9. Check for chicory. Chicory root contains a high concentration of the fiber called inulin. Food manufacturers now extract inulin from chicory root and add it to foods such as breakfast bars, meal replacement drinks, ice cream and cereals. It not only boosts the fiber content in the food but also adds a creamy texture and sweet taste. While this ingredient can promote the growth of health bacteria in your gut, it can also bring about gas and bloating when consumed in larger amounts. If plagued by excessive gas, read food ingredient labels to determine how many servings of chicory root or inulin you are getting daily; cutting back might be the cure.
10. Try a lactase supplement. If you notice that drinking milk tends to result in excessive gas formation, then talk to your doctor about testing for lactose intolerance. Aged cheeses and yogurt are tolerated better, as are smaller portions of milk. Consider an over-the-counter supplement like Lactaid or Dairy Ease to help your body break down the lactose in milk and other dairy products.
11. Take an enzyme. The enzyme in Beano helps the body to break down the polysaccharides in beans and in vegetables like cauliflower and Brussels sprouts.
12. Wash beans before cooking. If you're preparing dried beans, soak them in water overnight, and then rinse them several times before cooking to remove much of the gas-producing starch. You can also drain and rinse canned beans before heating to achieve the same effect.
13. Change your diet slowly. If you're trying to eat more fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains, make the change gradually to avoid overloading your system. Over time, you can slowly increase your intake of these foods as your intestinal bacteria have a chance to multiply and ingest the soluble fiber.
14. Loosen up your belt. Tight pants or belts can constrict the abdomen and compress the intestines, which can lead to several symptoms of digestive distress--including gas distention.
Passing gas can be embarrassing, but it's just a part of having a digestive system. Taking a few simple steps can cut down on excess air in your stomach and intestines. But if you ever feel like you’re breaking wind around the clock, see your doctor, there could be a medical cause (and a cure).
This article has been reviewed and approved by Becky Hand, M.Ed., Licensed and Registered Dietitian.
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