Does Squash Cause Gas?

Posted on October 30, 2015
Array of pumpkins and other varieties of squash

Colorful veggies such as squash are often recommended as part of a healthy diet. Many people who experience embarrassing symptoms of intestinal gas avoid eating a variety of fruits and vegetables, but limiting your diet in this way is both unwise and unnecessary. Advises Healthy Eating SF Gate:

Several types of plant-based foods are full of fiber, but unlikely to cause gas in your digestive tract. Squash, spinach, asparagus, jicama, beets, artichokes and tomatoes are fiber-rich vegetables you can enjoy, without worrying about gas.

Squash contains lots of the things that are good for you, but the nutritional yield of summer and winter squash is very different. An easy way to remember which is which is to look at the skin. Thinner-skinned varieties (spaghetti squash, zucchini, pattypan, etc.) are summer; the thick-skinned varieties that threaten to blunt your cleaver (Hubbard, butternut, acorn) are winter varieties.

According to Healthy Eating SFGate, “One cup of baked Hubbard squash supplies about 100 calories and 10 grams of fiber, or 40 percent of the daily value.” (Please note that RDA varies widely between men and women, by adults and children, and according to one’s medical history.)

Squash contains both soluble and insoluble fiber. Foods that are higher in soluble fiber are more likely to produce gas than those that are high in insoluble fiber. Returning to the different varieties of squash – summer versus winter – summer squash are less likely to cause gas than the winter varieties.

Some IBS and IBD sufferers are better able to tolerate cooked pumpkin – a vegetable that is part of the squash family – than the aforementioned summer or winter squash varieties. Healthy Eating also points out that “The types of bacteria you have in your gut — which varies from person to person — can also affect how much gas you produce.”

It’s sometimes difficult to determine whether the usual suspects on your menu are truly the guilty parties. You may blame a particular vegetable, but forget that you sipped a quart of brightly colored soda throughout dinner. It’s important to consider what you eat and drink, how it was prepared, and how it was consumed (drinking carbonated beverages through a straw basically mainlines gas into your digestive system).

The holidays are approaching, and many of us are going to be tempted to eat and drink what we’d normally avoid. (Hey, tomorrow is Halloween!) Just remember to consume those treats in moderation, and keep CharcoCaps on hand if the goodies in your basket are too tempting to pass up.