I may have gas and I’m ok with that.
As I write this every bone in my body screams, reach for the beano! I mean who wants to be eating beans and going on a date right? I’m sure your husband would thank you to leave the chilli alone, but what about vegetables rich in sulphur? Like cabbage, bok choy, kale or broccoli to name a few. Here is my dilemma… being a bit gassy may be a sign of a healthy gut flora, is it worth the toots? Absolutely! While veggies can have us singing the gassy song within hours, beans may take a little longer (or not for some people). Beans do however need a few days to boost the healthy beneficial bacteria found in our gut, plus they are rich in fiber and that is always a good thing.
Some researchers have stated that eating foods which cause gas could be the only way the microbes in our gut get nutrients, they need carbs to survive but not the white bread kind. Bring on the sauerkraut! According to Purna Kashyap, a gastroenterologist at the Mayo Clinic, we can fart, oops sorry - break wind, up too 18 times a day and still be perfectly within our healthy and normal range. Most people don’t even realize they are doing it, with exception of a few who tend to pass it with a bit more force. When these little microbes get their nutrients, they create gas and in turn they produce molecules that boost the immune system and protect the lining of the intestine. This is good for avoiding leaky gut and preventing infections. These little microbes are in abundance within our bodies little ecosystem, in fact we have 10 of them for every one human cell, we have trillions of them actually! We are more foreign microbe than we are human…whoa now that is some food for thought.
You may have heard a lot of buzz about your microbiome lately, it sure is a hot topic in the scientific community. Without this healthy microbial community we end up sick, very sick. Lack of a healthy microbiome leads to leaky gut, IBS, Crohn’s and many other autoimmune diseases.
These microbes eat up all our unused food in the large intestine, fiber and carbs for example, and in return crap out a bunch of gas. Yup thats the technical aspect of it ;)
But this gas isn’t the only thing that these little buggers spit out, they also produce a slew of molecules called short chain fatty acids which have been said to promote the growth of other beneficial bacteria. So the more healthy fiber we give them the more of these immune building inhabitants will appear and the diversity may grow as well.
You see we not only need diversity of our gut microbes, we also need to have an abundance of each type. This way the odds are that you will have multiple different species of bacteria who can perform the same function. This means that if for some reason one goes extinct, there will be another similar one to perform the same function. Phew!
More good news? It is said that having a healthy microbial community in your gut can also lead to a slimmer waistline! So feed that little ecosystem growing inside of you and watch what happens. Plus don’t worry too much about the gas, it’s odourless - most of the time.