Vegetables that cause bloating & gas

Updated April 17, 2017

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.

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 irritable 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.

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.

Asparagus, Cabbage, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Carrots

Bloating is reduced by making better food choices and eating a well-balanced high-fibre diet. Fibre-bulking agents may make bloating worse. Asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, and carrots are high in fibre. Insoluble fibre cannot be digested in the small intestine. Insoluble fibre exits the colon in the same condition as it entered it. Soluable fibre digests easily, creating a soft gel in the intestines. Soluble fibre 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.

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About the Author

Pat Martin has been writing nonfiction since 1978. Her articles have appeared in the “Nautical Research Guild Journal” and the “Worcester County Times,” among other publications. Martin is a National Board certified professional counselor and holds a Master of Science in human services from Capella University.