Have you ever felt terribly gassy after eating certain raw vegetables? Go on, it’s ok to admit it. However, there’s no need to worry, because it’s not just you.
What Causes Gas and Bloating?
Now that’s out of the way, you may be wondering what it is that causes us to feel a little gassy and bloated after eating certain raw vegetables? Well, there are certain substances, raffinose (an indigestible complex carbohydrate – sugar) and fructans (a type of storage carbohydrate – fiber), found in some vegetables that we lack the enzymes to digest.
Since we cannot digest them, they are fermented by gut bacteria in the large intestine, producing gas. Sulfur is another compound found in some raw vegetables, such as cruciferous vegetables as-well-as onions and garlic, and this contributes to the repulsive odor of gas.
Which Vegetables Can Lead to Gas?
There are a number of vegetables that can cause flatulence. Some of the worst offenders include;
- Brussel Sprouts
- Green Peppers
How to Avoid Getting Gassy
There are a few different ways that you can avoid getting gassy after eating raw veggies. Here are 5 great tips on how you can reduce or eliminate flatulence from eating raw vegetables.
1. Cook Your Vegetables
If you feel gassy after eating certain raw vegetables, try cooking them. Cooking vegetables before you eat them can help break down some of the fiber, making them easier for you to digest. Try sautéing, steaming, or roasting suspected gas causing vegetables before you consume them.
2. Keep a Food Diary
In order to find exactly which vegetables, or other foods, are making you gassy, keep a food diary to try and isolate the culprit(s). Write down what you eat for each meal every day and see if a pattern arises. For example, if you find that you have gas after you eat meals containing raw onions, then they might be the reason. Then you can try eliminating the offending vegetable from your diet, as discussed in tip #4, to see if it helps.
3. Chew Your Food
The digestive process begins in the mouth, so properly chewing your food can help aid digestion of raw vegetables. Additionally, when you chew your food properly, you reduce the size of the food particles, making it less likely that they will ferment in your intestines and lead to gas.
4. Try an Elimination Diet
If you suspect certain raw vegetables are causing issues for you, temporarily remove them from your diet. If this helps reduce gas, you can try slowly adding the suspected offending vegetables back to your diet in small amounts, one at a time, to identify exactly which ones are causing gas.
5. Try a Low-FODMAP Diet
If you suffer with more severe digestive issues such as stomach pain, constipation, or diarrhea when eating the aforementioned vegetables, then you may want to consider a low-FODMAP diet for a short time. FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides and Polyols. They are fermentable short chain carbohydrates that are found in a variety of foods, and can lead to or exacerbate gut issues in those who are sensitive to them.