The ‘Gas’Issue

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From the desk of Dr Nandita Shah

One of the most common problems that people face is digestive issues. In fact they are so common that people even think that it is normal to have digestive issues. I remember going on a short holiday to a friend’s resort where all the food was made according to SHARAN guidelines. I met a guest who was having trouble with his sleep cycle as he would wake up with severe acidity night after night. Despite taking several medications, the condition wasn’t brought under control. He was a strict non-vegetarian. My friend invited him to eat with us that evening and see how he felt. The guest took up the challenge. That night he did not suffer from acidity at all! I thought this was amazing, after months or years of suffering. 

People have all kinds of digestive problems – acidity, constipation, frequent motions, indigestion, fullness and bloating, gas formation, Crohn's disease, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, piles, fissures and more. We recently had a trainee who mentioned that she had suffered from fissures and was told that she needed surgery. But she switched to a whole plant-based diet and was able to get rid of the fissures without any kind of surgery. 

Such experiences hardly surprise given the fact that digestive problems have to do with what we put into our digestive system. And, it doesn’t take much thinking to realize that if we eat the foods our body is designed for, our digestive system invariably works much better. 

If you have any kind of digestive problems, do give the SHARAN lifestyle a try. There's only one thing that I should mention – when switching to a whole plant-based diet many people initially suffer from gas. Once the microbiome in the digestive system stabilises, this problem eventually dissolves by itself. Our body always knows how to heal.


Medicines never cure but the body always works to heal

Check out Dr Shah’s recent video where she explains how the body heals naturally…

Nut-free cheese

Try this yummy nut-free cheese that you can indulge in totally guilt-free. It's super easy to make and easy to digest too!


  • 2 cups steamed diced potato

  • 1 cup steamed diced carrot

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 2 tsp salt

  • 1tbsp lemon juice

  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast

  • 1/4 cup onion powder

  • 1/4 cup garlic powder

  • 1/4 tsp mustard sauce


Blend all the ingredients into a smooth, creamy paste. Store in fridge for up to one week.

Food for the mind


If you love Facebook, then join us to be supported on your plant based journey. Since 1 January, 2016, we have been offering three possibilities

1. SHARAN India This is SHARAN's main Facebook page which you can like and follow for getting useful daily updates and news from the plant based health world. You will also get news about the latest SHARAN events, see testimonials, and more.

2. SHARAN's Vegan Support Group This is an open support group to know more about vegan/plant-based lifestyle. Here you can ask questions and share inspiring stories, tips, recipes, etc.

3. SHARAN's Plant Powered Health This is the new group only for the past attendees of SHARAN's events: seminars, cooking classes, retreats or longer programs.

All our doctors and presenters will be here to answer your questions and give you tips. If you have attended our events join this group to be a part of our family.

Please like the main SHARAN page and join the group(s) applicable to you.

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Is it okay to pass gas regularly?

Flatulence – commonly known as farting, passing wind or having gas, is a medical term of releasing gas from the digestive system through the anus. It's a normal process as gas collects in our digestive system either because we swallowed air while eating or drinking, or due to the digestive gases produced by the gut bacteria during the digestion process. 

Although it's normal to pass gas, if it’s 15 or more times in a day, then it indicates that something isn't quite right. So what makes us pass more wind and what should we do about it?.

Read more…

1. High fibre foods

If you suddenly increase the amount of high-fibre foods in your diet, you start passing gas as the body isn't used to the intake. But your body will get used to it and will stop in time. So, initially, its recommended that you have smaller portions of fruits and vegetables, until your body gets used to the increased fibre content.

2. Mixing certain foods

Adding nuts to your green smoothies or fruit smoothies can cause gas. Also mixing grains can cause gas. It is, therefore, best to have only one grain (rice or bread) at a time. Mixing fruits and vegetables causes gas because fruits digest easily and if combined with other foods that digest slower, they ferment and cause gas. Therefore, combining proper foods is imperative.

3. Fructose

This is a sugar that passes undigested into the colon and thus needs a lot of breaking down. Fruit juice, fizzy drinks, yoghurt, breads and cereals are some examples that are high in fructose.

4. Dairy

Cow's milk is designed especially for her calf. Our body doesn't produce enough lactase to digest the lactose in dairy products, causing bloating and gas. Switch to dairy alternatives instead.

5. Gluten

Not all people can handle gluten well and most people feel better after cutting it out of their diet. This includes foods such as bread, pasta, wheat.

6. Medicines

Certain medication can cause smelly flatulence. Opt for a whole plant based diet to either avoid or stop taking medicines altogether!

7. Constipation

The build-up of stool in your colon causes foul smelling and sometimes painful gas. The main cause of constipation is lack of fibre. A whole plant based diet is full of fibre and definitely the best cure for constipation.

8. Digestive tract infections

Dysentery and diarrhoea are two of the most common digestive tract infections. Apart from a higher volume of gas, people with these infections also have abdominal pain and frequent motions.

9. After antibiotics

Antibiotics destroy the natural gut flora. Without our healthy microbiome, indigestion and gas formation is not uncommon.

10. Probiotics

Bacteria in our intestines when left alone usually end up in ideal populations and combinations. We don't need to tamper with this. The idea of flooding our intestines with a whole new population of bacteria through probiotics is illogical because bacteria multiply according to the need. Probiotics can be useful in small doses after a dose of antibiotics but should not be taken on a regular basis. This does not include natural probiotics like fermented foods that can be beneficial.

11. Stress

When stressed, people engage in habits such as eating sweets, smoking, chewing gum or drinking alcohol. All of these compulsions cause excessive farting.

This newsletter was compiled by SHARAN Head of Mumbai, Reyna K Rupani, She facilitates the Six Weeks to Health & Weight Loss program and also conducts health talks for schools, groups, corporates and more.

Edited by Vasanti Sundaram, Bangalore who has also benefitted from the SHARAN programmes, and now spreads awareness of the benefits of plant based lifestyle through her talks.

Sanctuary for Health and Re-connection to Animals and Nature (SHARAN) is a non-profit organisation with the goal of spreading awareness about holistic health and an ecologically sustainable compassionate lifestyle.

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