It is normal to pass wind; in fact an average person will get rid of 600ml of gas per day and at any one time you will have around 200ml in your intestines. This is because you eat or do things that can cause this, such as eating foods that cause wind, smoking, overeating, wearing tight clothing or chewing gum. It is normal for a healthy male to pass wind anywhere between 10 to 25 times per day, with women passing around 50% less, although women’s flatus is likely to smell stronger. In this article you are going to concentrate on the foods that cause wind.
First of all it is important to understand why you pass wind, otherwise you may know the foods that cause wind, but won’t actually know why you do it. When your body has wind to get rid of, the body will do so using two ways, flatulence (farting) or belching (burping).
Passing wind is all to do with having bacteria in the lower bowel, and the way it interacts with certain foods. The intestine cannot digest and breakdown some carbohydrates, and instead pass straight through to the bowel. Bacteria then destroys the carbohydrates that the intestines had trouble breaking down, and this is done by releasing gas – which causes you to fart.
For your information, when you pass wind, the gas that you expel usually contains around 90% nitrogen and the other 10% consisting of hydrogen, carbon dioxide, methane and on some occasion hydrogen sulphide. In the 1960’s there was quite a lot of research into bowel gas, particularly because NASA was concerned that astronauts’ wind could cause a spacecraft to explode – because of the build-up of hydrogen!
The following foods are thought to cause wind, either because they are carbohydrates, contain fiber or fructose.
- Cauliflower and broccoli
- Root vegetables such as parsnips
- Foods that contain fructose or sorbitol (which is seen in many slimming foods as a replacement for sugars.)
- Fruit juices, beer and coffee
- Potatoes, corn, and noodles
As you can see, there are a fair amount of foods that can cause wind, and in theory any carbohydrates or foods can cause this. However it is important to remember that every person is different and that not all of the foods above will cause wind for any one person. It is all about how individual intestine and bowel digests food.