The production of gas in the body is a natural process as long as it is within normal limits. Whether it makes you burp or causes flatulence, excessive gas can be embarrassing. Gas can also make you uncomfortable and cause bloating. This is simply the buildup of excessive gas in the stomach before it is ready to be released. Here are a few simple tips that can help you prevent the buildup of excessive gas.
- Avoid eating gaseous foods: Beans, broccoli, milk, cheese and fruits like pears and apples; these are some of the foods to avoid if you suffer from frequent bouts of gaseousness. This is because they contain fiber and sugar that is difficult to digest and creates gas. If you cannot avoid them completely, try steaming them instead of frying or baking them. Some people may also react to certain food combinations such as fruits and proteins by producing gas. Keeping a food diary may help identify such combinations.
- Drink a glass of water before meals: Drinking water while you are eating can hinder digestion. When water mixes with solid food, it interferes with the way stomach acid breaks down food. Instead, drink a glass of water half an hour before your meals. In this way, the water flushes your system and prepares it for the digestion process.
- Eat slowly: Grabbing a bite on the go is one of the leading causes of indigestion. When you eat anything, ensure that you chew it properly and do not swallow large bites of food. This prevents air from collecting in your stomach and thus prevents gaseousness.
- Probiotics: Probiotics boost the production of ‘good gut bacteria’ that is essential for digestion. Probiotics can also help ease bloating. If you suffer from gas, try including probiotics like yogurt, pickles, kimchi and buttermilk in your diet or get yourself a probiotic supplement.
- A cup of chamomile tea: Chamomile not only calms the body but can also fight indigestion and gas. A cup of chamomile tea after a heavy meal helps speed up the digestion process. This helps relieve bloating, as the faster the stomach is emptied, the faster gas can move out of the stomach and into the intestines. Fennel, dill, peppermint and ginger can also be used as alternatives to chamomile.
- Digestive aids: Gas is a fairly common problem faced by a number of people and hence digestive aids are easily available over the counter. Look for medication that contains activated charcoal or digestive enzymes.
If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Gastroenterologist.