Dietary Home Remedies for Gas: Organizing Your Meals
One of the most effective home remedies for gas is to eat well-sequenced meals. A well-organized and well-sequenced meal results to an efficient digestion. When you eat different foods in a certain order, digestion is fast and it goes smoothly. Moreover, this way body absorbs nutrients better.
To avoid and eventually stop bloating problems, you should start your meal by eating the quickest and easiest to digest food, followed by the more complex ones. By eating the quickest to digest food, you prevent “food traffic jam” since easy-to-digest foods move smoothly through your system.
Less liquid and dense foods are hard to digest and take longer before they completely pass through the digestive system. Hence, there should be a specific order of foods which you have to consume first. Here is a list of foods and their estimated digestion time:
- Water and juices: 20 to 30 min.
- Vegetables: 30 to 45 min.
- Fruits, smoothies and soups: 30 to 45 min.
- Grains and other starches: 2 to 3 hrs.
- Fish, meat, poultry and beans: at least 3 hrs.
Imagine your digestive system like a highway.If you eat the hard-to-digest foods first, it will cause a food traffic jam. If you eat the easy-to-digest foods first followed by the hard-to-digest foods, then your digestion will be smooth and you will be able to avoid bloated abdomen.
Here is an example of how your meals should look like. Follow the proper food sequencing to avoid food traffic jams and excessive gas.
- Water or juice
- Water or your preferred beverage
- Vegetable, fruit or salad
- Water or your preferred drink
- Salad or vegetables
- Main course (grain/fish/ bean/ poultry/ meat)
Just a reminder, if you opt to drink dairy products such as milk, they are hard and slow to digest and must be drunk alone. The easiest and fastest drink to digest is water.
The 7 Food Groups
There are different enzymes that your body uses for the different types of food you eat. Different enzymes are used to digest the seven food groups. One of the best home remedies for gas is to know the proper food combinations. It is necessary that you know and be able to identify the foods under the different groups so that you can combine them properly.
Protein is an important complex nutrient that is needed for muscle buildup. Protein intake is important, however, it should be eaten in moderation. Because proteins have a complex structure, it takes around 3 hours to fully digest them. Proteins are divided into five groups. These five groups are also digested differently.
- Nut and egg proteins
- Dairy protein
- Proteins found in grains
- Proteins from meat
- Proteins in beans
The different protein groups need different enzymes for them to be fully and properly digested. You are allowed to combine grain and protein beans, but do not combine other protein together. A meal with different protein combinations can result to indigestion due to the lack of digestive juices. This can result in feelings of tiredness, gas, illness, bloating, heartburn and much more. The best way to digest proteins is to eat them with non-starchy vegetables.
Starches belong to the family of carbohydrates and are one of the most common food in our diet. They may give us energy to do our daily activities, but they are also hard to digest. It takes at least two hours for starches to be fully digested. Digestion of starches starts already in your mouth and then continue in the small intestines.
The enzymes found in your saliva breaks down the starches into maltose, fructose and glucose. These by-products then go to the liver to be stored or to be used as an immediate fuel. As I already mentioned above, bloating remedies include proper food combinations. For example, you should never combine starches with acid fruits or proteins.
If these foods are combined, the production of enzymes for starch is stopped. Hence, these undigested starches can result to digestive discomforts such as bloating and flatulence. Also, you cannot have the fuel and energy you are supposed to be getting from starch if you eat it with acid fruits or proteins. Home remedies for gas include pairing starches with non-starchy vegetables.
Sugar, even if it is considered as a carbohydrate, is one of the easiest and simplest food to digest. Even water can dissolve sugar. For sugar to be properly digested, it needs only enzymes and some vitamins. Thus, it only stays in the stomach for a short time. However, combining sugar with starch is not healthy. Sugars prevent the production of amylase, the enzyme found in saliva, that is used to break down starches. Therefore, the digestion of starch is delayed.
Starch is then only digested when it reaches your stomach. The digestion of sugar is also delayed when you eat it with starch. When sugars reach the stomach, fermentation can happen. During fermentation sugar is broken down into carbon dioxide and alcohol. This results to lack of vitamin B, gas and distension. Another food group that you should avoid combining with sugar is protein.
Protein takes 3 to 4 hours before it can be digested. So sugar, when eaten with protein, will be digested only after the protein is fully digested. This will also lead to fermentation, just like when sugar is eaten with starches. Artificial sweeteners, unlike sugars, are hard to digest because they are loaded with preservatives.
They are not easily digested in the stomach and can affect the entire digestive system. Examples of artificial sweeteners include sucralose and fructose.
Fats is another food group that is difficult to digest. But, if you know which oil is good for you and consume it moderately with your meals, fats can be even beneficial for you.
Fats are made up of two types, the unsaturated fats and the saturated fats. Unsaturated fats are easy to digest because they are in their natural forms. Saturated fats, however, are hard to digest because they are altered by hydrogenated oils.
Saturated fats are altered to increase their shelf life. The amount of fat you take will determine how the rest of your food will be digested. Fats are digested first by the body because it is needed to separate the nutrients from other foods. Eating a meal with lots of fats can take at least 3 hours for the other food groups to pass into the stomach.
One of the most effective home remedies for gas is to avoid saturated fats as much as possible, especially if you are eating it together with other food groups. Remember that saturated fats are one of the foods that make you bloated because of the preservatives it contains. So instead of taking saturated fats, go for unsaturated fats.
They do not drastically slow down your digestion but are natural and have the nutrients you need. Remember that it is important that you consume fats. Eat them in moderation and avoid combining them with other specific food combinations.
Fruits are the easiest to digest foods next to liquids. This is because most fruits contain large amounts of water. Water, among all food groups is the easiest to digest. Below are fruits that contain lots of water. These fruits will usually take 30 to 45 minutes to be fully digested.
However, there are also fruits that are difficult to digest such as coconuts, bananas and dried fruits. Coconuts and bananas contain high amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fats, which are all difficult to digest. Dried fruits contain less water and have high amounts of fiber and sugar, which are also difficult to digest. When you eat these fruits, it might take 45 to 90 minutes until they are fully digested.
One of the many remedies for gas is to avoid eating starches and proteins before the fruits are fully digested. Starches and protein take longer to digest and eating them may slow down the digestion process of the fruits. Another way on how to relieve bloating is to avoid eating acid fruits with starches or proteins. The acid from the fruit will prevent the production of the enzymes needed for the digestion of starches and proteins.
There are vegetables that are also easy to digest because of their high water content. However, when the vegetable contains more starches and fiber but lesser water content, then the vegetable is hard to digest. Green leafy vegetables are the easiest to digest because of their high water content. Vegetables can be digested within 45 minutes.But, if you add the dressing and saturated oils, digestion time will lengthen.
The best thing you can do is to add vinegar or oil and avoid those creamy dressings. Vegetables that take a little longer to digest are carrots, beets and cabbage. They contain high amounts of fiber which makes it difficult for them to be digested. These vegetables are still easier and faster to digest compared to proteins and starches because of their high percentage of water content.
Starchy vegetables are longest and hardest to digest in this food group. Starchy vegetables need at least two hours to be fully digested. They include squash, rutabagas, potatoes and yams. You can bake these vegetables to make them easier to digest or steam them to increase water content and to breakdown the fiber.
Non-starchy vegetables are foods that reduce bloating and are foods that are safe to eat with other food groups. Non-starchy foods are easy to digest and they do not have neutralizing acids. Just remember to eat these vegetables before eating protein or starch. Do not forget the ‘food traffic jam’ and always eat the foods that are easiest to digest first.
There are a lot of home remedies for gas while proper food sequencing is one of the most effective. However, food combining is not easy at all. It can be frustrating because of all the do’s and don’ts that you have to remember. The number one rule when it comes to food combining is to ask yourself whether the food combination you have is going to slow down your digestion or not.
The negative effects of wrong food combinations slow down your digestion thereby leaving your food inside your stomach undigested. One of the stomach bloating causes is indigestion. As a guide, you can use and follow the food combining chart as well as read more about different gas remedies. It may be impossible for you to totally avoid bad food combinations, but at least you can modify your eating habits.
If you follow these home remedies for gas, then you will be able to see significant improvement in digestion and feel better. Nevertheless, if you suffer from different digestive discomforts such as gas, bloating and constipation regularly , you may want to follow a colon cleansing program aside from doing proper food combinations and other home remedies for bloating. Colon cleansing is very helpful in improving the muscles in your large intestine and it will give excellent results as a supplement to other home remedies for gas.