Does Broccoli Make You Fart?

Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, turnip greens, cabbage and kale are rich sources of antioxidants, thereby helping to prevent against both heart disease and cancer. Broccoli is also a rich source of minerals, vitamins and phytochemicals. However, broccoli is avoided by some people because it is believed that can cause intestinal gas which can not only be embarrassing but also painful and uncomfortable. Is it true? Keep reading to find the answer.

Does Broccoli Make You Fart?

Yes, broccoli can make you fart. Why does this happen? It is all due to carbohydrates. Oligosaccharides are a type of complex carbohydrates that contain more than one sugar unit. Broccoli contains the oligosaccharides such as verbicose, stachyose and raffinose. These oligosaccharides are loved by the bacteria that reside in our guts. Nitrogen gas is produced upon consumption of these oligosaccharides by the gut bacteria.

Broccoli is also a rich source of fiber. And excessive belching and flatulence can be caused by eating a high fiber diet. The gastrointestinal tract does not digest and absorb the fiber in diet. The fiber gets fermented in the large intestine resulting in more gas built up. Moreover, these undigested materials are attacked by the colonic bacteria, thereby giving the flatus a bad odor.

Broccoli, like most of the cruciferous vegetables contains high amount of sulfur compounds. A diet rich in sulfur makes flatulence have a higher percentage of hydrogen sulfide, thereby giving the flatus its characteristic rotten eggs smell.

How to Reduce Gas Caused by Broccoli

Now you have the answer to the question "does broccoli make you fart". But the cruciferous vegetables including broccoli have so many health benefits that it is worth knowing how to reduce gas produced by them. You can follow the following tips to reduce the gas.

  • ŸIncrease your intake of kefir, yogurt or buttermilk in your diet to give a boost to the good bacteria present in your large intestine.
  • ŸYou can also take probiotic supplements such as lactobacillus GG to have a similar effect.
  • Gas formation is reduced by adding certain spices such as coriander, cumin, turmeric, kelp and caraway to your food. Moreover, by drinking small amount of acidic fluids such as juice of lemon along with your meal, you can help digestion and reduce the production of gas.
  • ŸTaking beano before ingesting broccoli is also said to reduce gas production. It is available at health food stores. Beano is manufactured from an enzyme derived from plants. It acts on raffinose before it enters large intestine, thereby decreasing the production of gas, which relieves you from worrying about "does broccoli make you fart".
  • Eat slowly and chew broccoli thoroughly before swallowing it. This helps in its digestion and the amount that reaches the large intestine is reduced, thereby reducing gas formation.
  • ŸDrinking liquids with meal causes loss of stomach acids and hinders digestion, therefore, drink liquids at least half an hour before meals and improve your digestion.
  • You can try ingesting activated charcoal, which is known to treat and reduce excessive bloating and gas.
  • Avoid filling up on air. Habits such as chewing gum, smoking and drinking with a straw may fill your stomach with air, thereby causing gas.
  • Artificial sweeteners such as sorbitol should be avoided as they may aggravate gas.
  • If you are fond of cruciferous vegetables but are afraid to eat them due to their uncomfortable side effects, try eating them in cooked and pureed soup form.
  • You should limit eating food rich in fat as this can reduce discomfort and bloating caused by gas and helps the stomach to empty out its contents faster. This allows the gases to move more quickly to the small intestine.

Healthy Foods That Don't Cause Gas

Beside the answer to "does broccoli make you fart" and the gas reduction methods, you may know some healthy foods that don't cause gas. Here are some good options for you.

1. Zucchini

Zucchini can be digested easily and helps prevent the formation of excessive gas. You can add zucchini to your meal by grilling it along with olive oil and herbs. You can also roast them in oven and boil and make a puree with butter.

2. Leafy Greens

Gas is not produced by most of the leafy greens, even in persons suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. Healthy salads can be prepared by using Boston lettuce, Romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce and raw spinach. If you experience gas with raw leafy greens, you can cook them to boost their digestion.

3. Carrots

Very small amounts of short-chain fermentable carbohydrates also referred to as FODMAPs are present in carrots. FODMAPs cause many gastrointestinal problems such as bloating, belching, constipation, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. You can eat carrot sticks with ranch dressing as a snack or incorporate carrots in carrot and orange soup.

4. Tomato

Tomatoes are best eaten fresh as a salad accompanying your meal. It is recommended to avoid tomato sauces and paste as the high-fructose corn syrup added to the tomato sauce may aggravate the problem of flatulence worse. Make your own salsa with fresh tomato but keep your serving size small (no larger than ½ a cup) at a time.

5. Whole-Grain Rice

During digestion, most of the carbohydrates produce some amount of gas, but you should not avoid them as they are the primary source of energy of the body. The only starchy food that does not cause gas while it is digested is rice. However, for maximum benefits, include varieties of whole grain rich such as wild and brown rice in your diet.

6. Lean Proteins

Though gas is not produced by fats, but they can increase gas pains and bloating by causing a delay in stomach emptying. Fatty foods should be limited and lean protein sources should be added to diet so as to reduce the production of gas as proteins do not produce gas during digestion. Choose broiled or baked fish or sautéed tofu as appetizers. Snack on steamed soybean pods or edamame.

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