Though the words “burp” and “fart” make most kids giggle, adults usually get shy when they get gassy and pretend that it never happened. But sometimes, it’s hard to ignore.
Many people don’t know much about intestinal gas, even though we all have it. It’s time to take the air out of some of the myths behind flatulence and belching.
Fart vs. Burp
Your body makes gas from two different places.
First, there is the air you swallow. When you breathe, when you gulp your food, when you drink carbonated beverages, even when you chew gum, your body takes in oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide.
You can thank your intestines for the other type. When you eat, you digest and absorb nutrients from the food. Helpful“Good” bacteria that live in your gut break down anything that’s left over. That process creates gas that usually escapes as a fart.
Most gas is odorless. But certain kinds of foods, for instance those that contain sulfur, can make it smelly. Some bacteria also make methane or hydrogen sulfide that can add a distinctive odor.
'The Magical Fruit'
Remember the grade-school rhymes about beans? Turns out, the kids and their playground songs were right.
Some foods, including beans, tend to cause gas because “our bodies are not well equipped to digest them,” Kim says. Those foods include:
- Beans and lentils
- Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and onions
- Whole-grain foods such as cereals, breads, and crackers
- Sugars found in fruit and juices, but also in processed foods containing high-fructose corn syrup
- Sugars and some artificial sweeteners found in diet drinks and foods. Sorbitol is super gassy and is found in both.
You can also get gassy if you can’t tolerate certain things in your diet, such as the lactose in dairy products, says James Leavitt, MD.
Fruits, veggies, and whole grains are great for you, so you should still eat them. Just notice if they affect you.