It's a natural phenomenon of life that we all practice on the daily but yet, it somehow still remains somewhat taboo in society: farts. When they come out, they can sound funny, smell horribly and make for some very uncomfortable situations to be had.
But in all seriousness, what's the deal with them? What would be considered a healthy amount of gas to release per day? What are some of the foods that are responsible for increasing one's frequency in passing gas and are there any tricks to stop us from farting too much? Thankfully, wellness doctor Dr. Zac Turner has the answers to all of these questions that you might have been too embarrassed to ask for yourself.
What can cause an increase in flatulence?
The first thing that Dr. Turner explains is that letting one rip is completely normal and nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, he says that the average person farts anywhere from 10 to 18 times a day—enough to fill up a party balloon.
The next thing you should know about farts is that they are almost always directly related to the foods we eat. In other words, certain types of food will make for more gas to have to be released. Dr. Turner explains that:
Complex carbohydrates are one of the most common factors in all healthy diets that causes flatulence. This includes you would've guessed it: beans. Any type of legumes, oatmeal and sweet potato too.
Complex carbohydrates also have a long scientific name, oligosaccharides, and the oligosaccharides called raffinose, stachiose, and verbicose are found in legumes, such as beans. The microorganisms in our gut love these oligosaccharides and eat them right up causing large amounts of gas to be released.
However, it is not only what we eat that affects how much we have to pass wind but also how we eat it. When we consume food, we also consume bits of air that eventually must exit our bodies by either burping or farting them out. Often, the hungrier we are, the faster we tend to eat which in turn increases the amount of air we ingest causing us to fart much more than we would if we ate slowly.
Are there any foods that make us fart less?
According to Dr. Turner there are in fact some ways around farting less. He says:
My secret ingredient to stop farts (which has been around for centuries and commonly used in the vegan community) is hing. It's a spice found commonly in Indian cuisine that has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-flatulent properties.
Hing powder is found in most health food stores. Adding this powder to meals that are heavy in complex carbohydrates (such as that chili you love to make) should put a limit to how much you are farting per day.