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People, who adopt a vegan lifestyle, normally complain that they fart a lot. I experienced it myself, during the first two weeks of my vegan diet. I had an incredible amount of gas and looked like I had swallowed a balloon every day for breakfast. It was very uncomfortable and embarrassing at the same time to the point that I considered quitting this lifestyle.
Do vegans fart more than meat eaters?
Yes. Vegan and vegetarian farts happen at greater frequency and volume. However, there is a lot more at the beginning of a major dietary change than in the long term.
Do vegans fart more methane?
Vegans are said to emit 60% more methane gas than meat eaters because of their diet.
The largest methane sources are:
Cattle / animal agriculture
If all 8 billion people became Vegan, the total methane emission by humans will be 50 times less than what’s produced by animal agriculture at present
So why do Vegans Fart?
Luckily, it didn’t last for long. I found out that right at the beginning, I was eating a lot of fibre and because I was a new vegan, my gut microbiome was low on fibre-digestive microorganisms which causes an incredible amount of flatulence.
Well, being entirely honest as a carnivore, I had more than enough issues with the digestive system anyway, beans were definitely a no-no for me. I rarely ate any carbs and mostly concentrated on “protein” in meat as I thought it was extremely important for survival. Meat doesn’t have any fibre and a big shift in your fibre intake can cause more gas than usual.
It becomes a non-issue very quickly
The good news is its s all temporary. The more you eat fibre the better you will feel. After two weeks, I noticed that I was totally tolerant of beans, legumes, mangoes, soy, and chickpeas. What happened is that fibre-digesting microorganisms were dominating my gut, and the flatulence started to go away.
Fibre is incredibly healthy for you for so many reasons. Don’t be put off by farts, it becomes a non-issue very quickly.
Being vegan also kills your social life so it won’t matter all that much anyway. 🙂
9 tips to reduce flatulence
Here are the tips for new vegans to ease the symptoms of producing gas during the first few weeks on a vegan diet while taking a high fibre intake.
1. Digestive Enzyme
Take a digestive enzyme with the meal. Digestive enzymes can be purchased over-the-counter to improve digestive complaints like increased gassiness, or bloating after eating. There are different types of digestive enzymes that come in supplement form. For example, lipase to digest fats, proteolytic or protease enzymes to digest protein and amylase to break down carbs like starch into simple sugars.
Alternatively, you can get digestive enzymes naturally by eating fruits.
Fruits contain protease that can help digest protein into its building blocks, including amino acids:
- Pineapple – contains a group of digestive enzymes called bromelain
- Papaya – contains a different group of proteases known as papain
- Kiwi – particularly a protease called actinidain
- Ginger – contains the protease zingibain
Apricots, mangoes and bananas contain an amylase enzyme that helps to digest carbs from starch into sugars (glucose and maltose) and make it easy to absorb by the body. Our pancreas and salivary glands also make Amylase enzymes that’s why it is important to chew the food thoroughly to give time for the enzyme to be intact with the food and assist in digesting process.
That’s why it’s often recommended to chew food thoroughly before swallowing, as amylase enzymes in saliva help break down carbs for easier digestion and absorption
Avocados contain lipase enzyme that helps digest fat molecules into smaller molecules, such as fatty acids and glycerol, which are easier for the body to absorb.
Take probiotics. Check with your pharmacist for probiotics that don’t contain lactose.
3. Cook your Beans properly
Soak the beans the night before. Boil in water until they are fully cooked and then rinse them with cold water. If you have a pressure cooker or instant pot it will help to cook the beans and legumes properly. Not fully cooking beans is probably the number one reason why Vegans Fart.
I started doing yoga on a daily basis and it definitely eased the symptoms of flatulence by settling my gut by being active.
5. Avoid eating raw cruciferous veggies
In the beginning, try to avoid eating raw cruciferous veggies such as cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage and best to eat them steamed or cooked. Raw crucified veggies increase gas.
6. If you are looking for natural enzymes that can digest proteins, carbohydrates and fats and balance your gut bacteria then fermented food like sauerkraut, vegan kimchi, miso, and tempeh can help ease the symptoms.
Apple cider vinegar is another remedy which helped me reduce the gas. First thing in the morning and before going to bed I drank a glass of water with a spoon of organic apple cider vinegar.
8 Drink Water
Drink plenty of still water throughout the day. Bubbly water increases gas and is certainly not what you want.
9 Avoid processed Food
Instead of processed vegan food such as meat substitute and cheese substitute try to eat whole food in small quantities and gradually increase the portions. Mushrooms in any form, cooked, baked, fried and in soups definitely helped me with the transitioning process.
These nine tips helped me and my husband with our transitioning process a few years ago. I hope this helps you as well. If you have more tips, I would love to hear from you. Please let me know what I can add to this list.