Vegetables that cause gas may leave people with symptoms such as bloating, intestinal gas and other digestive symptoms. Some may not be aware of whether a certain vegetable is responsible for their flatulence, or whether other gassy foods may be responsible for their symptoms.
There are many vegetables that do cause excessive gas. The vegetables responsible for intestinal gas may be different from one individual to another, although certain types of vegetables are usually the culprits. In this article, we will dig deeper into 8 vegetables known to cause gas and bloating.
In This Article:
Why Do Some Vegetables Cause Gas?
Mother always said to eat your vegetables. She forgot to tell you that those same vegetables may contribute to uncomfortable and embarrassing symptoms when they lead to a bloated stomach and gas. So why is your stomach so gassy after eating vegetables? There are several reasons, including the fact that many vegetables contain certain naturally-occurring sugars that can cause excess gas. The International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders explains that there are certain sugars found in some vegetables and other food that can lead to flatulence. Those sugars are raffinose, fructose, sorbitol, and lactose. Raffinose is a complex sugar.
Beans contain a large amount of raffinose, while broccoli, asparagus, cabbage and some other vegetables also contain this sugar. Raffinose is an indigestible oligosaccharide. The stomach does not digest the substance, so it makes its way into your large intestine and small intestine, where bacteria break it down, the same as the gut bacteria breaks down the other sugars in vegetables that cause gas. There may be other symptoms present, such as belly bloat, or abdominal pain.
Fructose is found in vegetables such as sugar snap peas, zucchini, onions, and artichokes. People that cannot digest fructose well may experience excess gas or symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
Sorbitol occurs naturally in some foods, and is sometimes used as an artificial sweetener. It is found in many fruits. Avoid adding fruit to your salad or vegetables, and you may decrease the flatulence and other symptoms associated with sorbitol or other sugar alcohol substances.
Lactose is typically associated with dairy products. People that eat vegetables with a cream sauce or cheese sauce may experience bloating and flatulence. Remember, some cheese packaging indicates that what is inside is a "processed cheese product." Do you know how much of that is actually cheese, and how much is possibly just as bad for you as other processed foods?
Cruciferous veggies are notorious for causing excess gas and a bloated stomach in many people. Some people may like to eat raw vegetables and enjoy them with their favorite dip, but learn that they cannot digest raw vegetables without a variety of issues. Cooking cruciferous vegetables and raw vegetables may help relieve the symptoms.
What is the Effect of Foods that have Soluble Fiber and Insoluble Fiber?
Most people have heard that beans likely cause gas. That belief is true for many people. The reason that the instructions on a bag of dry beans indicate that the beans should be soaked overnight before cooking them is because soaking the beans reduces their gas-producing potential if the water is discarded and fresh water added before cooking.
So, what kind of fiber is in beans? The answer is “it depends” on the type of bean in some cases. Several sources indicate that certain beans, such as lima beans, pinto beans, black beans, and some other beans have both soluble and insoluble fiber. Although this may seem like a double-edged sword to people that worry about all fiber causing gas, the truth is that insoluble fiber is typically responsible for contributing to the bloating and excess gas. Some people develop excess gas when they eat soluble fiber. Experimenting with foods that have one type of fiber rather than the other may help to determine which type of fiber is responsible for an increased likelihood of you developing digestive issues.
Top Eight Vegetables that Cause Gas
These eight vegetables are among the worst foods that cause gas, in addition to several types of beans. Do you eat any of these vegetables? You may have the answer to some of your questions about what foods cause gas and bloating, and why do you always have gas at night?
Kale contains raffinose, one of the four types of complex sugar that often contributes to gas. Kale also contains insoluble fiber, which many people have difficulties digesting, and experience bloating or gas when they eat this vegetable.
Broccoli contains insoluble fiber which is not easily or completely digested in the small intestine. Once broccoli reaches the large intestine, gas often occurs, along with other possible digestive symptoms.
Asparagus is another vegetable that many people find to be a delicious part of their meal, until they experience the flatulence associated with eating it. Asparagus is also a vegetable that contains the complex sugar raffinose. Add some Hollandaise sauce and you may experience even more gas, since eggs may contribute to flatulence and gas pains.
Cabbage is another cruciferous vegetable that people often enjoy raw in a slaw or in their salad. That delicious cabbage can be a primary culprit of gas symptoms. This is likely true of any type of cabbage.
Cauliflower may be a delicious veggie, but it may be the primary food that is contributing to your excess gas. It is another vegetable that contains complex sugars, but also has another issue. Cauliflower contains glucosinolates. The glucosinolates are sulfur containing chemicals. When the substance breaks down in the intestines, it forms another compound, which is called hydrogen sulfide. That can contribute to intestinal gas, along with other possible issues.
Onions can contribute to more than the bad breath that people often worry about after enjoying their meal that included some tasty onions. Cut open an onion, and doing so releases the sulfur compounds that often cause gas. Onions are also a FODMAP food. So, what is FODMAP, and why is your stomach so gassy when you eat onions or another food on this list? The answer is that these foods are poorly absorbed in the small intestine.
Are you surprised to find arugula on a list of the top vegetables that cause gas? The reason that arugula is potentially the cause of bloating and flatulence is because it is in the cruciferous vegetable family. Remember, cruciferous vegetables contain raffinose, known as a culprit for gas and other possible digestive symptoms.
Peas contain high levels of soluble fiber and the indigestible oligosaccharides that can contribute to belly bloating and gas. Although some other vegetables are more often thought of as causing gas, peas can actually cause large amounts of intestinal gas.
There are several other vegetables known to cause bloating, excess gas, abdominal cramps, and other possible symptoms. Brussels sprouts, corn, turnips, artichokes, and radishes are examples of these vegetables. Some people may assume that cucumbers are a vegetable that can contribute to bloating and gas. The fact is, that like tomatoes, although they are considered a vegetable, cucumbers are actually a fruit.
How Do You Avoid Gas When Eating Vegetables?
The first step to avoiding gas when eating vegetables is to find out which vegetables are responsible for causing gas, bloating, and other stomach issues. Start by eating one vegetable that you think may be the cause, and then gradually add back other vegetables until you discover the veggies that most likely cause your symptoms.
Some people take products that are made to relieve digestive upset, including belching, gas, bloating, diarrhea, and other symptoms. Digestive enzyme products may help with digesting the carbohydrates that contribute to gas.
Eat vegetables that are low gas vegetables. Some examples of these vegetables that cause little gas symptoms include carrots, zucchini, red and orange bell peppers, romaine or iceberg lettuce, Swiss chard, okra, and steamed potatoes.
Eat your vegetables more slowly, which can help reduce the amount of air swallowed while eating your food.
Reduce or eliminate your consumption of carbonated drinks. They are notorious for contributing to a gassy stomach, belching, and other symptoms. The artificial sweeteners used in diet carbonated drinks can contribute to other types of digestive system symptoms.
Another option is to try a juice cleanse. There are several potential benefits to this approach.
Will a Juice Cleanse Help With Bloating and Gas?
There are several potential benefits of a juice cleanse, including its ability to likely help with gassy symptoms and other digestive issues. One reason to try a juice cleanse is that doing so, you remove the fiber that is often responsible for causing gas, bloating, and other symptoms that are associated with eating certain vegetables.
There are some other surprising benefits to a juice cleanse, including the potential for learning about certain foods that you may have an allergy or food intolerance to, or you may learn that certain foods may contribute to irritable bowel syndrome, if you have those symptoms.
If you try a juice cleanse for the first time, you likely want to do the juice cleanse for a shorter period of time compared to individuals that have done juice cleanses in the past. You still reap the detox benefits, and are able to rest your stomach, repair the gut from pain and possible bacteria that can lead to conditions such as ulcers or H. pylori, or a multitude of other issues.
Dr Woodson Merrell, suggests that starting with just a three-day juice cleanse can yield these, and other positive results, such as rehydrating the body, and flooding the body with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that are essential for healing the gut.
Juice cleanses help eliminate some of the foods that are well-known for contributing to bloating and that cause gas, such as wheat and other grains, and also eliminate gluten from the diet for the duration of the juice cleanse.
Although there are many pros to a juice cleanse, whether you do it for three days or for seven days, everyone does not agree with engaging in cleanses to help with excess gas and bacteria in the gut, and to learn which foods are responsible for other G.I. symptoms.
Some sources indicate that a juice cleanse can contribute to:
- Feeling sluggish due to a decrease in calories
- Symptoms of caffeine withdrawal
- Bad breath because of a decrease in saliva
- Going to the bathroom more often than usual because liquids pass through the digestive system faster than solid food
Another con related to juice cleanses is that some sources indicate that there is no real scientific evidence that juice cleanses work as well as indicated in claims from various sources, including many of the people that engage in the cleanses.
Deciding on a juice cleanse is a personal decision. Any individual considering this approach likely wants to check with a physician first, the same as indicated for any other type of diet or major dietary changes.
Remember, you can avoid experiencing abdominal bloat, excess gas, and learn how you can debloat your stomach. Eliminating or reducing the intake of gas-causing vegetables and choosing low gas vegetables instead, eliminating certain grains, excess sugar, dairy products that may cause lactose intolerance can likely help you avoid digestive issues. Juice cleanses can possibly help detox the gut, and eliminate undigested food, heal the gut, heal the cells, and provide more energy and possible weight loss.