Flatulence, commonly known as farting, is a topic we’ve brought up several times before. Yes, we’re talking about those fragrant pockets of air we involuntarily expel from our body, causing us great embarrassment when it occurs at inopportune times or in public places. But there’s more than meets the eye to passing wind…
Though often classed as an undesirable bodily function (along with belching), the truth is that farting is a totally natural act. In fact, a healthy person breaks wind about 20 to 30 times a day. But have you ever wondered why some of your farts smell worse than others?
First, we need to know where farts come from. It all starts at mealtime: when we eat, oxygen and nitrogen is swallowed along with the food. Hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane soon join the party once the food reaches the digestive tract. Finally, the digested food enters the large intestine where hydrogen sulfide and ammonia are added to the mix. It’s obviously not healthy to keep all these gases inside our body, so the potent concoction needs to be expelled through your backside. There you have it!
However, all farts are not the same, nor do they smell the same. There are those that go completely unnoticed with no one hearing or smelling a thing, and there are those that sound like thunder and have everyone scrambling for the nearest exit. While people tend to think farts from the second group indicate an unhealthy lifestyle or a serious problem, they couldn’t be more wrong.
As incredible as it sounds, stinky farts are an indicator of good health. It’s important to know that the smell of the fart is determined by what we eat. Contrary to popular belief, healthier foods tend to produce a more unpleasant smell than those found in unhealthy diets. Food rich in fiber such as broccoli, lentils or beans boosts bacteria levels in the gut, while ingredients rich in sulfur like red meat, milk, cauliflower, and broccoli again make your flatulence smell worse. It’s the bacteria breaking down food in your gut that creates the «rotten eggs» smell. This means you’ll fart more if you eat lots of fiber, and the smell will be worse if you consume foods abundant in sulfur.
If you want to reduce the risk of farting, check out these seven ways to stop embarrassing flatulence. After trying these natural tricks, you’ll hopefully be less prone to letting one rip in the middle of an important meeting or during a hot date.
Although farting isn’t a pleasant thing, you also have to keep in mind that it’s perfectly natural and not something to be ashamed of — smelly ones just mean that you’re super healthy! However, it’s worth consulting a doctor if you find your flatulence smells like rotten eggs no matter what you eat. When in doubt, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.