The fact is, everyone farts. According to the NHS, people let rip between 5 and 15 times a day (or more depending on your diet). Flatulence is a normal part of digest and presents as loud, silent, stinky or odourless. What you eat influences the frequency and smell of your farts.
What causes foul-smelling fart?
99% of what makes up a fart is odourless. That means only a percentage of intestinal gas contains hydrogen sulfide—a chemical that has an extremely foul smell. The human nose can easily detect even small quantities of this gas, making the 1% a force to reckon with. The other 99% is made up of non-smelling stuff like carbon dioxide, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen and methane.
Some foods that are high in sulphur can produce foul smelling gas. Many vegetables fall into this category, including broccoli, cabbage, onions, cauliflower and Brussel sprouts.
Intolerance to certain types of food like those rich in lactose, gluten, and others have the power to drive people away when passed out as gas.
Foods that give nice smell
Researchers have found that contrary to popular assertions, eating fibre is one of the ways to prevent stinky farts. A team of researchers at the Monash University in Melbourne, Australia investigated how different foods affect the amount of hydrogen sulphide (the rotten-egg-like gas) that is produced during digestion.
Examining the faeces from seven healthy people, the team found that mixing it with cysteine – a major sulphur-containing component of meat, eggs, dairy and other types of protein – caused hydrogen sulphide emissions from gut bacteria to increase more than seven-fold, according to The New Scientist. Lead researcher Chu Yao said:
This explains why bodybuilders who consume lots of protein powder are known to have smelly farts.
Eating more ‘friendly’ carbohydrates like wheat, cereals, bananas, potatoes - carbohydrates that are easily broken down and digested by the body - can help sanitize the gas you produce in your guts.
You might also want to incorporate more of these in your diets if you worry about the smell of your farts.