of—every human experiences and has it. By being smart about your diet and more informed, you can easily control it. Good luck!

Home Remedy to Reduce Intestinal Gas

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    • profile image

      Puzant touzjian 12 months ago

      I have eaten okra with garlic and fresh hot pepper tomato yakhni

      .I can't believe how much gases I had..

    • profile image

      sherry 12 months ago

      i don know why whenever i eat ladyfinger i fell pain i stomach :(

    • profile image

      Pettlepop 12 months ago

    • profile image

      Lilanath 20 months ago

      My right side upper Sparta of rib and spark to much pian

    • profile image

      Matt 2 years ago

      This advice is stupid...

    • profile image

      hi 2 years ago

      hi hi

    • profile image

      Michael Lansley 2 years ago

      Another important aspect is hydration. If you're eating a ton of fiber, you have to hydrate with enough water to help your body process it effectively. Most people aren't taking in enough water and it can cause digestion and acid reflux issues too. One thing I do is use a hydration system when working out, has been really helping up my total water intake. Camelbaks are good, and also found this one that I use when running, http://www.aqua-arm.com

    • howtostayhealthy profile image
      Author

      howtostayhealthy 2 years ago

      Although all vegetables are good for us, they can also cause gas. The amount of gas caused by a particular vegetable may differ depending on how efficiently your body digests certain components. Here is an example, one carrot contains 12 grams of carbohydrates and 4 grams of fiber.

      When carbohydrates are not digested well, the bacteria in your intestine ferment it producing nitrogen gas, causing flatulence. Nutritious vegetable like carrot is not an exception and can create this gassy condition. We need fiber in our diet everyday since it helps us feel full faster, which helps keep us at a safe weigh. Fiber if not absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract can cause gas build up that could lead to intestinal discomfort.

    • profile image

      Sven 2 years ago

      So.. every vegetable can give you gas?..

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Very interesting, I suffer badly with this problem, doctor has me on pills to help, but they don't aways work. I haven't thought of vegetables making me worse, some I know do but that many. I love my veggies, must take another look at this. Thanks.

    • howtostayhealthy profile image
      Author

      howtostayhealthy 2 years ago

      @Rubbish - People who eat healthy foods and take their daily multi can still experience digestive enzyme deficiency due to the fact our bodies don't always produce enough enzymes to digest food properly.

      Our body produces enzyme naturally, but sometimes it's not sufficient to help digest the foods we eat. Some foods like pepper, broccoli, onions, fresh fruits, and foods with dietary fiber take some time to digest. Although these foods are healthy to eat it can often cause bloating and increased flatulence.

    • profile image

      Rubbish 2 years ago

      Hahaha what enzyme are vegetarians supposedly deficient in?

    • profile image

      randy 3 years ago

      thanks and u helped me a lot

    • eilval profile image

      Eileen 3 years ago from Western Cape , South Africa

      I appreciate all the tips . Will bookmark this to use as a guide . Thanks for sharing !

    • pateluday profile image

      Uday Patel 3 years ago from Jabalpur, MP, India

      Some foods are sure to cause gas. But many healthy foods as shown in the list can have a reason to be gassy sometimes.

    • Web Health Mart4U profile image

      Martha 3 years ago from South Carolina

      It happens to all of us at some time. It's good to be able to look at a list to consider what may be the cause. Informative!

    • Jay lmz profile image

      Jay Wyne 3 years ago from America

      a nice hub,

    • Miss Muse profile image

      Christine Rogers 3 years ago from Ohio

      I never knew chewing gum could dot that...good hub, thanks for the info.

    • profile image

      Femk 3 years ago

      "Citrus fruits such as apples, peaches and pears" umm, none of those are citrus fruits.

    • Hezekiah profile image

      Hezekiah 3 years ago from Japan

      A very good list and guide there. Can avoid embarrassing situations. for example on the hectic busy trains like in Japan, when you are literally forced in by the staff. All that pressure on your gut is no good.

    • Ruby H Rose profile image

      Maree Michael Martin 3 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

      Good thing for gas relief pills, did not know so many good foods cause gas.

    • mdscoggins profile image

      Michelle Scoggins 3 years ago from Fresno, CA

      Great information

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 3 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Great hub! Accordingly, foods with (and high) gluten ingredients also causes bloating and indigestion.

      Pinning and sharing.

    • AOkay12 profile image

      AOkay12 3 years ago from Florida

      Cabbage, beans and dairy are at the top of my gas producing list. Any suggestions on how to tame Fido's gas? Dog farts are the worst.

    • thecollegeway profile image

      thecollegeway 3 years ago

      Another interesting thing that can lead to gas and bloating is dairy products. Many people can end up being lactose intolerant and not even know it! This problem can be solved fairly easily most the time as well by taking a lactase enzyme when consuming dairy products.

    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 4 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      This is a good idea about keeping track of what we eat to know which source is causing the gas problem. Voted up.

    • howtostayhealthy profile image
      Author

      howtostayhealthy 4 years ago

      @Mel Carriere thanks for the great comment.

      @medhealth There are methods to reduce the gas-producing potential of beans by soaking for six hour or buy beano, it contains an enzyme that will help breaking down foods into smaller elements that will minimize gut bacteria to produce more gas.

      @Hezekiah In my experience, whenever I eat some of the healthy vegetables mentioned above, my stomach starts making rambling sound then flatulence. The smell is not unpleasant but passing gas often is really a frustrating experience. You can try substituting vegetable-diet with edible tips or young shoots .

    • howtostayhealthy profile image
      Author

      howtostayhealthy 4 years ago

      @VVladimir - Thanks for reading my hub about intestinal gas and bloating. Regarding vegetarians having a gassy stomach, it is mostly caused by enzyme deficiency. The gas buildup is a result of fermentation in the digestive tract when bacteria consume the processed foods you haven't absorbed into the blood. When you have an enzyme deficiency, there are types of molecules that usually would have been absorbed but since they aren't broken down into smaller elements by the enzymes which are lacking, intestinal bacteria consume these chunky elements producing more gas than normal.

    • Hezekiah profile image

      Hezekiah 4 years ago from Japan

      Shame because there are a lot of healthy foods in the list. Not a big problem for most, just inconvenient.

    • profile image

      medhealth 4 years ago

      a bunch of the foods you mentioned (like beans) will not cause any problems once your body is used to having it regularly

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 4 years ago from San Diego California

      Thanks for the tips. This is especially important when you get up there in years. They don't call you an "old fart" for nothing. Thank you for accumulating this research.

    • profile image

      VVladimir 4 years ago from Novi Sad, Serbia

      From personal experience, I have gassy stomach mostly when I eat fruits or vegetables right after I had some high-fat food meal. For example, if i would eat apple or orange before lunch, i will not have gases and bloated stomach. But if i eat apple and orange right after lunch, i definitely will have gases. Also carbonated drinks are causing gases, in my case. I wonder do vegetarians have gassy stomach? Would like to hear their experience on this subject?