By Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN
Gas… it’s something we all face at one time or another (and usually in a moment when it’s super inconvenient), but most of us certainly don’t want to talk about it and we’d rather it just go away, right? Today I’m here to help you with a few techniques that can help you both hide your gas when you have it, and also help you get rid of it more comfortably.
Gas can be caused by a few things, including food that doesn’t digest well (i.e. dairy when you’re lactose intolerant), eating too quickly (because you swallow air when eating too quickly), drinking through a straw (again, swallowing air), even sitting for too long during the day can affect digestion and even cause some gas. Regardless of why you got the gas, it’s uncomfortable and can be quite embarrassing. So let’s get rid of it!
Sitting at your desk won’t help you pass your gas and may also make you feel super embarrassed if you accidentally let one slip out, but going for a walk can help to keep things in your gastrointestinal tract moving and can also help you to let your gas out in a more friendly environment (without coworkers sitting around you!). Going for a little walk can also help you get your steps for the day as well, which is also a good thing!
Fennel contains a compound called anethole that gives it its nice licorice flavor but it also helps to soothe indigestion and may help to soothe gas as well that may be caused from an upset stomach. Try boiling water and pouring over 1 teaspoon fennel seeds.
This may not work if you’re sitting at your desk, but if you’re at home you can try this simple remedy. Simply lying on your left side may help to soothe gas because it can help to promote movement in the colon as anatomically it positions the rectum above the descending colon, which can help move gas out. Other research suggests that for other stomach upset like acid reflux, lying on the left side may help to ease it as well (so lying on your left side seems like a pretty good idea, right?).
This one also isn’t helpful when sitting at your desk, and you might want to do this in an empty room as well. Yoga can help to gently move the body in such a way that can help to promote digestion and move gas through the system. Stick to simple poses like child’s pose, down dog and happy baby.
Try having a small amount of mango or papaya (about ½ cup total) because both fruits contain digestive enzymes that may help to promote digestion.
Eating too fast and sucking down a drink through a straw can cause gas. So slow down, and sip the glass to help prevent gas. Practicing these on a regular basis can also be helpful when it comes to preventing further issues with gas and bloating. When you’re already gassy you certainly want to work on eating more slowly and not drinking through straws to prevent swallowing even more air.
Although this tip also won’t help you get rid of gas, it may help you prevent it the next time. Keeping track of what may be causing your gas by logging what you’re eating and whether you had gas afterward may help you detect the foods you’re eating that may not agree with you. I always start clients with upset stomachs off this way to help them discover what may not be digesting well.
Here’s more on healthy digestion and happy tummies: