A balanced vegetarian diet can easily meets all your nutritional needs, as well as reduce your risk of heart disease, certain cancers and other illnesses, according to Erik Lindbloom, M.D., of the University of Missouri School of Medicine. If you're new to a vegetarian lifestyle, you might have made some classic rookie mistakes that caused your flatulence. Even if you're a veteran vegetarian, the high-fiber, vegetable-heavy nature of a plant-based diet can bloat even the strongest of stomachs. A few small tweaks to your diet can reduce or eliminate gas.
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Record your food intake for a week; write down your gas symptoms as well. Look for trends at the end of the week to help spot the foods that trigger your gas.
Eat the foods that typically cause gas less often or in smaller quantities. Common culprits include broccoli, cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables. However, any food can cause gas.
Cut out dairy and see if that resolves your gas symptoms. New vegetarians sometimes make the mistake of replacing meat with cheese and other dairy products. The increased intake of dairy products can cause several kinds of digestive upset.
Give your body time to adjust to a higher fiber intake. Too much fiber or a sharp increase in fiber consumption almost always results in gas. Increase your intake by a few grams per week so you can adjust slowly.
Get some of your calories from low-fiber foods. Choose processed grains, such as white rice, cooked vegetables and fruits.
Eat slowly to cut down on the amount of air you swallow. Drink from cups and not from straws for the same reason. Smoking also causes you to swallow air, which increases gas, according to Harvard Medical School.
- Harvard Medical School: Preventing Gas and Flatulence
- Oklahoma State University Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural Products Center: Fiber: Bulk of Life
- National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse: What I Need to Know About Gas
- American Family Physician: Long-Term Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet