These foods give you gas. Here’s how to fix them.
Soak your beans
High amounts of fibre in beans produce large quantities of hydrogen and methane. To drastically reduce gas, soak dried beans, says Rosemary Stanton, co-author of Wind Breaks: Coming To Terms With Flatulence. “The liquid draws out a lot of the soluble fibre, which can avoid excess gas.”
Retrograde starch refers to the crystallisation of starches that happens when cooked foods are refrigerated. “Pasta is one example where this occurs,” writes gastroenterologist Professor Terry Bolin in Understanding Gas And Bloating . This starch cannot be digested as well, leading to more gas potential.
Eat potatoes hot
When potatoes are cooked, their starches become more digestible. But once that starch re-cools, its structure changes to another form that is harder to break down and creates more gas. A cold potato salad, for example, will contain much more gas-making starch than a roast potato, advises Bolin.
Sulphur, the key ingredient in smelly farts, is heavily used by the food and drink industry for extending the best-before dates of everything from two-minute noodles to dried fruit. If you see sulphur compounds (food codes E220-E227) it’s reasonable to expect ill winds ahead.
It may be quick, convenient and portion-controlled, but pre-packaged salad is pumped full of sulphur dioxide to extend its shelf life.
Drink fresh juice
Bottled juices may still be 100% fruit, but the addition of sulphur to extend their shelf lives can make for smelly company, “particularly ones, made from concentrated juice,” advises Bolin. The same goes for many red wines, so look for sulphur on the label.
Avoid pumpkin seeds
These have huge gas-producing potential thanks to a massive 12g of fibre per 50g. That’s around three times more than dried apricots or red kidney beans, so best to pick them out of your muesli the day you’ve got that big presentation.
Check your protein powder
Try to steer clear of supplements and bars, advises Lynton. They can create issues in your intestinal flora. In particular, look to avoid sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose.