Growing up in the days of Miss Manners and Dear Abby, I was constantly being told to "mind my manners" in one way or another. At home, school, and especially out in public it was a major faux pas to fart, burp or exhibit bad manners in any way, shape or form. I used to tell my mom that I couldn't help it! I was going to explode if I didn't fart or burp and it just isn't good to hold it in. Turns out, I was right! At least right about the farting part. Sorry, not sorry, Mom.
To be honest, I still try not to fart in public. If I just can't hold it, I head for the nearest restroom and let it rip! I mean...farts are smelly and I don't want to be offensive. And, while certain smells are expected in a public restroom, they're not so acceptable while sitting at your desk (unless you really don't like the people you work with). But, I do feel a bit of vindication knowing that there are actual health benefits to NOT holding it in. Below are 7 of those health benefits.
1. It means your gut is healthy
Foods that are good for us make us fart. Purna Kashyap, a doctor of gastroenterology at the Mayo Clinic says, "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." Foods that are high in fiber keep our digestive system happy...but also farty.
2. Helps with bloating
Being bloated is one of the most uncomfortable feelings there is. And, most bloating after a meal is caused by a build-up of gas from the food we just ate. There's only one thing you can do to feel better - fart! So, next time you feel like you need to release a couple more notches on your belt, just go fart! Then, you'll be comfy in those pants again.
3. They can warn you that something is wrong
While the whole purpose of this is to tell you how healthy farting is, there can be farts that are a sign that something is amiss in the body. Extreme odor, increase in frequency and pain when passing gas could be a sign of colon cancer or a food intolerance. It's normal to have an increase in smelly farts after eating beans. But if your really smelly, frequent, painful farts last longer than a day, seek medical attention.
4. Benefits colon health
Holding in any type of bodily movement just isn't healthy. Whether it's peeing, pooping, belching or farting, it's just not good for you to hold it in. If you're sitting in a movie theater and don't want to get up just to go fart in the bathroom, it's okay to hold it in for a while. But, holding in the gas created by natural function of the gastro-intestinal system can be potentially harmful...especially for those with digestive issues.
5. Alert you that your diet isn't balanced
Farts that don't give off a smell mean that you're not eating enough fiber, while farts that smell like a sewage plant might mean you're eating too much red meat. A nice semi-smelly fart means you're eating a well-balanced diet.
6. It's such a relief!
I kind of touched on this above, but it's worth another mention. It just feels good to let one go! I mean nothing feels better than a really good fart...especially if you've had to hold one in because it would be socially unacceptable to let it go.
7. The smell is actually healthy!
According to some research, smelling farts can prevent some health problems. When you fart, you release hydrogen sulfide that can actually be beneficial for humans in small quantities...like a fart. It's been shown to prevent strokes, heart attacks and even dementia. So, next time you fart in front of someone, tell them it's because you care about their health.
And, in closing, I would like to quote one of my favorite people in the whole world...my grandson. "Farts are funny!" Yes, they are...and now we know that they're actually good for us, too! BOOM!