The Gist Of It
- It’s normal to fart about 13-21 times a day.
- Sometimes you are not even aware that you farted because it might not leave a scent.
- You can’t stop farting.
Flatulence, the more sophisticated word for passing gas, breaking wind, fart or as we say it, kentut. The moment the air smells funky be it in the car, lift or anywhere confined, everyone will start looking for the culprit. The fart-producer would probably lay low until attention turns elsewhere. Even though farting is completely normal of human beings, nobody wants to own up to that horrible scent.
This is probably not normal dinner table conversation, but since farting is such a fundamental part of life, we break down the fart-tastic things that you should know about your natural gas.
Why do we fart?
We need to let the air off our gut in some way, mostly through farting and burping. Whenever you eat, drink carbonated drinks, and chew gum you tend to swallow some air in the process. That air, along with the gas that is produced when your stomach digests food will then move from our intestines before being released through our anus to the outside world as a fart .
Sometimes we can’t notice our own fart because our nose has become accustomed to the smell so it doesn’t stimulate our brain to decipher it. But we can smell someone else’s fart pretty quick. Occasionally, stinky farts can be signs of food intolerance or other bowel diseases. Other than that, farting in general is a sign that you have a healthy gut!
What are farts made of?
Farting is a normal biological process our body goes through, just like sweating. Farts usually consist mostly of nitrogen and carbon dioxide, with a bit of methane and hydrogen gas . The chemical composition of a normal fart is 59% nitrogen, 21% hydrogen, 9% carbon dioxide, 7% methane and 4% oxygen, all typically odorless .
So what gives our fart its ‘aromatic’ scent?
The food we had such as red meat, beans and dairy might produce sulphuric gases after digestion which when released, has a stench similar to rotten eggs. Even a tiny amount (at 1 part per 100 million parts of air) of sulphuric gas such as hydrogen sulfide can give off a stench . So if you eat more sulphur-rich food, your fart will be stinkier.
How many times do we fart in a day?
Depending on what meals you had today, how fast you ate your food, the composition of your gut bacteria and your digestion, it could be less than 13 to about 21 times a day . This seems like a lot but that’s the average. Often you might be farting unconsciously because it won’t have a stench or sound.
Where does the sound come from?
The sound of your fart comes from the flapping of your butt cheeks, and other elements that affect the loudness of your fart, the force when it’s expelled and the tightness of your sphincter muscles .
Notice that you have more urge to fart and your stomach feels bloated when you are flying in an airplane? That’s because of the low air pressure, like how certain stuff in your bags such as your hand sanitizer or mineral bottle will expand, it happens the same way for your stomach. Thankfully, most planes have built-in charcoal filters in their ventilation so it helps to clear the cabin air. Also, most of the food provided by airlines are high in carbohydrates and low in fiber to give you less bloating . Of course, there will be those unfortunate souls whose gasses can’t be tamed so you’ll just have to bear with it for a few seconds.
Foods that make you fart more
Foods that are rich in certain polysaccharides, notably oligosaccharides, such as inulin tend to make you feel more bloated or fart more . Inulin is classified under a class of dietary fibers known as fructans, which can be found naturally in foods such as beans, broccoli and more, or added into food to provide more fiber without changing the taste of the food . However, the fiber is insoluble which is why it produces more gas so if you want to avoid feeling gassy try to minimize your daily amount of fructans to less than 5 grams .
Can our farts really light on fire?
Yes, it’s called fart-lighting . Thanks to the sulphur components in your farts, it can be a fire starter. But, you all know that it never ends well to whoever that has tried it out. Treasure your assets.
Can I stop farting?
You can try to hold it in but it’s only going to make you feel more uncomfortable and in extreme cases, it can even cause distended bowel. Farting is inevitable, you might even fart in your sleep but you can control the amount of times you fart and the stench that it may release by changing your diet .
Tips to reduce farting and manage the stench
- Eat smaller meals and slowly. If you eat fast and a lot at the same time, you tend to swallow more gas .
- Don’t take chewing gum and carbonated drinks. You ingest more air as you chew. As for the drinks, you are basically drinking gas .
- Stop smoking. You tend to swallow more air which makes you bloated .
- Exercise. Exercise is a great way to eliminate bloating and take you a step closer to a flat tummy.
- Eat carbohydrates that digest easily and provide probiotics (the good bacteria) such as rice, yogurt, miso, kimchi and more .
- Now you can buy charcoal lined underwear or charcoal pads that you can stick on your underwear or pants to help filter most of the stench. Some underwear can even release perfume scents instead of your fart, talk about technology .
- If you are lactose intolerant then avoiding dairy products would be wise.
- Reduce artificial sweeteners and products from your diet .
Are there fart rules?
Well, at one time back in Ancient Rome, Emperor Constantine banned his people from farting in public. Although the law did not survive in today’s society, you should probably try not to fart too loudly in public. It isn’t against the law, but you might become the butt of everyone’s jokes.
Astronauts have it even worse. They tend to fart more in space, like us in planes, and because there is no gravity, there will be less ventilation in space, so their gas will stick around way longer than ours on Earth . So they are fed with food that can help prevent them from having loads of gas.
I hope these farts of information helped in enlightening you about your own gas tanks and how to control them.
So the next time you feel a fart coming and the coast is clear, let it go!
If you do feel pain whenever you fart or some sort of abdominal pain then seek a doctor immediately.