Foods that can cause or worsen gas and bloating include carbonated drinks, lentils, and cruciferous vegetables. However, excessive gas can sometimes indicate an underlying health problem, such as celiac disease.

Most people will experience gas and bloating at some point. While passing gas and belching are natural ways for the body to get rid of excess air that gets trapped in the gut, excessive gassiness may be uncomfortable or even painful.

Common foods and beverages that can cause gas include:

In this article, we look at why these foods cause gas and examine the steps that people can take to reduce gas buildup.

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Gas in the digestive system results from swallowed gas when eating or drinking or as a byproduct of natural digestive processes in the intestines. High-FODMAP foods are common causes of gas. FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. These are types of carbohydrates that the small intestine cannot easily absorb and later ferment in the colon. Gas is a common byproduct of this process.

Due to this, many of the foods that can cause gas are those that are slow or difficult to digest.

Beans and legumes

Beans and legumes are known for causing gas. Beans contain high amounts of a complex sugar called raffinose, which the body cannot digest. Beans are also fiber-rich, and a high fiber intake can increase gassiness.

Beans and legumes that may cause gas include, but are not limited to:

Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables

Like beans and legumes, cruciferous vegetables contain large amounts of raffinose and fiber, which can lead to bloating and flatulence.

Other cruciferous vegetables that contain raffinose and have a high fiber content include:

Some of these foods, such as asparagus, may cause particularly odorous gas.

Wheat and other whole grains

Wheat and other whole grains, except rice, all contain raffinose and large amounts of fiber. Both of these can lead to increased gas and bloating. Some whole grains also contain a protein called gluten. Some individuals are sensitive to gluten and may experience gas and bloating after eating it.

Grains containing gluten include:

  • wheat
  • barley
  • rye

Gluten sensitivities range from non-celiac gluten sensitivity to celiac disease, which is a serious autoimmune disorder.

Learn more about eating a gluten-free diet here.


Onions are another common foodstuff that can cause gas. Onions contain fructan, which is difficult for the small intestine to absorb. When these sugars pass into the large intestine, they come into contact with gut bacteria and ferment – causing gas as a byproduct.


Garlic is a common ingredient in many dishes, but it may cause gas and bloating in some. In rare cases, a person may have an allergy or intolerance to garlic that causes bloating and gas.

People who are gassy due to garlic consumption may notice some odor.


Dairy products are often excellent sources of protein and calcium, but a person who loses the ability to digest lactose may experience several potential symptoms, including gas if they consume dairy.

This includes:

  • milk
  • cheeses
  • yogurts

Sugar alcohols

Sugar alcohols are low calorie sweeteners. Some of these sugar alcohols, such as erythritol and sorbitol, occur naturally in fruits. Manufacturers can also produce them through industrial methods.

Sugar alcohols remain mostly undigested before reaching the large intestine. When they arrive there, the bacteria that live in the intestine will start to break them down. These bacteria are ultimately responsible for causing excess gas.

Carbonated drinks

Carbonated sodas, waters, and juices contain gasses that can cause flatulence and bloating when consumed.

Some diet sodas also contain sugar alcohols and other sweeteners that can cause excessive flatulence as they pass through the digestive system.

Beer and other fermented products

Beer is a carbonated beverage that people produce by fermenting various grains. The gas from both the fermented sugars and the carbonation process can lead to excess gas and bloating in the gut.

People who are sensitive or allergic to gluten may experience these symptoms due to the presence of gluten in most beers.

Other fermented products, such as kombucha, can also cause bloating and other minor gastrointestinal disturbances.

Fatty foods

Fatty foods slow digestion. When the body has to work very hard to digest food, as is the case with fried foods, gas may become trapped in the gut.

Chewing gum

When people chew gum, they tend to swallow a lot of air, which can build up in the stomach and potentially become trapped in the gut.

Many chewing gums also contain sugar alcohol. On ingestion, sugar alcohols can cause gas and bloating in the large intestine.

Hard candy

As with chewing gum, sucking on hard candy can cause gas as a person is more likely to swallow air that then gets trapped in the digestive tract.

Many hard candies also contain a lot of sugar alcohols, which can lead to gas and bloating.

People can reduce gas by adopting certain measures, many of which relate to the diet. These include:

  • soaking beans and legumes in water before cooking them
  • ensuring that dentures fit well to avoid swallowing excess air
  • avoiding chewing gums and hard candies
  • reducing intake of carbonated drinks
  • eating more slowly to reduce swallowed air
  • eating a low-FODMAP diet
  • identifying trigger foods

Some over-the-counter anti-gas medications could also help reduce flatulence.

Staying active and doing regular exercise can help gas move through the gut more quickly, which can reduce bloating and flatulence.

In most cases, limiting or avoiding foods that cause gas is the most effective way to reduce overall gas and bloating.

However, some other foods may help reduce the amount of gas that the body produces.

These foods include:

  • lean meats and proteins
  • chamomile tea
  • eggs
  • fish
  • some vegetables, such as lettuce and zucchini
  • certain fruits, including tomatoes, grapes, and melons
  • rice
  • peppermint or chamomile tea

In most cases, gas is not a cause for concern. However, in some cases, excessive gas may indicate a more severe underlying condition. Some potential causes of gas that a person should talk with their doctor about include:

Conditions that may lead to a blocked intestine include an abdominal hernia, extra tissue forming in the gut, colon cancer, and ovarian cancer.

Gas is a normal bodily function, but it can be painful and embarrassing at times. Knowing which foods tend to cause gas can help a person identify and avoid dietary triggers of gas and bloating.

The foods that cause gas are either difficult to break down, contain substances that produce gas during digestion, or lead to people swallowing more air than usual.

In most cases, gas is not a symptom of a serious problem. People can often reduce flatulence and bloating by changing their diet and lifestyle.