Dietary Guidelines to Manage Flatulence

Flatulence is not a general condition, but some people suffer more than others. It is like some get headaches or migraines easily, others do not. Also, we see that some foods produce excessive gas formation while others donít. However what causes gas for one person may not cause it in another personís body.

The first step in treating or dealing with this condition is to identify foods that easily produce gas. The common foods are pulses- channa, rajma, moong, lobia, horse gram, etc. and dhals. Usually, the whole pulses are more difficult to digest and they can be avoided completely if it is troubling you.

Secondly the raw form of pulses like sprouted moong, popularly added to salads may cause discomfort. Usually dhal or sambar is easy to digest. So, we recommend that this be taken both at lunch and dinner as it is a rich source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. If this also produces gas try to avoid all types of dhals except yellow moong dhal which is the easiest to digest and consume only Ĺ cup or 100 ml cooked dhal at a time. Turmeric, jeera and asafoetida may be added to the preparation as all these aid digestions and may help in reducing gas formation.

Those with a gas problem must avoid nuts-peanuts, cashew nuts, almonds, etc. and coconut strictly as these are also highly gas producing. Among the vegetables some have a greater tendency for gas formation. They are cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, potato in some cases and cucumber, gherkins, peas and carrots in some cases. The easiest way is to strictly avoid these vegetables as there are a wide variety of others to choose from.

We also see a difference in the time factor. Some people can digest and feel comfortable with a particular food at lunch, but the same thing eaten at night causes a lot of discomfort.

Among fruits jackfruit, pineapple and watermelon are commonly seen to produce gas and again the treatment is to avoid and eat only the other fruits. In some people milk can cause flatulence. This is a food that is particularly important as it is the chief source of calcium and important source of protein, especially in a vegetarian diet. Here one can try drinking cold milk or avoid milk and try to take a cup of curd at breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The home remedies for relieving gas is to drink water boiled with a little jeera, chewing a little roasted somb (big jeera) after a meal and rubbing the abdomen and back in an anticlockwise motion which brings out the gas quickly.

If no relief is seen in spite of all the above attempts, then it is advisable to go through a proper medical investigation.

Some people find that they have a problem whenever they eat food from restaurants. This could be due to soda added to rice and rice items like dosa, idly, to give a light and fluffy texture or soda added to green vegetables to enhance its green colour. Also, restaurant food contains more ghee, oil, coconut, poppy seeds (kuskus) and cashew nuts added, which may be difficult to digest especially for elderly people.

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