Society today is rapt with acceptable and unacceptable social behaviors. Most people will not point and stare at someone for farting, for example, as it is considered rude. Same goes for spitting, littering, yelling or otherwise acting uncouth in public.

Then, there is flatulence, what is most commonly referred to as farting. The majority of society views farting as gross – which it can be, and an absolute social no-no. Pretty much everyone that has ever cut an audible fart in the company of others will testify that its perhaps one of the most embarrassing moments of their life.

But, passing gas is a completely natural bodily function. Furthermore, it is absolutely necessary for a number of health reasons. Farting is a vital part of digestion, specifically when the gut needs to break down foods and eliminate certain by-products.

Here, we discuss 7 important health benefits of farting.

We’ll try to keep the cackles to a minimum.

“Although hydrogen sulfide is well known as a pungent, foul-smelling gas in rotten eggs and flatulence, it is naturally produced by the body and could in fact be in a healthcare hero with significant implications for future therapies for a variety of reasons.” – Dr. Mark Wood, Professor and Researcher at University of Exeter (UK) Medical School

1. It’s Good For The Colon

“Holding” any type of natural bodily reaction is not good for health; whether it’s urine, bowel movement, or gas.

In social situations, there likely isn’t much harm to holding in an embarrassing toot. Those with digestive issues, however, should know that holding in the body’s attempt to release byproducts of the gastrointestinal system is potentially dangerous.

care for your body

2. It Helps Bloating

The feeling of being bloated is genuinely uncomfortable. This symptom is often experienced shortly after eating a meal, particularly a large one. It can lead to some uncomfortable stomach aches and pains, too.

Bloating may also indicate a buildup of gas that needs to be released. While the buildup of such gas isn’t usually harmful or dangerous, it can bring about much discomfort. This is where passing gas can immediately lessen bloating and associated symptoms.

3. The Smell Is Actually Healthy

Alright, so this one is kind of uncomfortable to explain…it’s actually kind of gross. But, again, it’s a natural, healthy benefit of passing gas.

Here’s why. When we pass gas, we release a small amount of a substance called hydrogen sulfide, which may be beneficial in thwarting off future illnesses. Studies suggest that the compound may also prevent cell damage and even prevent heart attack or stroke.

4. It Means Both A Healthy Gut and Bacteria Composition

According to Purna Kashyap, a doctor of gastroenterology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, “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.”

Dr. Kashyap refers to foods that are rich in fiber, such as beans and lentils, broccoli, cabbage, and kale. These foods improve our digestive functions, and also produce more gas.

5. It Can Help With A Balanced Diet

Yes, the gas that we pass may indicate the type of foods our stomach needs. Conversely, it may also indicate foods that we may be overeating.

For example, when we don’t consume enough fiber, we rarely pass gas. When overindulging on meat, our gas may give off a very unpleasant odor, indicating that we need to cut back a little.

6. It Can Serve As A Health Alarm

This is one of the more important benefits of farting. Interestingly, the characteristics of farts can actually help predict health issues in some cases.

Unhealthy characteristics of farts include: extreme odors, pains when passing gas, and an increasing frequency. These symptoms may help diagnose anything from food intolerance to colon cancer.

7. It’s Instant Relief

Okay, so this one isn’t all too groundbreaking…but it’s true, isn’t it?!

Gas buildup, bloating, and stomach pains can all be alleviated or reduced simply by letting out a fart. It may be embarrassing if we alert the coworker next to us, granted.

So, the next time you feel an extreme need to let one loose, go on ahead! Please, just don’t do it around me…

Trionnaire, S. L., Perry, A., Szczesny, B., Szabo, C., Winyard, P. G., Whatmore, J. L., . . . Whiteman, M. (2014). The synthesis and functional evaluation of a mitochondria-targeted hydrogen sulfide donor, (10-oxo-10-(4-(3-thioxo-3H-1,2-dithiol-5-yl)phenoxy)decyl)triphenylphosphonium bromide (AP39) [Abstract]. Med. Chem. Commun. MedChemComm, 5(6), 728. doi:10.1039/c3md00323j
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