No matter how many times people say, “it’s a natural bodily function, it’s okay,” it can still be challenging to not feel embarrassed about farting. It’s odd, it’s uncomfortable, it’s gross, and sometimes, it smells bad. However, you may be surprised to hear that there are actually benefits to letting those farts rip.
This isn’t a joke! The benefits of farting are actually quite interesting and may help you keep your cheeks from going red every time you accidentally let one slip.
#1 Indicates a Balanced Diet
Your eating habits can have an influence on the amount of flatulence your body produces. For instance, if you’re eating highly fibrous foods, you won’t fart as much. If you’re eating too much meat, your farts will have an especially foul smell. The smell and the amount of flatulence you produce a day can help you know if you’re on point with your diet, or if you need to make some adjustments. (5)
#2 Helps Reduce Bloating
You know that feeling of air being trapped in your stomach like a balloon is slowly expanding inside you? That’s bloating. Bloating is terribly uncomfortable and can make you feel as though you may as well be calling into work sick. In more technical terms, bloating is gas that is trapped inside your gut. What’s one way to help release that pressure? You guessed it, farting. The more you can reduce bloating, the healthier it is for you and the more at ease you can feel with yourself. (2)
#3 Signifies a Healthy Gut
According to gastroenterologist Purna Kashyap from Mayo Clinic, “eating foods that cause gas is the only way for the microbes in the gut to get nutrients. If we didn’t feed them carbohydrates, it would be harder for them to live in our gut.” (3, 4) In other words, your gut has a critical balance of bacteria that need to be properly fed in order to keep things functioning in there. Creating gas – or flatulence – through eating carbohydrates helps these bacteria get the nutrients they need to help keep you healthy. (3)
#4 Supports a Healthy Colon
Holding in flatulence not only becomes severely uncomfortable but can also cause problems for your colon. If you hold in flatulence for too long, it can cause diverticula, or small pouches to form within the colon. If these pouches get infected, they can lead to a condition known as diverticulitis. (1) For this reason, it’s actually far more beneficial for you to release flatulence. Do it for the sake of your colon!
#5 Serves as a Health Alarm
If your farts are exceptionally smelly, painful, or unusually frequent, these can all be signs that something more may be going on with your health. For example, if your farts are particularly stinky and come soon after you’ve consumed dairy, this could indicate an intolerance to lactose. In more severe cases, these symptoms combined could also indicate serious problems with your colon. (6)
Interesting stuff, right? Who knew that something like farting could actually have so much to say about you and your health. I’m not saying you gotta let them rip in public every time you have the urge, but knowing how beneficial they can be, I hope you don’t beat yourself up so much about them. Farts are natural and healthy!