Although none of us wants to admit it, bloating and gas are issues we all deal with on a daily basis! Having the occasional digestive symptom is completely normal, however, this doesn’t change the fact that passing gas in social situations can be embarrassing. And sometimes bloating and gas can become so severe that they cause discomfort or even pain. The good news is that what you eat has a HUGE effect on how much bloating and gas you experience, and there are many foods that can naturally reduce bloating and gas.
Let’s take a look at what causes bloating and gas, and when you should be concerned. Then we’ll dive into how to get rid of gas and bloating. My natural methods use foods that prevent gas and bloating and avoid foods that make it worse.
When Bloating and Gas is NOT Normal
In most cases, bloating and gas are just regular parts of the digestive process. Good bacteria in your gut ferment foods that are not fully digested in your small intestine.1 When you eat too many gas-producing foods—or too much fiber and not enough water—it’s normal to experience some abdominal pain, gas, and the distension that makes your tummy feel full and tight. Gas can also be caused by swallowing too much air, which can happen if you chew gum, eat too quickly, or drink through a straw.2
If you’re curious about how to get rid of gas and bloating, start by drinking plenty of water, eating smaller meals slowly, and ditching straws and gum. As you’ll see, eating foods that reduce gas, and avoiding certain foods that cause it can also help. However, there are two underlying gut issues that you should get tested for if your digestive symptoms are extreme and don’t respond to these lifestyle measures.
What Causes Bloating and Gas?
As I discussed above, dehydration, a high-fiber or fatty diet, and chewing gum or drinking from a straw can contribute to digestive symptoms such as bloating and gas. Food allergies and intolerances can also contribute to excess bloating and gas; common offenders include dairy, gluten, and sugar.
If removing inflammatory foods, drinking more water, and eating smaller portions doesn’t get rid of your bloating and gas, or if you continue to feel pain from excess bloating and gas, you may have an underlying health issue such as SIBO or IBS.
Gas & Bloating Due to SIBO
In my clinical experience, the #1 cause of severe bloating and gas is SIBO, or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. SIBO occurs when the bacteria from your colon and large intestine overgrow and colonize in your small intestine. These bacteria feed off of and ferment the undigested carbohydrates in your small intestine, causing a buildup of hydrogen and/or methane gas. If you have SIBO, you must overcome this gut imbalance before you can banish bloating and gas for good.
Treating your SIBO is a 3-step approach that works to eliminate the overgrowth and restore your gut’s natural balance. My SIBO Breakthrough® Program is a step-by-step process to help you beat small intestinal bacterial overgrowth for good. With the SIBO Breakthrough® Program, not only do you get information, supplements, and a solution, you also get the support you need to take on these three steps and banish bloating and gas for good.
Gas & Bloating Due to IBS
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is sort of a catch-all term for digestive issues that have no other diagnosable cause. In fact, an estimated 50% of people diagnosed with IBS actually have SIBO.3
For the other 50%, there are a number of possible underlying issues that may be causing your symptoms, including leaky gut, Candida overgrowth, parasites, or food intolerances. In that case, an amino acid called L-Glutamine may be just what you need. The main function of L-Glutamine is to provide the building blocks of protein. Your body produces it naturally to protect the mucous membrane of the esophagus and intestines. Because it’s so readily and easily used by your intestinal tissue, L-Glutamine can help to quickly restore your gut lining to an optimal state.
By getting to the root of your IBS, you can say goodbye to gas, bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal pain once and for all. A low-FODMAP diet, or a diet low in fermentable carbs, has been shown to improve the symptoms of IBS.
Interested in finding out which diet is right for you? Take this short symptoms quiz to determine which foods are best for your condition, and which foods you should eliminate.
Foods to Enjoy, Foods to Toss Quiz
Foods to Enjoy That Get Rid of Bloating and Gas
If you’re wondering how to get rid of gas and bloating, here’s the first thing you need to know: bloating and gas are often caused by the foods you eat. For many people, simple dietary changes that incorporate foods that prevent gas are enough to reduce or even get rid of their uncomfortable digestive issues. Eliminating fermentable carbs such as wheat, dairy, and fructose can go a long way to reduce your digestive issues, however, simply eliminating foods from your diet might not be enough. So, what do you eat when you have gas? For extra support banishing bloating and gas, try incorporating some of these foods.
Celery has an extremely high water content—about 95%—and is also high in potassium, which can help control the water retention associated with bloating. Celery has long been used to provide gas and bloating relief, and can even help repair a leaky gut. The insoluble fiber in celery supports healthy bowel movements by regulating both constipation and diarrhea.4 When eating foods that reduce gas such as celery, it’s best to cook it first to soften indigestible fibers that may lead to more bloating. I will often use celery in soups and stews!
When most people hear “potassium,” they think of bananas. Just one medium banana contains 422 mg of potassium, which is essential for fluid balance and maintaining a flat tummy. Bananas are also a good source of resistant starch, which can help combat constipation and relieve trapped gas that causes bloating.5 For optimal gas and bloating relief, stick with bananas that are still slightly green, which contain more resistant starch and less fermentable sugar. Due to the amount of sugar in bananas, it’s best to enjoy them in moderation. Once a week I’ll add a banana to my Double Chocolate Paleo Protein smoothie to make a rich, decadent yet healthy treat.
Ginger is another one of the many foods that reduce gas. It has been used medicinally for thousands of years for all sorts of digestive issues. Ginger can give you gas and bloating relief by enhancing motility and accelerating stomach emptying.6 What’s more, compounds in ginger such as gingerols and shogaols support healthy digestion and limit the fermentable carbohydrates available to the microorganisms that ferment them and cause gas buildup.7 So the next time you’re feeling bloated, try sipping on ginger tea for some natural relief!
Spinach is one of the richest sources of magnesium, an essential nutrient in which many people are deficient. This makes it an excellent food that prevents gas. One cup of cooked spinach offers 39% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) for magnesium. Magnesium synthesizes protein and activates enzymes that aid in digestion by breaking down your food into smaller components.8 It also helps maintain bowel regularity by relaxing the muscles in your digestive tract and softening stools.9 For an easy way to get gas and bloating relief, add a scoop of Organic Greens to water or a smoothie, or simply take a magnesium supplement.
Intestinal inflammation due to autoimmune disease, food allergies, SIBO, or other gut imbalances could be the cause of bloating and fluid retention.10 Thankfully, cucumbers contain a flavonoid called quercetin, which supports a healthy inflammatory response, helps maintain upper respiratory health, especially during months when airborne particles are high, and supports a healthy immune response.11 Cucumbers can provide gas and bloating relief by reducing gastrointestinal swelling. Plus, they have one of the highest water contents of all vegetables at around 96%! Eating cucumbers or drinking cucumber-infused water can help balance your sodium levels, flush excess water from your system, and release trapped gas.
There are so many ways to incorporate foods that prevent gas into your diet. If you’re looking for inspiration on what to eat when you have gas, I have a ton of diet-friendly recipes on my blog that are FREE for you to enjoy. Plus, if you sign up for my newsletter, you’ll get 35 gut-healing recipes, wellness tips, and exclusive information on how to get rid of gas and bloating and reach optimal health delivered right to your inbox.
Need to fight bloating fast? Try making a super powerful smoothie with these 5 belly-slimming foods. While you’re at it, make sure to avoid the following 5 foods, which will only make gas and bloating worse!
Foods to Avoid That Make Gas and Bloating Worse
Although bloating and gas can be symptoms of an underlying gut issue, they’re usually caused by eating too much fiber or fermentable carbs. The best way to reduce bloating and gas is to test your sensitivities by removing toxic and inflammatory foods from your diet.
Legumes are notorious for causing gas and bloating. They are high in FODMAPs (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols), which are short-chain carbohydrates that are difficult to digest. Because they are extremely hard for your body to break down, they get fermented by your gut bacteria and produce a significant amount of gas. I recommend getting rid of legumes for a number of reasons, especially if you have an autoimmune disease.
Abdominal pain, bloating, and excessive gas after eating gluten could be a sign of celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. However, studies show that even non-celiac patients who are given gluten experience significantly more gas, bloating, and other digestive symptoms than those who receive a placebo.12 One possible reason for this is that foods containing gluten can cause leaky gut. Leaky gut can manifest as a number of digestive symptoms, including bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.
The main culprit in gluten-containing foods is gliadin, a difficult-to-digest protein that breaks down the microvilli on your intestinal walls. When your villi are destroyed, they no longer produce the necessary enzymes needed to properly digest gluten. Gliadin also triggers an immune response, which causes inflammation in your gut and puts you at risk for autoimmune disease.13
Dairy is one of the worst offenders when it comes to bloating and gas. Seventy-five percent of the population is unable to break down lactose, the sugar found in milk and other dairy products. This is due to a deficiency in lactase, the enzyme that digests lactose, otherwise known as lactose intolerance. Because of this, lactose ends up being fermented in your gut, leading to bloating, gas, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
Even if you are not lactose intolerant, you could still experience digestive discomfort thanks to dairy proteins casein and whey. These proteins are similar to gluten in terms of being difficult to digest and causing inflammation that can lead to an autoimmune reaction.
While foods such as tomatoes, eggplant, banana peppers, and goji berries sound good for you, they’re actually a part of the nightshade family, which have a high lectin and glycoalkaloid content and can contribute to leaky gut and inflammatory bowel disease. Those with nightshade sensitivities lack the proper enzymes to fully digest these foods, which may lead to inflammation in the gut as well as bloating and gas.
5. Carbonated Drinks
You may not suspect something as seemingly harmless as carbonated water to be at the root of your belly bloat! However, swallowing air can cause a buildup of gas in your stomach. Well, guess what’s in those bubbles that make carbonated drinks so enticing? If you avoid all the usual gas-producing suspects, yet always have sparkling water in your hand, this could be the missing piece of the puzzle. Stick to plain water instead, which has the added benefit of keeping you “regular.” Your tummy will thank you!
Get to the Root to Banish Belly Bloat For Good
Intestinal gas is a fact of life everyone deals with at some point. That being said, constant, excessive gas and painful bloating could be a sign of something deeper going on. Get tested for SIBO and/or IBS, and make sure you are not dealing with an underlying food intolerance such as gluten sensitivity or lactose intolerance. An elimination diet can be helpful for discovering your own personal food sensitivities.
Supplementing with gut-supporting vitamins and nutrients is another great way to support optimal digestive health, repair a leaky gut, and encourage a healthy balance of gut bacteria. My Gut Health Collection features a range of products that support your gut by maintaining a healthy intestinal barrier, fighting belly bloat, supporting your intestinal lining, and promoting the growth of good bacteria. By adding these supplements to your smoothies, you can supercharge their gut-repairing powers!
Getting to the root of your digestive troubles and choosing the right supplements and foods that prevent gas will help you beat belly bloating and gas for good, so you can regain your confidence and live life symptom-free!
Bloating and Gas FAQs
Why do I have so much bloating and gas?
Why do I have so much bloating and gas?
While everyone deals with bloating and gas from time to time, excessive or painful digestive issues could be a sign of food sensitivities or allergies, or even more serious conditions such as SIBO or IBS. If eliminating inflammatory foods from your diet doesn’t help get rid of your bloating and gas, you should get checked for underlying health issues.
What can I take to relieve bloating and gas?
What can I take to relieve bloating and gas?
You can support optimal digestive health and get rid of excess bloating and gas by supplementing with products from the Gut Health Collection. This is a great way to repair your leaky gut, encourage a healthy balance of gut bacteria, and support a healthy intestinal lining.
Does celery cause gas?
Does celery cause gas?
As far as foods that reduce gas go, celery is a great option. It has a high water content and is potassium-rich, which helps control the water retention associated with bloating. It can also support healthy bowel movements and regulate constipation and diarrhea.
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- Prevention and Treatment of Flatulence From a Traditional Persian Medicine Perspective. Bagher Larijani, Mohammad Medhi Esfahani, Maryam Moghimi, Mohammad Reza Shams Ardakani, Mansoor Keshavarz, Gholamreza Kordafshari, Esmaiel Nazem, Shirin Hasani Ranjbar, Hoorieh Mohammadi Kenari, and Arman Zargaran. NCBI. 2016.
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- The Health Benefits of Magnesium. Barbara Bolen. VeryWell Health. 2020.
- Bloating and Inflammation: What's the Difference, and Should You Be Concerned?. Tamim Alnuweiri. Well and Good. 2018.
- Quercetin, Inflammatory, and Immunity. Yao Li, Jiaying Yao, Chunyan Han, Jiaxin Yang, Maria Tabassum Chaudhry, Shengnan Wang, Hongnan Liu, and Yulong Yin. NCBI. 2016.
- Gluten Causes Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Subjects Without Celiac Disease: A Double-Blind Randomized Placebo-Controlled Trial. Jessica R Biesiekierski, Evan D Newnham, Peter M Irving, Jacqueline S Barrett, Melissa Haines, James D Doecke, Susan J Shepherd, Jane G Muir, Peter R Gibson. NCBI. 2011.
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