Here is a fun factoid: the average person passes gas from 14-23 times per day. But seriously, it doesn’t matter if you call it flatulence, farts or gas – it is embarrassing and uncomfortable.
New vegetarians and vegans complain about inordinate amounts of gas. Which, makes sense when you think about it. All of a sudden the body is flooded with large amounts of fiber; particularly things like beans, cabbage, kale and asparagus. Nailing down the exact cause gets a little tricky because what causes gas in one person may not cause it in someone else.
No matter what specifically causes it, the mechanism is the same. The intestinal tract is inundated with foods that do not digest easily and the result is gas. The enzymes and bacteria needed to digest and absorb certain carbohydrates are either in short supply, out of balance or entirely absent. The result is gas: belching, farting, bloating, abdominal discomfort and sometimes real pain.
The good news is that the body will adapt as you continue to eat the vegetables that cause the gas. Beans, however, may remain problematic. So what can you do? (more…)