Everyone farts, a lot. You can tell a lot about a person from their farts too. But, we’re not trying to get too heated and judgmental here. However, this is such a hot topic we just had to address it. Because, if you’re a noob (newbee, in the context here new to veganism) you just might find farting a little more unusually irresistible. I’m here to tell you, you’re not alone. It’s not an absolute that you’re going to encounter this, but it’s likely and most likely temporary. Check out Perceptions of flatulence from bean consumption among adults in 3 feeding studies

A very common thing I’ll hear the seasoned vegan say is how much better their digestion is now. To achieve this platinum level of excellence award you may need to endure the transitional phase of developing and fostering your little friends (healthy bacteria) and exercising the demons!

Without being too long winded, a noob’s gut flora has to adjust. There’s essentially two kind of bellies, internally. There are bellies with bacteria that sustain on breaking down rotting flesh and animal secretions (Bacteroides bacteria/dysbiosis) and there’s those that thrive on plant based foods (Prevotella bacteria/symbiosis). Each produces their own reactions to what we eat (beneficial Butyrate or detrimental hydrogen sulfide (aka rotten egg smell) and TMAO).

We can rest assured that this isn’t something we or those close to us must learn to love, inhaling the escaping aroma of our metabolism.  Despite how traumatic or possibly enjoyable this may be in time, usually just a few days, you’ll adjust. Stick with a whole food, plant-based diet and eventually you’ll find yourself propelling around the room less and less on gas and more and more on new found energy!

Symbiotic bacteria “help nutrient absorption through the fermentation of dietary fibre (Flint et al., 2008) and provide protection from invading pathogens (Endt eg al., 2010). They also help to develop and regulate the immune system.” Within a month of eating a strict vegetarian diet (vegan) there was “reduced intestinal inflammation” and “improved metabolic and immunological parameters in patients with metabolic diseases.” (s)

Fermentation of carbohydrates, fiber and resistant starches that reach our colon “results in beneficial effects for the host because of the generation of short chain fatty acids like butyrate” that help fight against cancer. Examples of starch resistant foods are cooked beans, peas, lentils, raw oatmeal, cold pasta. “The more starch in the stool the less ammonia for example”.

The animal based foods have excess protein. Some of this can reach the colon where it is “fermented by microflora to end products that include phenol, cresol, indoles, amines, and ammonia. Many of these have adverse effects” like DNA damage, cancer and inflammatory bowel disease. Anaerobic degradation of undigested or endogenous protein in the colon by the resident microbiota, a process also called putrefaction, is generally presumed to be detrimental for the host’s health”. (s)

Plants have protein too. But, animal based foods have more sulfur-containing amino acids. (s) Learn more about protien here. Rotten egg gas can also be produced by inorganic sulfur preservatives like sulfites and sulfur dioxide. Here’s a video where I show some vegan products containing these that I had to toss in the trash: Preserve Your Health without Preservatives!!!

It may help to systematically introduce beans and things if they’re not something you have eating much in the past. Each day add just a little more to your plate. The rewards will be enormous! Because you’ll be healthier in every way.

Some people suggest soaking beans. I’m not a fan of that. So called anti-nutrients like phytates may in fact be beneficial.  And the more we eat the better our gut flora can degrade phytates.

The first two videos are related to microbiome. The third is a playlist with many more videos on the microbiome. The last video is a playlist with a lot of great videos on beans. For a nice overview check out this quick read by NutritionFacts.org Beans & Gas: Clearing the Air

Dr. Garth Davis is an awesome ambassador of the truth advocate of a plant-based, whole food diet. If you’re not following him already you must do yourself a favor and get linked with him now! https://veganlinked.com/web/dr-garth-davis/ Dr. Davis wrote a pretty thorough post on this recently that I just had to share:

“Ok, so I tell you you should be eating a plant based diet but for many they end up looking like this. I would say gas pain is the number one complaint of people trying plant based diets, and their partners 🙃. This can make people want to switch to a carnivore diet because they will have less gas. Gas is a byproduct of bacterial metabolism and swallowed air. So people who eat all meat have different bacteria and can get less gas though their bacteria makes more sulfites and therefore smells horrible 🤭🤢. So what can you do about it. First off, don’t go from no fiber to full on raw food diet with 60 gm fiber in one day. It won’t be pleasant. Add fiber slowly. Beans should be soaked overnight with a teaspoon of baking soda, washed, then cooked. Canned beans are ok but wash well. In the beginning take beano before meals. Chewing fennel seeds after meals is a great old Indian remedy, and they eat a lot of legumes. Taking a very good probiotic daily like VSL3 or Garden for Life Primal Defense helps a lot. I would take for 30 days and then take a few days here and there if symptoms return. In people with severe IBS syndrome you should see a specialist. Prior gastroenteritis, even remote, can damage cell lining and cause food sensitivities. Trialing avoiding certain foods for 2 weeks and then adding back can help. Look up FODMAP diet and chose one of the foods to avoid and see if it helps. That being said, I have had excellent success having people use a week of the antibiotic Xifaxan followed by probiotics. Seems to restore gut, especially with a 5 day fast like Prolon. Need to discuss with your doc. Walk after meals, drink peppermint tea, don’t swallow air (carbonation,gum,straws). Finally, I increasingly believe pesticides may be damaging our gut lining causing food sensitivity. Eat organic!Eventually you can get to a point where you can eat tons of beans without any issues. You will have some gas, that is normal. But won’t smell so no worries. 🤗

Dr. Garth Davis

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