Are you suffering from embarrassing vegan farts? Or maybe feeling uncomfortable because of a bloated belly? Fear no more! I got the remedies for you!
Many people switching to a vegan lifestyle often experience excessive flatulence during the initial transition period.
And while this vegan gas (which is often accompanied by vegan bloating) can be alarming for someone who does not understand why it is happening, it is actually nothing to be overly concerned about.
In this article, I will explain what causes gas, which foods can help with digestion, which foods can cause excessive vegan gas and vegan bloating, why vegans experience more bloating and flatulence (especially during the transition stage) than other people, and what you can do to help alleviate vegan gas and bloating.
Why Do People Get Gas?
Farts is, in most cases, a perfectly normal byproduct that your body produces as you go about your day. However, drinking or eating certain foods can result in greater amounts of gas.
For example, according to this article from EverdayHealth (which discusses digestive health), foods that are high in fiber (as well as some foods that are high in starches and sugars) are one such thing that can cause excessive gas.
This happens because your body can have a harder time breaking down these food items during the digestive process, which in turn leads to the production of extra gas (which subsequently leads to bloating and flatulence).
Additionally, when switching from one type of diet to another (such as when you go from a regular diet to a vegan diet), the bacteria living in your digestive system will need time to adjust.
Your digestive tract, for example, may not be accustomed to getting the high levels of fiber that are common with a vegan diet, which in turn can disrupt the equilibrium of your whole digestive system (which in turn can lead to excessive gas, bloating, and just general discomfort during the time it takes for your body to adjust to your new diet).
Foods That Help With Digestion
Believe it or not, in the long-run, changing your current diet to a vegan diet might prove beneficial to relieving some of your digestive issues.
Additionally, certain fermented foods are a great choice as well since they serve as beneficial sources of probiotics; kimchi, sauerkraut, vegan-friendly kefir, miso, and tempeh in particular are all great options for boosting your digestive health while still maintaining a vegan lifestyle.
Do Vegans Really Fart and Get Bloated More Than Others?
While it is true that vegans can get bloated more often and sometimes experience farting more frequently than other people due to their fiber-rich diets, in most cases this excess flatulence is only something you will experience during the early days of your vegan lifestyle (this time is commonly referred to the transition period) because of how your body is adjusting and transitioning from your old diet to your new vegan diet.
That being said, there are other medical reasons that might account for why you could be experiencing excessive gas or uncomfortable bloating.
Therefore, if you are still incredibly gassy or bloated even after your initial transition period into veganism is over, I highly recommend contacting your doctor and scheduling an appointment.
I say this not to alarm you, but because a prolonged period of excessive gas and bloating could relate not to your diet but instead to an underlying medical condition, or even be the side effect of medications you are taking; either way, your physician will be able to determine the best course of action moving forward.
The Transition Phase to Veganism (How to Make It Easier)
High fiber foods in particular are a common contributor to greater amounts of gas and bloating for vegans, due to the fact that vegan diets are often packed with fiber-rich foods (and our digestive tracts produce more gas when trying to digest high fiber foods).
Additionally, some vegetables (such as artichokes, onion, and broccoli) contain something that is known as fructan. Fructan is great for keeping the helpful bacteria in your gut well-fed and healthy, but can also increase how much gas you have (because your gut bacteria break down fructan via fermentation, which creates gas as a byproduct).
In order to make things a bit easier, however, you can eat vegan-friendly probiotics (such as fermented vegetables or coconut-based kefir) which can help the bacteria in your gut to stabilize more quickly.
Also, when it comes to the fruits and vegetables that cause more gas (such as high fiber vegetables and fructan-rich vegetables) you should consider eating smaller portions of them until your stomach adjusts.
Food That Can Cause Vegan Gas and Bloating
According to Health.com, fatty and fried foods are an example of foods that can cause digestive problems. A a result, food of this type should be avoided whenever possible; dairy is also a common culprit when it comes to stomach problems (making it something to doubly avoid if you are intent on leading a healthy vegan lifestyle).
Additionally, as mentioned earlier in this article, fiber is one particular nutrient that can cause extra gas and bloating (especially if you previously did not eat very many fiber-rich foods).
This means that you should exercise caution when ingesting large amounts of beans, lentils, and grains that are high in fiber (such as barley or rye), as well as certain vegetables that are naturally high in fiber.
These foods are all capable of causing greater amounts of gas and bloating in your digestive tract if your digestive system is not accustomed to the higher levels of fiber.
Apples (and other fruits that are high in both fiber and fructose) can cause problems for certain people, so I recommend that you limit your consumption of them during your transition period as well.
Furthermore, if you have celiac disease or any other sort of gluten sensitivity, you will also want to avoid all food products containing gluten because eating those if you are allergic or intolerant can lead to uncomfortable bloating and excessive farting as well.
Additionally, eating gluten when you are intolerant of it can also lead to harmful (and potentially permanent) damage to your intestinal tract.
Also, you should avoid carbonated drinks if at all possible; as these can cause uncomfortable bloating as well. Other drinks to avoid are sugary soft drinks and energy drinks.
Not only can the high amounts of sugar in these drinks lead to problems, but the carbonation also leads to bloating within your gut because the carbonation is a gas itself (which you end up swallowing and ingesting when you drink your soda).
Fruits and vegetables containing a substance known as fructan should also be avoided or your consumption of them reduced during your transition period into veganism because they too can cause higher level of gas and bloating.
Food that contain fructan include (but are not limited to) onions, garlic, and certain vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage.
Remedies to Stop Vegan Gas and Bloating
In addition to the remedies we have already discussed (such as eating probiotics), there are other things you can try to alleviate vegan farts and bloating.
Beans in particular seem to be a problem. I had a coworker who is vegan, and in a physical check-up, her doctor told her that her iron levels were low. I therefore advised her to eat more beans (as beans are loaded with iron). She later confessed to me that because she was eating a cup of beans everyday, she had began to suffer from gas and being bloated.
First of all, I told her that since she was not used to eating beans everyday, she should had slowly introduced them into her diet. Starting to eat beans everyday all of a sudden, when your body is not used to it, will of course cause her to have gas and to be bloated. I then continued to advise her the following:
1. Try cooking it differently in order to reduce the amount of gas it will cause you.
For example, make sure to cook your beans thoroughly (and soak them the night before cooking them), until they are soft; this makes them easier for your digestive system to process, which in turn reduces the amount of gas you will have as a result.
2. You can also try cooking your beans with a bit of seaweed added, which (according to this article from Nutrition Studies) can help reduce gassiness as well.
The same advice holds true for onions, which are a source of fructan (another nutrient that can cause excessive gas and bloating).
In order to reduce the amount of gas that eating onions will cause you, make sure to cook them first before you eat them. Alternatively, you can try substituting other vegetables (or even certain herbs and spices) in place of onions in order to avoid the risk of excess gas and bloating entirely.
In general, properly cooking all your vegetables (and fruits if applicable, such as with apples which can be baked or cooked on the stove-top) can go a long way towards helping to alleviate vegan gas and vegan bloating during your transition period into veganism.
And once your digestive system has finally adjusted to your new diet and produced enough helpful bacteria to handle your new high-fiber diet, you should be able to handle a vegan lifestyle much more easily (and with much less flatulence).
More Tricks and Tips to Stop Vegan Gas and Bloating
Sometimes, adjusting how you cook your meals might not be enough to significantly reduce your level of gas and bloating.
Therefore, in order to better help you make it through your vegan transition period as easily as possible (and with as little farting and bloating as possible), I have put together this quick list of vegan flatulence remedies and tricks that you can try for stopping and preventing excessive gas and bloating.
- Eat less. Eating smaller portions (especially when it comes to fiber-rich vegetables during your vegan transition period) can help reduce bloating and intestinal discomfort.
- Eat more slowly. When you eat too quickly, you actually end up swallowing down quite a bit of air along with your food, which can lead to excessive bloating and a buildup of air and gas within your digestive tract. Therefore, by taking your time with your meal you can eliminate this problem and reduce your odds of having bad gas gas and bloating.
- Drink more water. Staying hydrated is key to keeping your digestive system healthy and fully functional; if you are dehydrated, your digestive tract has a harder time with keeping things moving, which can lead to not just gas and bloating but constipation and intestinal cramps as well.
Be careful of what other beverages you drink. Certain other drinks, such as soda or coffee (which are high in caffeine) can exacerbate existing digestive issues (particularly if you have a digestive health problem such as ulcerative colitis).
And even if you do not have an underlying health problem, certain drinks that are high in sugar or caffeine can dehydrate you or throw off your body’s balance, which in turn can lead to increased chances for digestive disruptions such as gas and bloating.
Therefore, it is important to limit your intake of these sorts of beverages.
Over the Counter Products to Help With Gas and Bloating
If at-home remedies and tricks are not enough for you when it comes to relieving vegan gas and bloating, there are also some over the counter products that you can use for help instead.
Generally, these products take the form of enzyme supplements, which can help your intestines when it comes to digesting starchy or otherwise difficult to digest foods.
That being said, it is important to read the labels on all products carefully to ensure that they are truly vegan; some are plant-sourced (meaning that they are both vegan-friendly and vegetarian-friendly) while others are animal-sourced and contain animals proteins (making them decidedly not vegan-friendly).
- Bean-zyme: one particularly popular enzyme supplement goes by the name of Bean-zyme. Bean-zyme is an excellent choice if you are about to eat a meal containing gas-producing foods such as beans, legumes, broccoli, cabbage, and so on. Furthermore, Bean-zyme is guaranteed vegan-friendly, making it one of the most common enzyme supplements for new vegans trying to reduce vegan gas and vegan bloating.
- Enzymedica is another popular enzyme supplement for new vegans and vegetarians. Not only is it vegan-friendly , this supplement is designed to be more powerful and effective than many other digestive supplements currently on the market, which means that it will be better able to break down the food in your digestive system and reduce gas and bloating. Furthermore, you only need to take a single capsule before each meal to achieve these great effects.
- Naturenetics DigestWise is another effective digestive enzyme products that works well for new vegans. Not only is is guaranteed to be free from wheat, gluten, milk, egg, soybeans, fish, peanuts, and tree nuts, but all ten enzymes that it contains are plant-based and specially formulated to be vegan-friendly. Furthermore, this particular enzyme supplement is great for everyone; it can help whether you’re experiencing a lot of gas and bloating or just a little.
Ultimately, there are quite a few excellent vegan-friendly enzyme supplement products currently available on the market; the few that I have listed here are considered some of the best, but they are by no means your only options.
If you want further advice beyond the recommendations I have shared here with you today, I recommend consulting your personal physician or a dietary specialist; they will be able to review your current diet and make the best supplement recommendation for your individual needs.
Bonus: Trying to go Vegan but bloating got you down? Here are some extra tips and tricks on How to prevent bloating on a Vegan Diet:
As you can see, there are quite a few factors to consider when it comes to vegan gas and vegan bloating.
Not only do the foods you eat impact your chances of developing gas, but so too do your lifestyle habits. Furthermore, there is quite a bit to remember when it comes to which foods you should cut back on during your transition period.
But if you do your best to cut back on gas-producing foods during your vegan transition period, and perhaps take an enzyme supplement to help with digestion, you should be able to alleviate your vegan gas and vegan bloating in no time.
Overall, I hope that this article and the vegan flatulence remedies offered within it prove to be a helpful resource to you during our own vegan experiences.
Were you farting a lot when you first became vegan? Did you try handling it, or did you just wait it out? Let me know on the comment section below. And don’t forget to share this article in your favorite social media platform!