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Foul Flatulence And How To Get Rid of It

Foul Flatulence - it's embarrassing and just plain unpleasant, but only people who don't know how to eat well suffer with it. I don't mean to toot my own horn here (sorry, I had to), but my drastically-reduced gas smells like ....nothing. It's just air. 

Before I figured out a dietary solution to my colitis, I regularly went through periods of severe constipation. One of the side effects of all this food trapped in my intestines was unbelievably foul-smelling gas. The food, lacking an exit, would ferment or putrefy in my intestines, mixing in with the blood and pus which was the consequence of my irritated colon.

This mixture from hell produced a stench worthy of the record books. This gas not only reeked, but also made moving more challenging because I was always bloated with it.

Seeking a solution, I began researching the cause of gas.

There are several unusual causes - constipation being one of them - but the vast majority of people have foul flatulence for a very simple reason.

Foul Flatulence - The Corpse Conundrum

The human digestive system doesn't do too well with meat or other animal proteins like dairy and eggs, and foul-smelling gas is often the result.

The problems starts when they arrive in the stomach.

Animal protein, which requires an acid digestive medium, is traditionally eaten with a starch,Foul Flatulence Beans which requires an alkaline digestive medium. These mediums neutralize each other in the stomach, so meat, dairy and eggs are often not broken down.

From here, the foods move on to the intestines, but because they completely lack fiber, they pass through the digestive system at a crawl. This mass of undigested meat meanders through the dark, fetid interior of your body and starts to putrify.

At this point, the breakdown of the amino acid tryptophan begins and indole and skatole -byproducts of protein putrification - start giving your gas the standard rank odor. The root word of skatole - the Greek, 'skato' - means dung.

Protein putrifaction also produces hydrogen sulphide, the source of the classic rotten egg smell.

The association between foul flatulence and animal protein has been recognized for hundreds of years. Even Ben Franklin wrote about it in his humerus, "A Letter To A Royal Academy," which proposed a scientific search for a way of transforming the rank scent of flatulence to something scented like perfume.

That we already have some knowledge of means capable of varying that smell. He that dines on stale flesh, especially with much addition of onions, shall be able to afford a stink that no company can tolerate; while he that has lived for some time on vegetables only, shall have that breath so pure as to be insensible to the most delicate noses; and if he can manage so as to avoid the report, he may any where give vent to his griefs, unnoticed.

- Benjamin Franklin, A Letter To A Royal Academy, 1781

Foul Flatulence - Can Meat Be Made Tolerable?

The main problem of rotting meat and excessive gas production can be partially sidestepped by practicing proper food combining, but even if you separate starches and meat, you're never going to completely prevent the smell.

Rotting corpses reek on the ground or in your intestines, end of story.

Foul Flatulence - So What About A Vegetable-Based Diet?

Vegan and raw food diets lack the animal protein problem, but still have the potential for smelly gas if we make poor food choices or poorly combine meals.

Check out the protein content of these foods:

Protein Content of Food
Source: USDA National Nutrient Database For Standard Reference
Food (4 oz)
Percent of calories from protein
Grams of Protein
Brazil Nuts

Any type of protein can cause problems for us, and as you can see, meat does not have a monopoly on protein. Vegetable protein also contains tryptophan and it can can putrify under the right conditions.

One of the major causes of gas on a vegetable-based diet is legumes such as beans and lentils. High in both starch and protein, legumes are hard for the body to break down in the stomach, and gas often results.

Beans are so notorious as gas producers that our children sing songs about the relationship. In an attempt to deal with the problem, the pharmaceutical industry has come up with products such as Beano, which contain large doses of the digestive enzyme Alpha-galactosidase. Alpha-galatosidase can break down the complex sugars found in beans and starchy vegetables.

However, this is a makeshift solution to a problem you only have if you're eating foods we're not good at digesting.

It's clear that we do not require high starch and high-protein foods such as legumes, and our health is better when we keep our total intake of protein below 10 percent of calories consumed.

Foul Flatulence And The Raw Diet

The best method for ridding yourself of smelly gas is to eat a properly-combined raw food diet.

Diets based around raw fruits and leafy greens naturally fall below 10 percent of calories coming from protein and are quite easy to digest. They also contain much smaller quantities of starch.

My colitis has vanished under this regime, and my food digests beautifully.

A man may break a word with you, sir, and words are but wind,
    Ay, and break it in your face, so he break it not behind.

-Shakespeare - The Comedy of Errors

Still, even a raw vegan can potentially have problems with flatulence. Outside of poor food combinations, I've noticed that fatty meals such as salad dressings with avocado added can cause excess gas and give it some odor.

Digestion is, of course, integrated into the rest of the body, and it suffers when our lifestyle does. Periods of high stress, not enough sleep, or and other factors may play a role.

Following Up:

Wave foul flatulence goodbye by adopting a healthy raw food diet.

Learn about what foods to steer clear of.


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