People with digestive disorders (such as irritable bowel syndrome) or who overeat some types of food may experience abdominal pain and flatulence, among other symptoms. In this article, we will talk about what foods cause gas and bloated stomach. As we will see, the foods that produce the most gas range from legumes such as lentils to foods of animal origin, especially those derived from milk.
Most foods that cause gas, stomach bloating, and other associated symptoms are rich in dietary fiber (a healthy nutrient but also related to flatulence) and/or carbohydrates. In this article, we will talk about 10 of the foods that cause more gas and therefore it may be better to avoid in some cases, especially in periods when the person has digestive problems that should be alleviated. This does not mean in any way that these are unhealthy foods and in fact, many of them should be consumed on a regular basis.
According to McGee (1984), legumes produce gas and flatulence because they are rich in complex carbohydrates that are difficult to digest and are broken down by bacteria in the digestive tract that, in doing so, produce bloating. Lentils, chickpeas, and beans produce intestinal gas to a greater extent than other types of legumes, so people with excessive flatulence may prefer to opt for different legumes.
Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and other similar vegetables cause many intestinal gases and also make the smell of flatulence more intense (Nordqvist, 2017).
Although whole grains are healthier because of their higher dietary fiber content, this also causes them to cause more gas. Oats and wheat (especially in yeast bread) are two good examples.
Milk and dairy foods produce flatulence in people who are lactose intolerant to some degree. Lactose intolerance is quite common, although it is not always very intense, and its frequency in the population increases with age.
Vegetables of the genus Allium are one of the most gas-producing foods. This food group includes onion, garlic, leek, spring onion, shallot or Chinese onion.
Another group of vegetables that produce gases are radish, turnip, and other related foods.
Artichoke is another of the most flatulence-causing vegetables. This includes both the classic artichoke and its variants, such as sunroot (Jerusalem artichoke).
Foods high in starch, such as potato, sweet potato, corn, or different types of pasta produce gas because starch contains many carbohydrates. This type of nutrient, such as dietary fiber, is one of the common causes of gas and bloating from a dietary point of view.
Cashew nuts are also a food that produces gas and stomach bloating because it contains quite a lot of fat. In this sense, it is remarkable in comparison with other similar foods, but not with meat, for example.
Compared to other types of fruit, apple pulp is especially rich in fiber, which explains why it produces more bloating than other fruits that contain a higher proportion of liquid.
McGee, H. (1984). On food and cooking: The science and lore of the kitchen. Scribner.
Nordqvist, C. (2017). Everything you need to know about flatulence. Medical News Today.