Q:

What foods help reduce flatulence?

A:

Quick Answer

Papaya, pineapple and natural yogurt contain enzymes or bacteria that aid digestion and reduce flatulence, and amaranth is very easy to digest and produces little gas. Helpful herbs and seasonings include peppermint, fennel, ginger and basil.

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Full Answer

As undigested food ferments in the colon, it produces gas, leading to flatulence. Diets high in plant fiber or fat often contribute to the problem. Other conditions associated with increased flatulence include poor carbohydrate absorption, constipation, changes in intestinal bacteria caused by antibiotics or other medications, stress, and gluten or lactose intolerance. Drinking carbonated beverages or swallowing air while eating can also increase the amount of gas passing through the colon.

To reduce flatulence, the Mayo Clinic recommends cutting back on dietary fat and reducing consumption of legumes, cruciferous vegetables, onions, whole wheat bread and mushrooms. The Mayo Clinic also recommends temporarily cutting back on dietary fiber and slowly adding it back in to allow the digestive system to adjust to the change. Reducing stress, eating meals more slowly and moderate exercise after meals can also help. If dairy products are contributing to the problem, a switch to low-lactose or lactose-free products may do the trick. Finally, over-the-counter products such as Beano and Lactaid can aid digestion and reduce flatulence.

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