Gassy vegetables can cause discomfort and pain, leading to social embarrassment. Many raw vegetables are rough on the digestive system, often resulting in gas. Though some vegetables contribute to a gassy stomach, others are easily broken down, and therefore non-gassy. People may react differently to each vegetable, so start with smaller portions to see how they affect you.
Most of the food people eat is absorbed in the small intestine. The food that doesn't goes on to the colon, where it's eaten up by our colonic bacteria in a digestive process that produces oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide, hydrogen and methane as a byproduct. A tiny proportion of the gas -- less than 1 per cent -- contains sulphur; hence the smell. Not chewing enough before swallowing can also lead to gas.
Vegetables with high dietary fiber help move food through the digestive track, thereby decreasing the likelihood of gas. Digestible fiber is mainly found in starches; however, many vegetables' skins are high in fiber. Types of vegetable skins that are best for gas-free fiber come from tomatoes and potatoes.
Beans are high in dietary fiber and an important part of most vegetarians’ dietary menu. However, many people have a gaseous reaction to vegetables in the bean legume family. Green peas and green beans are less likely to cause gas problems in most people. Both of these can be eaten raw or lightly steamed to maintain as much nutritional content as possible.
Lettuce, zucchini and okra are three green vegetables that are typically gas-free. Lettuce is best served raw, usually making up the main ingredient in a salad. Zucchini can be served raw or cooked. Either way should result in a gas-free digestion. Okra is more often used as a seasoning, so be careful what other vegetables you include in the dish.
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