Abdominal bloating and flatulence (gas) is a common problem the world over. A study once showed that almost 40 per cent of any population experiences it at any given time. Flatulence can be minor, as seen when we burp, but it can also become very severe – the abdomen can become distended and it can cause extreme pain.
Gas is a normal by-product of digestion and is usually expelled naturally without the need to break wind. But when it builds up excessively and gets trapped in pockets, it is called a disease. Here’s how to deal with flatulence.
Several foods become more gas-producing once they are roasted. So avoid dry legumes like rajma, white channa, lobhia, white peas, dry green peas, roasted black channa, roasted corn and popcorn. Cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and potato produce gas when consumed in large quantities. A little of these vegetables at any time is fine, but when eaten in isolation or in large quantities, they could cause flatulence.
Dairy products like cheese, paneer, curd and milk are big producers of gas. Tea that has been boiled with milk is particularly gas- producing.
Too much wheat bran and other fibrous foods may also contribute to gas production.
Fried foods, besides causing bloating, may also lead to severe acidity.
Newly harvested white rice is a serious gas producer. If your meal consists of rajma with rice, gobhi-aloo and curd, expect to bloat!Remedies
Celery added to juice or soup is a good antispasmodic.
Add ajwain to rotis or cooked vegetables. Or boil a pinch of ajwain in water till it changes colour and drink it warm with a pinch of salt.
Similarly, boil cinnamon in water and drink the decoction like a herbal tea.
Triphala, a mix of three vital herbs, is excellent for bloating, gas and other intestinal problems. Mix one teaspoon of triphala with water and drink it lukewarm at night.
One capsule of peppermint oil is good for painful bloating. But it should be used for an emergency only.
Chew spices like saunf, methi, clove (laung), rosemary and vacha.
Dhania seeds, elaichi and haldi are wonderful spices for expelling blocked gas and pacifying the intestine.
A pinch each of haldi, dhania seeds, ginger and rock salt all boiled in water and consumed warm is an excellent remedy for gas and bloating.
- From HT Brunch, March 6
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