Cabbage is an amazing vegetable that has been used for thousands of years. It is also known as the king of vegetables because of its health benefits. Cabbage contains high levels of fiber, vitamin K, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and vitamins A, B6, and C.
Cabbage is a popular vegetable that has been around since ancient times. It is often used in salads and stir-fries. However, cabbage also causes gas and bloating for some people.
If you suffer from gas and bloating after eating cabbage, then you should know that there are two main reasons why this might happen.
The first reason why cabbage can make your stomach upset is due to the presence of lactose. Lactose is found naturally in milk products such as cheese or yogurt. When we eat foods containing lactose, it passes through our digestive system without causing any problems.
This means that if you have consumed dairy products before consuming cabbage, then you will not experience any issues with digestion. If you do consume dairy products while having cabbage, however, then you may notice symptoms like diarrhea or constipation. This could be caused by the fact that cabbage contains enzymes called alpha-amylase which break down starch into sugar. These sugars get absorbed quickly when they come across lactose.
The second reason why cabbage makes us feel bloated is because of the amount of water content present in the food. Water helps keep everything inside our body balanced. But too much water can lead to bloat.
Fiber works by helping move things along in the intestines so waste doesn’t build up. In addition, fiber binds together other nutrients in the gut, making them easier to absorb.
Fiber is important for many different aspects of good health including weight loss, heart disease prevention, diabetes management, cancer prevention, and more! Fiber is especially helpful for those who struggle with constipation.
Cruciferous veggies contain lots of fiber, but unfortunately, most Americans don’t eat enough of these healthy foods. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, only about half of all adults meet their daily recommended intake of dietary fiber.
This fiber is soluble and may be partially digested by the stomach. As a result, once the meal has passed through the stomach and reached the intestines, the gut bacteria will try to extract any nutrients that are still there. Breaking down the fiber in our digested meal is part of this process. When the fiber reaches the small intestine, it stimulates the production of short-chain fatty acids – specifically acetate, propionate, and butyrate.
SCFA helps maintains intestinal homeostasis and promote overall gastrointestinal function. They also play a role in maintaining normal blood glucose levels.
Sulfur compounds help maintain proper liver functioning. Sulfur is an essential component of amino acid metabolism and protein synthesis.
When we digest proteins, the sulfur breaks apart into hydrogen sulfide and thiosulfates. H2S is responsible for producing flatulence. Thiosulfates are converted back into sulfur during absorption.
Cabbage causes bloating because it contains high amounts of indigestible carbohydrates and insoluble fibers. Fructans are polysaccharides made from fructose molecules linked together. Insoluble fibers include cellulose, hemicelluloses, lignin, pectins, gums, mucilages, and alginic acid. All of these substances pass through the stomach undigested. The large volume of fructans found in cabbage makes it difficult for your digestive system to properly break down and metabolize.
Cabbage also contains some vitamins and minerals such as vitamin K, folate, potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, biotin, and choline.
If you want to reduce the effects of cabbage on your digestion, cook or steam it before consuming. Steaming reduces its ability to make gas while cooking minimizes the release of harmful chemicals like nitrates and amines.
You should avoid raw cabbage if you have IBS symptoms. Raw cabbage can trigger diarrhea due to the presence of lactobacillus bacteria which produce gases when they ferment sugars. This fermentation occurs naturally after the cabbage leaves are cut open. However, if you’re suffering from chronic constipation, then steamed cabbage might not be ideal either. It could actually worsen your condition.
Some people claim that fermented cabbage is better than regular cooked cabbage at reducing gas. Fermentation involves adding salt and other spices to cabbage along with beneficial probiotic cultures.
These microbes convert sugar into carbon dioxide and alcohol. Kimchi is traditionally eaten uncooked so it doesn’t need to undergo further processing. Pickled vegetables contain vinegar and salt, both of which contribute to gas formation. Vinegar increases gastric secretion and sodium chloride promotes water retention.
It takes about 30 minutes for your body to process one cup of chopped cabbage. If you eat more than this amount, expect to feel bloated within half an hour. You’ll probably start feeling full sooner too.
What else do I know about cabbage?
The following information comes from a study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: "A randomized controlled trial was conducted among healthy adults who consumed 1 serving/day of boiled red cabbage soup containing 0%, 2% or 4% dietary fiber over 12 weeks."
"Gas-related abdominal discomfort decreased significantly only in subjects receiving the highest dose of dietary fiber compared with those receiving no added fiber."
Foods rich in soluble fiber help prevent excessive intestinal transit time. Soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gel-like substance inside the intestine. As a result, food moves slowly through the intestines without causing any problems.
Foods low in soluble fiber tend to move quickly through the gut and create excess pressure. They may even push against the walls of the colon leading to cramping and abdominal pain.
Foods rich in fiber don’t usually cause gas. Foods containing soluble dietary fiber won’t leave behind any residue once digested. Soluble fiber absorbs water and expands inside our intestines. When food passes through the small intestine, most of the remaining material becomes part of a stool. Fiber-rich foods include fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and dairy products.
Foods low in fiber tend to create gas by leaving behind residues. These include processed meats, refined carbs, and sugary drinks. They may also increase intestinal permeability, allowing toxins to enter the bloodstream.
I hope this post helped you understand why cabbage causes gas and helped you with all your food curiosities.