Everything we eat and drink enters our digestive tract, where it is broken down into nutrients. For some people, certain nutrients can be a risk factor for developing, for example, gas in the intestines. We explain which nutrients these are and how to deal with them.
which nutrients can pose a risk?
Digestion takes place in your digestive tract. Your food is broken down into smaller particles to be properly digested. Your body then uses these nutrients as fuel to extract energy or as building blocks. Read more about exactly how our digestion works here.
In some situations, certain nutrients cannot be digested as well, so they end up in the colon and are fermented. When this fermentation process takes place, gas can form in the intestines, for example.
For some people, certain nutrients can pose a risk of fermentation and gas formation, such as complex carbohydrates, which are more difficult for the body to digest.
Besides complex carbohydrates, there are also other types of nutrients that can pose a risk. Below we explain which ones these are.
Lactose is a particular type of sugar found in milk and other dairy products, among other things. Lactose can be a risk factor in some people for developing gas in the intestines.
Fructose is a type of sugar found in various fruits, vegetables, honey and processed foods. Fructose may be a risk factor for some people on the occurrence of gas formation in the intestines.
Fructans and galactans are complex and thus difficult to digest carbohydrates. They are found in onions, garlic, cereals and pulses, for example. Fructans and galactans may be a risk factor for some people on the occurrence of gas formation in the intestines.
FODMAPs are difficult to digest carbohydrates. FODMAPs include, for example, lactose, fructose, fructans and galactans. For some people, FODMAPs are a risk factor for intestinal gas formation.
Starch and sucrose are both carbohydrates and are often found in large quantities in our diet, such as in table sugar (sucrose) and cereal products (starch). Starch and sucrose may be a risk factor for the development of gas in the intestines in some people.
Histamine occurs naturally in many plant and animal products. Fermented and ripened foods in particular contain a lot of histamine. Histamine entering the intestines through our food can be a risk factor for high histamine levels, when histamine is not broken down sufficiently and gets into our blood.
Glutens are proteins found naturally in certain grains such as wheat, spelt, rye and barley. When gluten cannot be properly digested in the gastrointestinal system, they are a risk factor for the formation of gas in the intestines.
which foods may pose a risk?
Depending on which type of nutrient is a risk for you, certain types of foods pose a risk of fermentation and gas formation. We briefly summarise for you below which foods these are.
Foods high in fructose include:
Foods high in fructose include:
- Fruit, such as apples, pears and cherries
- Vegetables, such as asparagus, artichokes and sugar snaps
- Fruit juice, such as apple juice and pear juice
Both sucrose and starch are found in a lot of foods. Sucrose, for example, is found in fruit and table sugar while starch is found in all cereal products and potatoes.
Histamine occurs naturally in many plant and animal products. Fermented and ripened foods in particular contain a lot of histamine. Examples of histamine-rich foods include fish, meat(products), tomatoes, mature cheese and red wine.
how do you deal with it?
Fortunately, depending on which type of nutrient poses a risk to you, there is often a lot you can do about this to reduce the risk of, for example, gas as much as possible. For example, you can adjust your diet.
By reducing the foods that are risky for you, you can reduce the risk of gas formation in the intestines. Finding out which foods pose a risk to you is often quite a quest. If you get to know your body, you will eventually know which foods pose a risk of gas formation for you. If you find this difficult, a dietician can help you with this.
Legislation regarding health claims on dietary supplements, cosmetic products and medical devices unfortunately prevents us from providing information on the use of supplements (containing digestive enzymes).
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