Garlic is indisputably one of the healthiest and delicious vegetables. Most people use it as a spice for various recipes because of its rich flavoring. Usually, garlic will make your sauce tastier. Those who like cooking savory dishes always have garlic on their ingredient list. Botanically, garlic is a vegetable. but most people think of it as a herb or spice. It’s been used for thousands of years due to its aroma and medicinal value.
Research shows that eating raw garlic delivers maximum health benefits. However, cooking it may reduce some of its potency. But in what form does garlic seem to produce more gas? Is it when cooked or when you eat it raw? Keep reading to find out.
What Causes Stomach Gas?
There are two causes of gas or bloating in the human stomach. The first one is due to the air we inhale. Nonetheless, this can only happen in rare cases.
The other cause of bloating comes from various digestive issues. Typically, this is usually a result of the food we eat. Health experts associate bloating and gas with intestinal bacteria. The said bacteria ferment sugars, carbohydrates, or fiber content in the stomach. While some of these bacteria may consume the gas, the body passes the remaining gas in several ways. These include burping, flatulence, and so on.
The gases we pass out of our bodies are mainly odorless vapor. Stomach gas constituents include methane, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and hydrogen.
What compounds are found in garlic?
Although garlic’s health benefits are undeniable, they contain FODMAPs. These are short-chain carbohydrates that your digestive tract may struggle to digest. As a result, FODMAPs may worsen irritable bowel syndrome symptoms. In other cases, they may cause stomach pains as your digestive tract attempts to break them down. As such, people with food intolerance or garlic allergy may find eating it unbearable.
While not everyone becomes gassy after consuming garlic, some people experience this discomfort. Like onions, garlic contains similar fructans. As such, some of its compounds are gas-inducing. And this explains why some of us experience excess gas or bloating after eating raw or cooked garlic. Apart from that, garlic is rich in sulfur compounds. Such compounds may cause not only flatulence but also bad breath and body odor.
Allicin is one of the most prominent compounds found in garlic. Even though it boasts a host of health benefits, it is also notoriously responsible for causing bloating. In addition, it may lead to belching, garlic breath, or body odor. The body odor emanating from garlic consumption is quite strong. It can linger on for hours after eating raw garlic.
Allicin is more potent in raw garlic. Therefore, eating raw garlic may lead to flatulence.
If you experience food intolerance, you can blame the sulfur compounds in garlic. These compounds can trigger garlic allergy when you eat too much of it. Eating garlic regularly and developing stomach pain or gas can only mean that you have an allergy or intolerance.
Passing gas after garlic consumption is somewhat normal. However, excessive flatulence means your body is struggling to break down the fructans from garlic. When your digestive system cannot digest fructans properly, they tend to ferment and cause gas or bloating.
Raw Garlic V.s Cooked Garlic
Passing gas after eating garlic is fairly common. However, you can do something to reduce it. For instance, you can cook your garlic instead of eating it raw. When you cook garlic, the heat deactivates some of its active compounds, including the thiosulphates. This way, you will not get all the healthy benefits of raw garlic, but you will at least keep the embarrassing flatulence at bay.
How to Reduce the Gas in Garlic
Most people love flavoring their food with garlic. However, excess gas after consumption of raw or cooked garlic is discouraging. Luckily, there are ways to reduce gas in garlic. You can add other ingredients to your recipe that neutralizes garlic. These are the likes of apple cider vinegar, lime juice, aromatic herbs, and so on.
One of the helpful compounds found in apple cider vinegar is pectin, which helps counter allicin’s effects in garlic. This means that it can help reduce bloating and flatulence after eating garlic. Apart from cooking with it, you can take a glass of water with a spoonful of apple cider vinegar to neutralize garlic before eating it.
If you have a serious food intolerance or allergy caused by garlic, you can avoid eating it. But if you have to eat it for certain medicinal benefits, mix it with the various ingredients that neutralize garlic.
How to Eat Raw Garlic Without Upsetting Your Stomach
Garlic is best consumed raw. However, if you have a garlic allergy or intolerance, raw garlic could do more harm than good. If you must eat it raw, eat it on an empty stomach. Also, don’t overeat garlic because the consequences might be dire.
Heating garlic in low heat can also help prevent it from upsetting your stomach. This is because you will deactivate the gas-producing compound’s in garlic. If you overcook it, you miss out on most of its nutritious values.
To prevent garlic from losing its health benefits and upsetting your stomach, cook it in olive oil. After that, heat on a skillet with low heat. Doing this will allow you to retain the essential nutrients. Moreover, it will make the garlic less gassy, meaning that you will not have to contend with stomach upsets.
How to Expel Gas After Eating Garlic?
If your stomach feels gassy after eating a meal with garlic, there are several ways you can use to expel the gas. One of them is moving or walking around to ease the discomfort. You can also indulge yourself in non-carbonated beverages. Bicarbonate soda and herbs may also help to ease bloating.
The truth is garlic causes gas in the stomach. However, this does not happen to everyone. Nutrition experts blame sulfur compounds in garlic for bloating. Those who experience excessive gas after eating garlic should find ways to tone it down. For example, mixing it with other herbs could neutralize sulfur as well as other compounds. This could also help keep the bad breath that comes with eating garlic at bay.
Does Garlic Affect People Who Are Lactose Intolerance
Garlic can be detrimental for those with lactose intolerance, as it contains fructans that cause digestive distress in sensitive individuals. Symptoms of bloating, gas, nausea and stomach pain may worsen if garlic is ingested raw or without accompaniment. To reduce these effects try eating cooked garlic instead or including ingredients such as apple cider vinegar or herbs to your recipe. For the best outcome, eat small amounts of garlic on an empty stomach which will help you minimize its potential side-effects!
How Does Garlic Affect Celiac Disease?
Although garlic does not contain gluten, its high concentration of fructans can cause digestive distress in some celiacs. As such, those with Celiac Disease should consume less raw garlic and may opt to cook it prior to consuming it if they experience discomfort upon eating the herb.