Heads Up

Farting is actually good for you – here’s why

October 8th, 2020

Admittedly, letting out a fart isn’t exactly the most socially acceptable thing to do, and when there are other people around, it tends to get either really awkward or really funny, sometimes even both.

It’s worse when the farts are smelly and/or loud, but there’s actually a reason why our body wants to get rid of these stinky gasses.

In fact, just letting your farts out throughout the day ends up having a lot of benefits for the human body.

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Alicia_Harper, Pixabay Source: Alicia_Harper, Pixabay

According to doctors, it’s one hundred percent normal to let out some gas multiple times a day, and it’s actually a bad sign if you don’t have to fart.

Luckily, most of these farts go undetected, so you don’t always have to be wary of getting yourself into an embarrassing situation.

Kelly Jones, a professional dietitian and MD, explains why our body needs to let go of some gas from time to time.

“Farting can tell us a lot about our digestive health. It’s actually very normal to pass gas over a dozen times a day, and lack of gas may indicate less diversity in lower digestive tract bacteria,” she says on her website.

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bodymybody, Pixabay Source: bodymybody, Pixabay

In other words, it’s important that the microbiome down there is actually diverse, and it’s linked with a ton of beneficial effects.

For example, a healthy diversity in tract bacteria has been previously linked to having a better and more responsive immune system, improved heart health, better performance, being able to perform better in fitness, and it can even affect your mood in a positive manner.

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Wikimedia Commons Source: Wikimedia Commons

“A diet rich in legumes, vegetables, fruits, whole grains nuts, and seeds has long been associated with health benefits, and a healthy amount of flatulence can be indicative of this,” Kelly added.

The main ingredients to fart regularly are complex carbs.

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Pxhere Source: Pxhere

All of the aforementioned foods actually contain a bunch of complex carbohydrates, which are being used by healthy bacteria who ferment it.

They feed off oligosaccharides, resistant starches, and fiber, leading to the fermentation. The result of that fermentation is gas, which is exactly what gets let out when you fart.

A fart simply means that you’ve got a healthy variety of these complex carbs and that you have sufficient diversity in your digestive microbiome.

If there’s one recommendation, it’s to never hold in a fart.

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Drewes Zuur, Flickr Source: Drewes Zuur, Flickr

In fact, holding in your farts isn’t really a good idea – it’s best to just let your digestive system do its thing and let out the gas.

In the end, it decreases the risks of having any kind of colon complications.

“Holding in gas can limit motility of bowels, leading to digestive discomfort, pain, and even constipation,” Kelly said about the short-term effects of holding in farts.

The long term effects aren’t exactly positive either:

“In the long run, regular constipation increases the risk for diverticulosis,” Kelly mentioned. So, don’t hold it in for too long if you’ve got to go.

However, there are a couple of indications that your farts can give you.

For example, if you have to fart often, and it’s usually the kind that smells a lot, you might be dealing with a diet problem.

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Pixabay Source: Pixabay

“If you’re passing heavy gas regularly and it’s often foul in smell, it may indicate your diet is too rich in protein, sugar, or saturated fats versus healthful carbohydrates and plant-based fats. This may also be the case if your diet is rich in artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols.”

Sometimes, your farts can even help you discover food intolerances.

This is a more serious situation, however, and you definitely should go to a doctor if you experience any pain.

“Difficulty passing gas, painful bloating, or foul-smelling gas may indicate food intolerances.”

Don’t stress out if your farts are acting up when you’ve eaten a food that is known to have a certain effect on the digestive system, such as beans or cauliflower.

In many cases, the foul smell is just an adaptation of the good bacteria of the ‘new’ food. Eating these kinds of food on a regular basis will alleviate the issue.

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Source: Kelly Jones Nutrition, Men’s Health