Passing gas, burping and gas pains due to bloating happen to everyone. According to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, these embarrassing symptoms may be caused by swallowing air while eating or by the breakdown of foods during the digestive process. Consuming fewer foods that produce gas can reduce bloating and gas pains.
High-fiber Fruits and Vegetables
Beans, peas and most fruits contain soluble fiber that dissolves easily in water and becomes soft and gel-like in the intestines. Soluble fiber is not broken down until it reaches the large intestine, and it is here that digesting the fiber causes gas. Reducing these high-fiber foods and then reintroducing them gradually into your diet can help you ascertain the quantity of fiber you can digest without bloating and gas pains.
The body cannot digest starchy vegetables such as potatoes and corn completely because enzymes needed for their digestion are absent or insufficiently present. It is in the large intestine where potatoes and corn byproducts are digested by bacteria. This process produces the gases of carbon dioxide, hydrogen and -- in 1/3 of the population -- methane, which all eventually exit via the rectum. People who have more gas than others may have an imbalance of two kinds of bacteria, one producing hydrogen and the other destroying it.
Beans and Vegetables Containing Raffinose
Most foods containing carbohydrates can cause gas, especially those containing the complex sugar raffinose. This sugar is found in beans, baked beans and lentils. It is also in Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, asparagus, sauerkraut and cauliflower.
Fruits and Vegetables Containing Fructose
Foods containing the sugar fructose also can cause gas and gas pains. These include most fruits, including pears, dates, raisins, figs, prunes, grapes, pineapple, apples and bananas. The fructose in dried fruits, such as dried peaches and apricots, can also cause gas, as can cherries, blueberries and kiwis and the fructose in fruit drinks. Onions and artichokes are gas-producing vegetables that contain fructose.
Fruits Containing Sorbitol
Peaches, pears, apples and prunes contain the gas-producing sugar sorbitol. Sorbitol is also found in sugar-free dietetic foods as an additive, although it causes diarrhea, bloating and flatulence. This sugar is not completely absorbed in your small intestine, but passes to the colon. If consumed in large amounts, sorbitol may cause watery bowel movements and gas.