Do your farts clear out the room within seconds? Maybe your farts sound like an explosive trombone or perhaps they’re more so the silent and deadly sort. Believe it or not, your expressive toots can actually indicate good health. Think I’m full of hot air? Here are eight reasons that your farts are actually good for you:
They release gas
Not to state the obvious, but farts are a result of a buildup of air that gets trapped in your body and leaves as gas. Gas is also formed as the food you eat gets broken down in your body. It’s totally normal and beneficial to release these buildups – most people fart about 10-20 times a day.
Holding them in can hurt you
Farting is such a normal bodily process, yet most people feel embarrassed by it. However, holding in your farts can actually cause problems. While holding them in won’t cause your colon to explode (unless you’ve got some serious blockage making you critically ill), it will cause bloating and discomfort as the air builds up in your gastrointestinal tracts. As with many things in life, sometimes it’s better to just let it go.
Farting makes you feel better
Since holding in your farts makes you feel all sorts of bleh, releasing them frees you from the tight, uncomfortable feelings you experience when you’re bloated. If there’s too much air in your system for too long, it’ll cause abdominal pain. When it comes to farting, release for instant relief is actually a thing.
They can reveal allergies
Certain foods (like beans, Brussels sprouts and artificial sweeteners) can increase your levels of gas because they’re generally harder for your body to digest. However, if you notice that you get extra gassy after eating dairy products or wheat, it could be a sign of lactose or gluten intolerances.
They can be diagnostic
From milder digestive problems to irritable bowel syndrome, your farts can tell you a lot about your health. Pay attention to the frequency, the smell, or if they’re accompanied by constipation, diarrhea or other gastrointestinal problems. Gas can also be a sign of hormone changes or imbalances. Farting in and of itself isn’t usually a problem, but if you notice any sudden, inexplicable changes it might be a good idea to pay a visit to your doctor.
They indicate a healthy gut
Our farts indicate that our digestive systems are working properly. They signal that we’ve got a healthy colony of gut bacteria that live in our intestines “extracting energy and vitamins from the food we consume, helping to boost our immune system and improve gastrointestinal function” (Caba, 2016).
They can help you determine a healthy diet
Different foods affect everyone differently. Your farts can help you determine a healthy and balanced diet if you pay attention to how the foods you eat affect your gas. Noticing how your meals impact the odor and regularity of your farts can help you get in tune with what foods work nicely with your body.
Breathe it in, baby
While some farts are odorless, farts that contain hydrogen sulfide add a punch that leaves people running for the nearest door. There have been various studies that suggest that this gas “although… noxious in large doses… [exposure to smaller amounts of the compound] may prevent mitochondrial damage,” which can be critical for disease prevention (Stampler, 2014). If you’re not really into the thought of inhaling someone else’s flatulence (and who can blame you), people tend to like the smell of their own farts best, so maybe start there.
In all seriousness, farts are a natural and normal part of life. Embrace it and know that neither you nor your farts are gross or unusual.
Barnes, Z. (2015, June 2). Is It Bad for Your Health to Hold in a Fart? Retrieved March 2018, from Women’s Health: https://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/holding-in-farts
Barnes, Z. (2015, February 23). What Your Gas Is Trying to Tell You About Your Health. Retrieved March 2018, from Women’s Health Magazine: https://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/fart-health-signs
Caba, J. (2016, April 08). Is Farting Good For Us? What Our Flatulence Says About Our Health. Retrieved March 2018, from Medical Daily: http://www.medicaldaily.com/farting-good-health-benefits-flatulence-381176
Endicott, R. (2016, July 13). Farting: Seven Surprising And Spectacular Health Benefits. Retrieved March 2018, from Huffington Post: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/littlethingscom/farting-seven-surprising-_b_10942846.html
Rehagen, T. (2005-2018). The Truth About Gas. Retrieved March 2018, from WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/features/truth-about-gas#1
Stampler, L. (2014, July 14). A Stinky Compound May Protect Against Cell Damage, Study Finds. Retrieved March 2018, from Time: http://time.com/2976464/rotten-eggs-hydrogen-sulfide-mitochondria/
Sutherland, G. (2017, April 15). 8 surprising reasons farting is good for you. Retrieved March 2018, from Remedy Daily: http://remedydaily.com/2017/04/15/8-surprising-reasons-farting-is-good-for-you/