7 Unexpected Health Benefits Of Passing Gas
8 minute read
Most of us get embarrassed when it comes to passing gas. Despite its biological significance, gas is not popular. The truth of the matter is that farts are actually a sign of good health. Instead of feeling ashamed or guilty when someone hears you pass gas, just smile and tell them that you are healthy.
Farting may not be the most glamorous way to share your good health with the world, but it is a strong indicator of a well-functioning gut and balanced intestinal bacteria.
Flatulence 101: The Gas Basics
Flatulence is the medical term for passing gas or releasing gas that has built up in the digestive system, a completely normal process for removing the gas from your gut. Gas collects in two main ways.
By swallowing air when you eat or drink, oxygen and nitrogen collect in the digestive tract. Additionally, when you eat food, digestive gases such as hydrogen, methane, and carbon dioxide collect in the gut. Either of these versions of gas cause flatulence.
It has been estimated that the average person passes gas about ten times a day. Anything more than this on a regular basis is excessive and there can be a number of causes for this.
Swallowing air is a normal part of daily activity, but when you intake too much, you can experience excessive farting, as well as burping. Certain activities cause you to swallow more air than usual, such as chewing gum, smoking, drinking carbonated beverages, and eating too quickly.
The Truth About Gas
Most farts occur during your sleep. The only way to really stop them is by consuming a diet of strictly refined sugars only, which is not healthy for anyone. Despite its bad reputation, women fart just as much as men and, in fact, have more concentrated and odorous gas than men when the same foods are consumed.
Dietary choices can also lead to excessive flatulence. The top food causes for gas are beans, cabbage, broccoli, raisins, lentils, prunes, apples, and foods that are high in fructose, like fruit juice.
These foods take a long time to digest, which causes unpleasant odors to accumulate in the gut, as well as gas. Sometimes, these foods are not properly digested because of poor absorption. Once they reach the gut, the bacteria that act upon them release gas in the process.
Farting Is Good for You
Farting is not seen in a positive light and is actually considered rude right, alongside spitting, littering, and general uncouth public behavior. While it can be gross and embarrassing, passing gas is totally natural and absolutely essential for healthy body function. Farting is a vital part of the digestive process because your body needs to break down foods and eliminate certain products.
No matter how gross farting is deemed, it has positive health benefits and actually should be encouraged. There are seven proven benefits to farting that should have you seeing things differently, or in the very least not be so ashamed when a little gas sneaks out.
1. Helps balance your diet: Given that your body reacts to certain foods differently, passing gas can tell you whether or not your diet is balanced. If you eat more red meats then your farts are going to be more odorous and if you eat a lot of carbohydrates, the gas you release will have a more neutral odor.
When you are not consuming enough fiber, you will hardly pass any gas at all, so by paying attention to your farts, you can monitor your diet and adjust it accordingly to maintain a healthy balance.
2. Reduces abdominal pain: Holding in gas can cause abdominal pain and cramping. Intestinal distention is not ideal for a healthy gut so letting the gas out relieves pain and keeps your gut in optimal working order. If you are in a place where you can fart without judgment, then you can help to move the gas along your digestive tract by gently massaging your belly
3. Improves colon health: Holding in gas or manipulating its release can hurt your colon and inflame hemorrhoids. If you have had or currently have any issues or complications with your colon, then it is advised not to hold gas in and to pass gas naturally when the need arises.
4. Reduces stomach bloat: The buildup of gas that occurs when it is not regularly released causes bloating. Typically, this sensation is noted after eating, especially with large meals. Bloating is an indication of built up gas that needs to be released and even if it is not harmful, the discomfort can become unbearable.
Bloating is uncomfortable and most people do not like the look of a distended belly. If you are feeling that your pants are a little tight, simply go for a walk and let out some gas.
5. Helps to identify food allergies: Gas can develop as a result to interactions with certain foods so farting can help to identify food allergies. Excessive gas is common in people with allergies to gluten and lactose. If you notice excessive gas after eating certain foods, you should consider consulting your doctor about potential allergies.
6. Signifies a healthy gut: Eating foods that cause gas allows gut microbes in the gut to get the nutrients they need for survival. If we do not feed them properly, they cannot survive and would be unable to help with the digestive process.
A gut lacking in beneficial bacteria can develop serious complications and diseases. The foods that intestinal flora thrive on include those rich in fiber, such as beans, lentils, broccoli and kale. These foods will improve your digestive processes, and therefore, produce more gas. In this case, gas is your friend.
7. Serves as a health alarm: One of the most important attributes of farts is that they can act as alarms for your health status. The very characteristics of gas can help you to predict certain health issues.
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Unhealthy characteristics of farts include extreme odors, pain when passing gas, and increasing frequency of flatulence. Monitoring symptoms and discussing with your doctor can help you diagnose anything from food intolerance to colon cancer.
The Bottom Line
Although flatulence and expressing gas can be a source of embarrassment, farting is actually a sign of a properly functioning digestive system. The gut bacteria thrive on foods that may produce gas, including high fiber foods such as beans and broccoli.
Excess gas can signal a health problem such as a food intolerance or even something serious such as colon cancer. The next time you feel the need to express gas, know that it’s a natural process and essential to health.
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