Vegetables That Cause Bloating & Gas

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Bloating is typically caused by air trapped in the small intestine or the colon. The intestines contain bacteria, yeasts, and fungi to break down and digest food, which creates intestinal gas. Undigested carbohydrates ferment in the intestines, which causes bloating. Beans, broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, asparagus, onions, cabbage, spinach, and lettuce may cause bloating, which can be avoided by choosing different combinations of food, by chewing food more thoroughly, and possibly by drinking more water.

A bowl of fresh broccoli.
A bowl of fresh broccoli. (Image: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Raw Vegetables

Leafy greens are one of the riskiest foods regulated by the United States Food and Drug Administration. Bloating may be related to poor-quality or spoiled food. Taste does not always detect spoiled food. Eating raw vegetables exposes you to possible viral and bacterial infection, allergies, and food intolerance. Toxins in the gastrointestinal tract after eating raw vegetables produces bloating and nausea. Cooking the vegetables instead of eating them raw may reduce bloating. If you are sensitive to a specific vegetable that consistently causes bloating, you should not eat it.

Bloating may also result from an intestinal disorder such as irrritable bowel syndrome, colitis, or diverticulitis, Crohn disease, gastritis, or ulcers. Cancer and scars or adhesions from hernia operations or gall bladder surgery also can cause bloating.

Asparagus drains in a colander.
Asparagus drains in a colander. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Beans, Onions, Potatoes, and Peas

Beans are the second most common cause of bloating. Beans and onions contain raffinose and fructose sugars that may be hard to digest. Beans and onions are not properly digested due to a shortage of enzymes in the small intestine. Incompletely digested sugars are not absorbed and pass from the small intestine to the colon undigested. Two types of bacteria in the large intestine break down these sugars, which produces carbon dioxide, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, and, in one-third of all people, methane. Even potatoes produce gas and bloating in the large intestine. Peas are also digested in the large intestine. An over-the-ounter digestive aid containing sugar-ingesting enzymes swallowed before eating reduces gas and bloating.

A woman slices a red onion.
A woman slices a red onion. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Asparagus, Cabbage, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots

Bloating is reduced by making better food choices and eating a well-balanced high-fiber diet. Fiber-bulking agents may make bloating worse. Asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, and carrots are high in fiber. Insoluble fiber cannot be digested in the small intestine. Insoluble fiber exits the colon in the same condition as it entered it. Soluable fiber digests easily, creating a soft gel in the intestines. Soluble fiber is not broken down in the small intestine but it is digested in the large intestine where it causes bloating. Sensitivity to foods that cause bloating varies from person to person and may vary in the same individual, depending on other foods or medications consumed. Some medications may produce bloating, or foods may produce bloating in combination with the medication.

A bowl of fresh brussels sprouts.
A bowl of fresh brussels sprouts. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

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