Averting a Gas Crisis

Tips to avoid the embarrassing side of healthy eating.

Tips to avoid the embarrassing side of healthy eating.
* Gradually phase in high-fiber foods, chewing them well to start digestion.
* Drink plenty of fluids.
* Get regular physical activity (like a daily “constitutional” walk).
* If certain fruits or vegetables give you gas, try cooking and/or peeling them to help make them more digestible.
* When cooking dried beans, soak them first, then discard the liquid to get rid of some of the difficult-to-digest carbohydrate. Likewise, drain and rinse canned beans before using.
* Flavor your foods with seasonings used throughout the world to make problem foods less gassy, such as ginger, fennel seeds, turmeric and coriander. Scout ethnic groceries for epazote—an herb frequently paired with beans in Mexico and the Caribbean—and asafoetida, a spice common in East Indian cooking.
* Lastly, consider an over-the-counter aid, such as Beano®, which supplies an enzyme to digest some of the gas-inducing carbohydrates.
—Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D., C.D.E.