Does eggplant cause gas? It can do – and, if eggplant or aubergine (whichever you call it), leaves you bloated after eating it, then you probably want to know why it happens – and how to stop it.
And that’s where we come in.
Why Can Eggplant Cause Gas?
Well, the good news is that for most people it doesn’t.
‘Eggplant/aubergine is unlikely to cause gas when eaten at a normal portion (eg. around 80g per meal). Eighty grams is considered a portion of fruit and veg for an adult,’ says Anna Mapson, registered nutritional therapist specialising in IBS and reflux at Goodness Me Nutrition.
‘However, if you eat a large amount in one go you may find it creates bloating or excess gas due to the high fibre and sorbitol content it contains.’
Sorbitol is a type of sugar alcohol naturally found in many healthy fruit and vegetables, and some people with IBS may find eating large amounts of foods containing it create gas. Other foods, which are high in sorbitol avocado, apricots or sweetcorn will have a similar effect.’
Why Does Sorbitol Cause Gas?
Sorbitol is what’s known as a sugar alcohol. ‘And sugar alcohols draw water into the small intestine and may cause additional bloating or bubbling in the intestines,’ says Anna.
On top of this, the gut bacteria feed on the fibre that’s found in eggplant and this also creates gas. Most people don’t really notice this, they just pass it out naturally, but in people with IBS or sensitive digestive systems an level of excessive gas formed if the eggplant hangs around in the digestive system for too long, can cause problems like stomach cramps and bloating.
The combination is the most common reason why eggplants (or aubergine) causes gas. But it isn’t the only reason you might get gas after eating eggplant.
Can Eggplant Cause Diarrhea?
Excessive amounts of sorbitol can also make the bowel move more quickly, so if you’re wondering if eggplant can also lead to diarrhea, the answer is yes.
The Nightshade Story
‘Some people also find they don’t digest plants from the nightshade family, which also includes tomatoes, potatoes and peppers, very well,’ says Anna.
There’s two potential reasons for this. Nightshades contain ingredients called lectins which many natural therapists believe can upset in the gut in those sensitive to them.
On top of this, foods in the nightshade family contain natural chemicals called glycoalkaloids. These are in the plant to protect them against attack by insects and most people can consume normal amounts of them without an side effects.
However, some people find that even normal quantities of glycoalkaloids can irritate a sensitive digestive system.
‘Aubergines/eggplants also contain a chemical called salicylates which is also found in aspirin and some people with a very sensitive digestion may find this causes digestive discomfort,’ says Anna
So there’s quite a few reasons why eggplant/aubergine causes gas – but, this doesn’t mean you need to eliminate the veggies from your diet completely – there’s a few tricks that can reduce the risk of eggplant causing bloating.
Does Baba Ganoush Cause Gas?
The main ingredient in the dip Baba Ganoush is eggplant/aubergine, so, if you’re sensitive to aubergine, then it’s likely that you’ll also get bloating after eating baba ganoush.
Other dishes that commonly contain eggplant include brinjal pickle and brinjal curry (brinjal is the name for eggplant/aubergine in India)
Caponata is usually eggplant-based, it’s also a common ingredient in ratatouille, and parmigiana – the US version, not the Aussie one – is eggplant based.
How Make Eggplant Less Gassy
Giving up eggplant isn’t the best idea as it is a healthy food. It’s a good source of fibre, and the colour of the skin shows that it contains antioxidants which are beneficial to health, so you might want to try the following tricks that allow you to eat eggplant and not feel bloated before you start leaving it out of your diet completely.
Keep To the Suggested Portion Size
As we said, one of the main reasons why eggplant causes bloating is sorbitol. Sorbitol is part of a group of sugars called FODMAPs that many people find can trigger digestive symptoms.
Because reactions to FODMAPs are so common – and, because moderating FODMAP intake has shown good results in managing symptoms of IBS, experts at Australia’s Monash University have worked out the perfect portion size of FODMAP containing foods that are least likely to upset stomachs.
And for aubergine/eggplant, they have determined that 75g is unlikely to cause problems in most people sensitive to sorbitol.
Some people might be able to eat up to 182g without symptoms.
Peel Your Aubergine
If cutting down your portion size, doesn’t help – or you’re already realising that you also feel bloated after eating other members of the nightshade family like tomatoes or potato, then sorbitol might not be your problem, you might be reacting to one of the other ingredients in eggplant.
In which case, try peeling the aubergine before you cook/eat it.
Most of the glycoalkaloids in nightshades are found in the skin of the plant and so, removing it might help reduce the risk of irritation if these are your main problem.
This will reduce the antioxidant levels in your diet, so you might want to include low sorbitol purple foods like blueberries to help balance your colours.
Check Your Combinations
Many dishes containing eggplant also contain other nightshades – ratatouille and caponata, for example, often include tomatoes, peppers and aubergine. Moussaka contains tomato and potatoes – and it might be that the combination of all of these is too much for your system so try foods separately and see if you still experience gas or bloating.
Eating too much fibre in one meal can also cause the gut bacteria to create excessive gas, ‘if you’re not used to eating a lot of fibre, it’s a good idea to build up slowly – a lot of fibre in one go will cause bloating in most people,’ says Anna.
If you experience bloating regularly, you might want to look more into the idea of FODMAP sensitivity as many healthy foods can contain FODMAPS.
The MONASH Fodmap app is one of the best ways to get started with this. Or speak to a specialist digestive dietitian or nutritionist like Anna who can help balance your FODMAP intake.
As you can see, there’s lot of different elements in food that might trigger bloating and if you want to explore this more, have a look at our post on reasons why you might bloat after eating.
Chew Things Well
One of the biggest causes of bloating from food in general is when the food enters the small intestine inadequately broken down by the stomach.
This means it spends longer in the digestive tract that it should, which gives more time for the bacteria to feed upon it and for fermentation and bloating to occur. ‘Chew your food really well and take your time to eat,’ says Anna.
Add Something Bitter
‘Try eating high fibre foods with bitter foods which encourages stomach acid production and lead to better digestion of your meal,’ says Anna. ‘Bitter foods include rocket and endive, or use vinegar dressing on salads.
How Long Does Bloating from Eggplant Last?
Most bloating will only last a few hours. After this the item is broken down by the bacteria and starts to move through the digestive system.
If you’re regularly getting bloating that doesn’t disappear after a few hours, then go have a quick chat to your GP to check there isn’t something else going on.
How to Reduce Gas from Eggplant
If you’re experiencing gas from eggplant and are either feeling uncomfortable, or, need to get into something with a tight waistband in the next few hours, there are a few ways to help deflate things.
‘Peppermint capsules may help some people,’ says Anna. ‘Just ensure that they are enterically coated so they reach the intestines where they do the work and don’t dissolve in the stomach. That will just give you peppermint burps.’
Try some deep breathing techniques. ‘Focus on low slow exhalations to calm the vagus nerve. This is the nervous connection between the brain and the gut and soothing it with deep breathing can help during an IBS flare up.
Gentle movement helps. Try going for a walk or do someone yoga or Pilates moves. Good poses for reducing gas include child pose or anything else that sees your hips slightly higher than your stomach.
You’ll find these, and a few other suggestions on our dedicated piece on how to release gas quickly.
So there you have it, the answers to why eggplant causes gas and bloating – and some solutions that will hopefully help reduce the effects if you experience them.
What to Read Next
If this was helpful, you might want to have a look at some other posts on this subject
Why do Chia Seeds Cause Bloating?
Do Mushrooms Cause gas?
Why Frozen Bread Might Make You Bloat?
Who is The Wellness Nerd?
My name is Helen Foster and I’m a health journalist and wellness author. Publications I’ve written for include Women’s Health, Reader’s Digest, Body and Soul, Good Health at the Daily Mail and more. I have also written 16 books on health and nutrition.
Though uncommon, another potential eggplant side effect is stomach upset such as nausea or vomiting due to its high fiber content. Consuming too much fiber can cause gas and discomfort in those with sensitive stomachs.Is eggplant bad for gut health? ›
HELPS WITH DIGESTION
The high fiber content in eggplants, which is a crucial element to maintaining a balanced diet, is a great way to improve your gastrointestinal health. This means that when you've gotta go, eating eggplant regularly will help everything move along smoothly!
The fiber in eggplants is mainly composed of pectin, meaning that eggplants are easy to digest, gently ensuring good digestive health.How do you prevent gas when eating vegetables? ›
If a healthy food gives you gas – such as whole grains and vegetables -- reduce the amount you eat. Then, gradually start eating more of the food – increasing the amount bit by bit over weeks – to give your digestive system time to adjust.What are the worst vegetables for gas? ›
Cruciferous veggies, such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cabbage, and vegetables that contain fructose, such as onions and asparagus, can cause gas. If you find yourself experiencing painful gas after eating salad or other vegetables, try eliminating foods one by one until you find your trigger.What are the negatives of eating eggplant? ›
Eggplants contain oxalates, though they have fewer than most fruits and vegetables. Oxalates can contribute to kidney stone formation in some people who are more prone to absorbing oxalates. Without treatment, kidney stones can lead to acute kidney injury or kidney death.How do you remove toxins from eggplant? ›
SALTING: Slice the eggplant, then sprinkle salt (coarse salt is best because less is absorbed) onto one side. Leave it for 30 minutes, to allow the solanine (a chemical found in the flesh) to leach out, and brush off with a damp cloth.How do you reduce eggplant lectin? ›
Cooking will destroy the lectins in eggplant and potatoes, but raw tomatoes and peppers may be a problem for very sensitive people. The lectins in raw tomatoes can be reduced by removing the seeds, but nothing can be done about the lectins in raw peppers.Is eggplant good for colon? ›
High fiber (and low calorie count) in eggplant helps your digestive system stay healthy.Is eggplant bad for IBS? ›
Eggplant. Eggplants are low in FODMAPs and an ideal choice for any IBS-friendly diet. 4 They're also low in calories and a good source of manganese, folate, and potassium. Eggplants contain both soluble and insoluble fiber.
Allergic reactions to eggplant have only been reported rarely and are attributed to cross-reactivity with proteins of tomato and grass pollen (oral allergy syndrome). Symptoms of eggplant allergy can range from mild to severe and may include: Itching or tingling in the mouth. Swelling of the lips, tongue, or throat.How do I stop being gassy? ›
- Eat and drink slowly. Taking your time can help you swallow less air. ...
- Avoid carbonated drinks and beer. They release carbon dioxide gas.
- Skip the gum and hard candy. ...
- Don't smoke. ...
- Check your dentures. ...
- Get moving. ...
- Treat heartburn.
eating raw, low-sugar fruits, such as apricots, blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, grapefruits, peaches, strawberries, and watermelons. choosing low-carbohydrate vegetables, such as green beans, carrots, okra, tomatoes, and bok choy. eating rice instead of wheat or potatoes, as rice produces less gas.How do I release gas from my stomach? ›
- Move around. Walk around or exercise. ...
- Get a massage. Try gently massaging the painful spot, which can stimulate gas to move downward and out of the body. ...
- Do yoga poses. ...
- Drink more liquids. ...
- Try herbs. ...
- Try baking soda. ...
- Drink apple cider vinegar.
Avoid vegetables such as peas, onions, artichokes, cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, mushrooms, as well as asparagus. Avoid whole grains that are high in carbohydrates such as whole wheat, bran, and pasta. While delicious, avoid fruits such as peaches, prunes, apples, and pears.Which vegetable removes gas? ›
Cucumbers can provide gas and bloating relief by reducing gastrointestinal swelling. Plus, they have one of the highest water contents of all vegetables at around 96%! Eating cucumbers or drinking cucumber-infused water can help balance your sodium levels, flush excess water from your system, and release trapped gas.What is the number one food that causes bloating? ›
Beans. It's hardly a surprise to see beans atop the list of bloat-causing foods. After all, the legendary powers of this legume have even captured the attention of lyricists: Beans, beans, the musical fruit… Science is behind that tune, explains Czerwony.What does eggplant do to your body? ›
Eggplant has antioxidants like vitamins A and C, which help protect your cells against damage. It's also high in natural plant chemicals called polyphenols, which may help cells do a better job of processing sugar if you have diabetes.What is the best way to cook eggplant? ›
The eggplant can be cubed or cut into rounds, depending on your preference. To cook eggplant in a pan on the stove, simply heat olive oil in a pan over medium or medium-high. Once the oil is hot, add the eggplant and cook until the eggplant is tender, around five to seven minutes.What organ is eggplant good for? ›
Eggplants are a nutrient-rich food that contains fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They may benefit your overall health, including your heart.
The skin is entirely edible, though with larger eggplants it can be a little tough. If your eggplant is young, tender, and on the small side, the nutrient-rich skin can probably be left on for skillet frying or braising. Otherwise, peel the skin and then slice or cube the flesh.Is sauteed eggplant good for you? ›
Eggplant is full of beneficial fiber and nutrients but does not have many calories. Cook eggplant prior to eating it, since it has a bitter flavor when eaten raw. Sauteing eggplant is a quick way to heat the vegetable and allows you to toss additional veggies into the mix.Is eggplant better with skin on or off? ›
While the skin of a small young eggplant is edible, the skin becomes bitter on larger or older eggplants and should be peeled. When in doubt, the answer to, "Do you peel eggplant before cooking?" is yes, peel it.Why do you soak eggplant in water and vinegar? ›
However, eggplants also contain a substance, solanine, which is used to defend themselves against fungi and insects. It is precisely on this substance that the bitter taste of the eggplants depends. To eliminate it, the most common methods are soaking in water and vinegar and the salt technique.Should you rinse eggplant before cooking? ›
Most people prefer to rinse their eggplant after salting it, but you'll be fine without this extra step. Instead, you can simply blot excess salt with a paper towel or bypass this step entirely for a super well-seasoned eggplant. Should you peel eggplant before cooking?Why do you soak eggplant in salt water? ›
Soaking to minimize oil absorption: Eggplants can absorb a significant amount of oil during cooking, especially when frying or sautéing. Soaking the eggplant in saltwater for 20-30 minutes before cooking can help to reduce oil absorption by breaking down the fruit's cell walls.Why am I so sensitive to eggplant? ›
Eggplant belongs to a family of plants known as nightshades. People may be more likely to develop an eggplant allergy if they are also allergic to other nightshades, including tomatoes, potatoes, or peppers. Eggplant also contains a chemical called salicylate, which is an ingredient in aspirin.What are the symptoms of too much lectin? ›
- Bloating, gas, and abdominal cramps.
- Painful and swollen joints.
- Fatigue and tiredness.
- Skin rashes.
- Hormonal fluctuations.
- Allergy like symptoms.
- Neurological symptoms.
For higher yields of fruiting crops such as tomatoes and peppers, extra phosphorus and potassium should be given after flowering and fruiting. To increase the flowering of tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants, give the plants an Epsom salt solution–1 tablespoon mixed with a gallon of water.What is the super food for colon? ›
Eating a high-fiber diet is good for overall intestinal and colon health. The American Institute for Cancer Research and ACS recommend aiming for at least 30 grams of fiber from food sources each day. Focus on incorporating a variety of whole grains, colorful fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds and beans into your diet.
All Those Veggies
She notes that broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and cabbage are members of the cruciferous family, and can cause gas. “Other foods like eggplant, peppers, grapes, and melon can have the same effect, yet they provide multiple health benefits.”
Dark Leafy Greens
Along with spinach & kale being optimal choices, green olives, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, celery, collard greens, sea vegetables like seaweed, leeks, peas, and Swiss chard are all high in chlorophyll, which means they can help cleanse your digestive tract and detoxify your liver.
If you have IBS, we recommend you avoid cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage or salads containing these vegetables, such as coleslaw. We also suggest you limit your intake of artichoke, onions, leeks, garlic, and asparagus.What vegetables should you not eat if you have IBS? ›
Avoid cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, coleslaw and sauerkraut. Also, limit artichoke, brussels sprouts, onions, shallots, leeks and asparagus.What should I eat if I have irritable bowel syndrome? ›
- eat oats (such as porridge) regularly.
- eat up to 1 tablespoon of linseeds (whole or ground) a day.
- avoid foods that are hard to digest (like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, beans, onions and dried fruit)
- avoid products containing a sweetener called sorbitol.
The aubergine sign (also known as egg-plant sign or deformity) is a clinical sign of a fractured penis. Hemorrhage beyond the tunica albuginea produces swelling and bruising of the penis simulating the appearance of an aubergine.What are symptoms of nightshade intolerance? ›
- hives and skin rashes.
- excessive mucus production.
- achy muscles and joints.
“A ripe eggplant contains the most solanine: 75 micrograms per gram of fruit,” he added. “In order to injure herself, a 150-lb person would need to eat about 40 million micrograms of solanine, which is 500,000 grams of eggplant, or 1000 eggplants in a single sitting.”Can drinking water help with gas? ›
In fact, water can help with bloating and gas, two common symptoms people experience from time to time. No matter what is causing your bloating, gas, or similar symptoms, drinking water is one of many healthy habits that can provide you with both short-term relief and overall improvement.Do bananas help with gas? ›
As bananas ripen, their resistant starch is turned into simple sugars, which are more digestible. As such, eating ripe bananas may help reduce gas and bloating ( 13 ).
Whole grains such as wheat and oats contain fiber, raffinose, and starch. All of these are broken down by bacteria in the large intestine, which leads to gas. In fact, rice is the only grain that doesn't cause gas.What's the best medicine for gas? ›
- Activated charcoal.
- Lactase enzyme (Lactaid or Dairy Ease)
- Drink warm water. Water stimulates peristalsis (movement in the intestine). ...
- Try natural digestive aids. ...
- Take activated charcoal. ...
- Take a probiotic. ...
- Try herbs. ...
Excess upper intestinal gas can result from swallowing more than a usual amount of air, overeating, smoking or chewing gum. Excess lower intestinal gas can be caused by eating too much of certain foods, by the inability to fully digest certain foods or by a disruption in the bacteria normally found in the colon.Does eggplant cause stinky gas? ›
More gas is produced after meals, particularly those that contain lots of fibre, such as cereal, bread and pasta. Although there are many other foods, such as artichokes, beans, Brussels sprouts and eggplant, which also greatly influence the volume and aroma of farts.How do you reduce gas? ›
- Try smaller portions. ...
- Eat slowly, chew your food thoroughly and don't gulp. ...
- Avoid chewing gum, sucking on hard candies and drinking through a straw. ...
- Check your dentures. ...
- Don't smoke. ...
If you have a serious nightshade allergy, talk about getting an EpiPen with your doctor. EpiPens are filled with epinephrine and are used to counter the allergic reaction. EpiPens are not an alternative to medical treatment.Is eggplant inflammatory? ›
The most common edible nightshades are the tomato, potato, eggplant, bell pepper and chili pepper. Some diets claim that nightshades are inflammatory and should be avoided. This idea is rooted in the fact that nightshades are a large family of plants that contain a chemical compound called alkaloids.Why do nightshades hurt my stomach? ›
Nightshades naturally contain glycoalkaloids, which can stimulate an immune response and contribute to leaky gut or IBS in people who lack the proper enzymes to digest them.What foods to avoid if you have gastrointestinal problems? ›
- Spoiled or unwashed foods. Bacteria from old or raw foods can cause food poisoning, cramps, or other issues if it gets into your system. ...
- Spicy and hot foods. Foods with a bit of a kick can trigger problems like heartburn. ...
- Dairy products. ...
- Acidic foods. ...