While a small amount of eggplant is unlikely to cause gas by itself, it can contribute to gas and bloating if you’re eating other foods that are also high in fiber.
I’m going to walk you through the components of eggplant that may lead to gas, and go over how to determine if something else you’re eating is causing any stomach issues.
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Why Does Food Cause Gas in the First Place?
Even though most people don’t know what causes bloating and flatulence, it’s really not complicated.
Almost all gas comes from carbohydrates in the large intestine if they were not fully digested in the small intestine and stomach.
Your gut bacteria then ferments these tough to digest carbohydrates to extract as much nutrition as possible, but this fermentation process also produces gas.
Most carbohydrates that are tough to digest are classified as fiber, so foods high in fiber are generally going be more likely to cause gas, especially if you eat a large amount.
That gas either builds up and causes bloating, or it is mainly released through flatulence.
Now that you’re an expert in gas, we can move on.
How Much Fiber is in Eggplant?
The nutrition data below comes from the USDA’s nutrition database for 100 grams of raw eggplant.
For reference, a medium eggplant is about 500 grams, although sizes of eggplants can obviously vary a lot.
|Total Lipid (g)||0.18|
There’s 3 grams of fiber in a single serving of this size, and it’s certainly possible to eat a few servings in one meal.
Let’s say you had 300 grams of eggplant in your meal, that’s about 10 grams of fiber as a “high” amount.
While 10 grams of fiber is considerable, it’s typically not enough to cause someone excessive gas on its own.
In other words, you’d probably have to eat another 10-15 grams of fiber in that same meal from other foods to experience any significant stomach issues.
Are There Other Carbohydrates That Are Hard to Digest in Eggplant?
While fiber is the most well-known cause of gas, certain other carbohydrates don’t digest well either.
Most of those are classified as a FODMAP (although some of those are fiber as well).
For example, fructose can cause stomach problems in large amounts (e.g. 15 grams or more), and sugar alcohols like sorbitol can cause problems in doses as small as 5 grams for some people.
In this case, eggplant is very low in FODMAPs, so it’s not a big concern.
One study broke down the carbohydrate content of several foods in more detail. The table below shows what they found for eggplant, most of those hard to digest carbohydrates were not detected at all.
Could You Have a Nightshade Allergy?
If you suspect eggplant is causing you significant gas, the most likely explanation is that it’s actually another food you’re eating alongside it.
To test it, you’d need to eat just eggplant, and then wait several hours to see if it gives you gas (it takes about 5 hours for most foods to reach the large intestine).
If you did that and still experienced significant gas, there’s one other explanation.
While it’s quite rare, there are a few published reports of people having a nightshade allergy or intolerance.
Certain foods like tomatoes, eggplants, and bell peppers are part of the nightshade plant family. You can also try other nightshade foods like tomatoes and see if they give you gas to see if this is the issue.