The Dark Side of Healthy Eating And What To Do About It

Gas Problems Broccoli

February 24, 2012   23 Comments

What is wrong with that guy? What did he eat a meat and cheese burger from Burger King?

No...............he ate broccoli. A lot of it - more than he had ever eaten before. He did what MyPlate told him to do - filled half his plate with broccoli and now he has a tummy filled with (you guessed it) gas.

He is root-a-toot-tooting all the way to his next meeting. Poor guy.

Foods such as beans, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, whole grains, etc. can cause stomach discomfort if they are new to you. Basically, your intestinal flora (bacteria, fungi, and protozoa that live in you) haven't had to break up the complex carbohydrates that are arriving from your mouth.

Here's a photo of some E. Coli that live in your gut:

ecoli

Say HI! to the little buggers. You may not have enough of these guys or the right types to handle the increase of the healthy foods.

You don't want to give up on the foods that cause you discomfort because they are healthy! There are two things you can do to help your stomach better digest deal these foods.

  • Eat more yogurt with live cultures or drink kefir.
  • Try a dietary supplement such as Beano or Gas-X Prevention

The yogurt will help you get more live active bacteria into your gut to "help out" with the increase of vegetables and beans. It never hurts to add more microorganisms if you like yogurt.

The Beano or Gas-X Prevention is a food enzyme supplement that has not been evaluated by the FDA for its effectiveness. This is true of many dietary supplements - the FDA approves drugs but not these.

What this supplement does is provide an enzyme, alpha-galactosidase, that will help you break down the problem complex carbohydrates.

I tried Gas-X Prevention because it costs less than Beano and I have problems when I eat too many beans. You take it RIGHT BEFORE your first bite. This is very important because your stomach acid will probably denature the enzyme if you take it any earlier rendering it ineffective.

It may have been a placebo effect, but I found that it worked. I didn't have my post bean meal tummy ache - hurray!

Do you have problems with eating certain healthy foods? What did you do about it?


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First 20 Comments: [ see all 23 ]

I find that drinking ginger tea with my meal helps. Ginger tea is an acquired taste. I always opt for ginger tea with lemon. It softens the flavor a bit. You could also sweeten it with a little honey.

on February 24, 2012

I've been eating beans and whole fibers for years; I still get some gas. But since my increase in fruit, I'm like the guy above -- root-toot-tooting! So embarassing and uncomfortable. I'll try the GasX and/or Beano. And thank you for dealing with this issue.

on February 24, 2012

When I went vegetarian three years ago I suffered from just horrifying gas. I couldn't take Beano either because it contained gelatin. Thankfully, after a week or two, my body adjusted and I was doing fine. Call it the transition between the Wendy's baconator and chickpea patties. :)

on February 24, 2012

I have been taking a probiotic for IBS. I recently landed at the Hernarium on Exchange St in Chicopee. Wonderful little shop specializing in dried herbs and herbal teas. I got a "tummy" tea to help battle a similar issue. The owner was telling me that I should take an enzyme instead. That most people suffer from tummy issues because the cooked and or processed foods we eat lack the enzymes needed to breakdown/digest the foods we eat.

on February 24, 2012

Great information! But kind of funny too!! I don't typically have this problem because I consume so much yogurt!!

on February 24, 2012

ROFLOL Not only do I gain knowledge from your articles, sometimes I also get a belly full of laughs just as the man in the picture got a belly full of gas!

on February 24, 2012

If you forget the beano before the meal or just develop this probelm later, Phazyme can help with the pressure and discomfort.

on February 24, 2012

You can also get lots of friendly bacteria from eating other fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut, both of which are super easy to make at home! give it a try :)

on February 24, 2012

I love sauerkrautand just mentioned it to my son a few days ago as he is chief cook and bottlewasher for us now that I am disabled/handicapped..

I need all the help I can get for my healthy living quest, so Snack Girl is an incredible source for me.

Carolyn

on February 24, 2012

i thought something was totally wrong with me- broccoli HATES me and i never understood why. thanks so much for the awesome info!

on February 24, 2012

Nope, I eat huge amounts of broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, all of the other fiber-filled typically gassy vegetables with no gas at all. Why not? Because of my low-carb diet. When I increase my carbs from sources like grains and sugar, I get normal gas like anyone else from these foods. Beans (garbanzo, pinto, etc) will also bloat me up painfully, give me gas, make me really hungry, and cause a several-pound bump on the scale that takes me days to undo, which is all confirmation to me that I don't need to be eating them. Not having gas is one of the best parts of following a healthy whole foods-based low-carb diet.

on February 24, 2012

Haha, I've so been having this problem as I've been eating more whole foods. :) Definitely gonna up my yogurt intake.

on February 24, 2012

For beans & legumes, try soaking them for 6-12 hours then drain the water and rinse. The soaking helps alleviate the gas forming properties. Happy soaking!

on February 24, 2012

Probiotics and digestive enzymes have saved my life! Seriously!!!

on February 25, 2012

Thank you!!! This has been an ongoing issue for me lately...definitely a major downside of healthy eating. Thanks for the tips.

on February 25, 2012

I've not long added yoghurt back into my diet, and funnily enough, I've found it increases digestive issues ... I think.

on February 26, 2012

This is great information, and if it helps someone stay committed to eating healthier, YAY for that!!! On a kind of related topic, I have very gassy reactions to the artificial sweeteners in sugar free gum and candy. HORRIBLE. I have never heard anyone else mention that. I also had a weird reaction to one of the Gas-X things -- threw it up when I took it too close to consuming a soda - guess the bubbles in the soda won out!!! Thx for this info. Sorry about the TMI. Hi, nice to meet you and all that!!

on February 27, 2012

Going on my 13th year of being a vegetarian. So I understand the gassy, tummy issues associated with it when you are not used to this type of diet. I am also an Advocare distributor and have taken ProBiotic RESTORE™ ULTRA (https://www.advocare.com/02078717/Store/ItemDetail.aspx?itemCode=W3812&id=D)
and Digest-Ease™ (https://www.advocare.com/02078717/Store/ItemDetail.aspx?itemCode=W6201&id=D)

Both of these products are wonderful for keeping your good bacteria in balance, helping ease those digestion issues, and really helpful with those with IBS.

on February 27, 2012

I also have IBS and have taken probiotics since being diagnosed. AND, I cannot digest any artificial sweetners whatsoever. I have to read every single label looking for those little devils. I've taken to making my own bread, cereal, salad dressing, soups, you name it - and cook at home 98% of the time. What else is a girl to do?
I very much enjoy your website and all the great info as well as recipes. THANKS!! :)

on February 28, 2012

My husband thinks I should work for the government as a biological weapon! I take the strongest Gas X I can find but it doesn't do the trick. I need something super dooper to take. I've lost twenty pounds since early this year and I really wish the gas issue would go away in a peaceful manner. (you guys are too funny!)

on February 28, 2012

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