Eggplant, also known as aubergine, is a popular vegetable in many cuisines worldwide due to its vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant qualities.
The purple vegetable is a staple ingredient in various dishes. However, there has been a persistent belief that eggplant can cause gas and bloating. In this article, we will delve into the truth behind this notion and explore whether eggplant is truly responsible for gastrointestinal discomfort.
Does Eggplant Cause Gas and Bloating?
Eggplant does not cause gas and bloating when consumed in a normal portion. However, an excess amount of eggplant is likely to cause gas and bloating due to its high fiber and sorbitol content.
For us to fully understand why eggplants cause gas and bloating, let’s take a look at their nutritional profile.
The Nutritional Profile of Eggplant
To understand the potential effects of eggplant on digestion, it’s essential to examine its nutritional composition.
Eggplants are low in calories and carbohydrates, making them a suitable choice for those following a balanced diet. They are also a good source of dietary fiber, vitamins (such as vitamin K, vitamin C, and B vitamins), minerals (including potassium and manganese), and antioxidants. While these nutrients contribute to overall health, they are not inherently linked to causing gas.
Why Can Eggplant Cause Gas?
Gas in the digestive system is primarily caused by the fermentation of undigested carbohydrates by bacteria in the colon.
Certain foods that contain high amounts of fermentable carbohydrates, known as FODMAPs (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols), can potentially trigger gas production and bloating in some individuals.
Common FODMAPs include fructose (found in fruits and honey) and sorbitol (found in some artificial sweeteners).
According to Monash University, eggplant is not considered a high FODMAP food but contains sorbitol.
This means eggplants will only cause gas or bloating if you eat a large amount in one sitting due to the high fiber and sorbitol content they contain.
Can Eggplant Upset Your Stomach?
It’s important to note that individual tolerance to specific foods varies. Some people may have a more sensitive digestive system and might experience gas or bloating after consuming certain foods, including eggplant.
However, it is likely that other factors, such as the cooking method or the ingredients used in a particular dish, could contribute to these symptoms rather than the eggplant itself.
Although individuals with a nightshade allergy might develop some digestive problems after consuming eggplants, they do not upset your stomach when taken in considerable amounts.
How to Make Eggplants Less Gassy
If you enjoy eating eggplant but find that it occasionally causes discomfort, there are a few strategies you can try to make it less gassy:
- Cooking methods
- Portion control
- Peel your eggplant
Grilling, baking, or roasting eggplant can make it easier to digest compared to frying or deep-frying, as excessive oil can exacerbate digestive issues.
Pairing with other ingredients: Combining eggplant with ingredients known to aid digestion, such as ginger or fennel, may help alleviate potential gas-related discomfort.
Eating eggplant in moderation and gradually increasing the serving size may allow your digestive system to adapt more easily.
Peel Your Eggplant
You can try peeling off the eggplant before cooking or eating it since nightshades’ skin contains most of the plant’s glycoalkaloids, which contribute to excess gas and bloating.
Chew Things Well
Chewing eggplants properly before digestion can contribute to making them less gassy since food digested this way spends less time in the digestive tract.
How Long Does Bloating from Eggplant Last?
Individual reactions to food can differ, but stomach bloating should go away after a few hours.
If you frequently experience bloating that doesn’t go away after a few hours or if it is accompanied by other persistent symptoms, it would be wise to have a talk with your doctor to rule out any underlying conditions or allergies.
How to Reduce Gas from Eggplant
If you have the problem of excess gas after consuming eggplants, you can use peppermint capsules since they reduce bloating. Just make sure they are coated to ensure they can work in the intestines and not dissolve in the stomach to give you peppermint burps.
Eggplant has a high nutritional value for optimal health. But the purple vegetable can cause gas and bloating in some individuals.
As with any food, it’s important to listen to your body and make dietary choices that suit your specific needs and preferences.