Gas in the small intestine or colon is typically caused by the digestion or fermentation of undigested food by bacteria found in the bowel. Fiber-rich food in vegetarian diets add bulk to the stomach. While these are great as they help easy evacuation of stool, they lie undigested in the gut till they are expelled with stool.
Gas can also form when your digestive system doesn’t completely break down certain components in foods, such as gluten, found in most grains, or the sugar in dairy products and fruit.
Other sources of intestinal gas may include:
- A change in the bacteria in the small intestine
- Poor absorption of carbohydrates, which can upset the balance of helpful bacteria in your digestive system
- Constipation, since the longer food waste remains in your colon, the more time it has to ferment.
- A digestive disorder, such as lactose or fructose intolerance or celiac disease
To prevent excess gas, it may help to:
- Eliminate certain foods like common gas-causing offenders include beans, peas, lentils, cabbage, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, whole-grain foods, mushrooms, certain fruits, and beer and other carbonated drinks. Try removing one food at a time to see if your gas improves.
- Dairy products that many vegetarians prefer to consume are also the cause of burping, flatulence, and indigestion.
Physical inactivity for extended periods of time is also another cause of flatulence and burping. Make a change to your lifestyle from sedentary to active, and you will find much of indigestion goes away.
Small lifestyle changes, identifying one by one an offending food, and eliminating it from your food are small changes that will help.
You can learn more about nutrition facts and plant-based foods in Nutrition Facts- A guide to good health.