Does Garlic Cause Gas?

Garlic produces a strong enough odor on its own, but is it possible it can produce another kind of undesirable odor? For those with delicate stomachs or gastrointestinal issues, minimizing your intake of gas-causing foods helps avoid major discomfort. Beans, asparagus, whole grains, lactose, and onions are all foods that can cause intestinal gas (via WebMD). Is garlic also one of them?

Experts say it's normal for the average person to pass gas as much as 23 times per day, according to WebMD. While a natural by-product of the body's digestive process, many of us would prefer not to contribute additional flatulence to those 23 daily farts. According to Healthy Directions, the healthy bacteria in our intestines are already contributing significantly to that number when breaking down the food we eat and producing gas as it goes to work.

While easily mistaken for a vegetable, garlic actually falls into the lily family (via The Spruce Eats). As it grows underground, it takes on a bulb-like shape and develops a flaky covering, encasing as many as 20 cloves within. Garlic also contains a number of natural compounds that have been linked to the reduced likelihood of developing certain types of cancers (via Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal). So while garlic may be delicious and provide some protective health benefits, it may not be as helpful when it comes to an upset stomach.

Garlic and bloating

Garlic contains over 30 sulfur compounds (via Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal), and, as Healthline points out, it is sulfur that's responsible for those unpleasant egg-smelling farts. When broken down, foods that are naturally rich in sulfur such as garlic cause the kind of gas that makes you want to plug your nose.

In addition, garlic may also cause bloating if you consume too much. Garlic is made up of fructans often found in fiber-rich diets, which are known to cause bloating, even when consumed moderately (via Medical News Today). You may be at further risk for uncomfortable gas if you're allergic to garlic, as side effects include burping, bloating, and increased flatulence.

For those who enjoy a flavorful dish but find themselves susceptible to digestive discomfort, experts offer some alternative substitutes in place of garlic. As suggested by Medical News Today, opt for a spice or herb with equally bold flavor — minus the side effects — such as basil or chives. This way, you can still enjoy your meal both during ... and after.