Passing gas up to 20 times a day is completely normal. When your fart count goes higher, however, it could mean something else. Here’s what your flatulence could be revealing about what’s going on inside your body.
You always order the side of broccoli
Or you eat a lot of beans, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, or bran – all good-for-you foods that contain fibre, which keeps your digestive system moving, helps regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and keeps your weight in check. The less-than-ideal, somewhat-embarrassing, but can’t-help-it side effect? You fart after eating, which is a perfectly normal and healthy thing to do. (If it makes you feel better, call it flatus – the medical term for fart.) That’s because the stomach and small intestine can’t absorb some of the carbohydrates – sugars, starches and fibre – in foods we eat. Notorious gas producers, like broccoli and beans, are high in a kind of carb called raffinose. “When indigestible sugars like raffinose reach the colon, the bacteria that inhabit that part of our digestive tract feeds on them and produce gas as a byproduct,” explains gastroenterologist Rebekah Gross, MD.
You eat too fast
It doesn’t matter if you’re inhaling broccoli or a bowl of blueberries – the inhaling part is the problem. You swallow air every time you eat or drink, so the faster you do it, the more air you swallow. Burping typically gets the air out of your belly, but any that remains finds its way into your lower digestive tract and, well, comes out the other side. You may also swallow extra air when you chew gum, suck on hard lollies, or drink through a straw.