How to Improve Digestion and Stop Gas

By Dr. Ben Kim

A favorite staple in the Korean diet is a soup called den jang gook. For those of you who aren’t familiar with den jang gook, it is Korea’s version of miso soup, made out of fermented soy beans. During their first year or two of marriage, Korean women like to joke about their husband’s farts smelling like den jang gook. In other words, they are crazy in love.

I’m all for being crazy in love, but I’m determined to tell as many people as I can that farting is no joking matter. In fact, if you fart on a regular basis, I promise you that you could be experiencing much greater health than you are right now.

Some of us seem to think that we can be healthy by simply eating healthy foods. The truth is, your health is determined by how well you digest the foods that you put into your body. In other words, you might be eating an unprocessed, whole food diet, but if your digestive passageway isn’t effectively breaking these foods down and absorbing nutrients, you are not giving yourself a chance to come close to your best health.

What does this have to do with farting? The amount you fart is one of the best indicators of how well you are digesting your food. Farting is in part due to rotting of incompletely digested foods in your digestive passageway. Farting in itself is actually helpful, as it represents unwanted gas leaving your body. In fact, if you have an urge to fart, be sure to do so. The point is, if you are farting a lot, then you probably have a lot of toxin formation occurring inside your gut from rotting of incompletely digested food, and some of these toxins are entering your blood stream and contributing to the development of long term disease. Please note that I am referring to farts that make your family and friends yelp. Farts that do not produce objectionable odor are usually pockets of air that you have swallowed.

Enough about farting. What can you do to improve your digestion and prevent toxin formation from rotting of undigested food in your gut?

1. Chew your food until liquid. You don’t have teeth anywhere else in your digestive passageway. By chewing your food until liquid, you allow your digestive organs to do their jobs efficiently without the burden of having to break down larger chunks of food. If you don’t remember anything else from this newsletter, please remember this one point. It can make a huge difference in your level of health.

2. Consistently eat whole, unprocessed foods. An apple is better than apple juice. A bowl of oatmeal is better than a power bar. An organic egg is better than any egg substitute. And organic butter is much better than margarine. The closer your foods look like they can be found in a garden, in the wild, or on an organic farm, the greater chance your body has of efficiently digesting them.

3. Avoid foods that experience tells you no matter how well you chew, your body just says no. Based on your genetics and health status, there are foods that your body will digest beautifully, and there are foods that your body simply cannot break down. It’s your job to observe how you feel after each meal to identify these foods. It is important to note that as your health changes over time, your tolerance for different foods may also change, so you don’t need to write off a particular food forever if it isn’t working for you right now.

4. Don’t eat fruit for dessert. Fruits are extremely low in protein compared to all other foods, including vegetables. And all foods that have significant protein must spend about an hour to an hour and a half in your stomach, where the protein is broken down by acid produced by your stomach. If fruit gets caught up in your stomach because there are other foods churning there already, it is possible that some of the fruit will rot, resulting in gas and toxin formation. Try to eat fruit on an empty stomach, or about two hours after a big meal.

5. Take it easy for at least 30 minutes after a big meal. In order for your digestive organs to effectively break down food, they need to receive a large portion of your total blood volume after a big meal. If most of your blood is flowing to your muscles because you are running around, you’re not going to have enough available for your digestive organs to do good work.

Use the amount that you fart as a marker for your digestive strength and the health of your gut. By following the steps outlined above, you should see a dramatic reduction in gas production.

It is important to note that if you are currently eating a lot of processed foods and want to make the jump to eating mainly whole, unprocessed foods, doing so may cause a lot of farting in the beginning. This is due to your intestines and the trillions of bacteria that live in them getting used to a new selection of foods. For many people, it takes about a month to adapt to a whole food diet.

Dr. Ben KimImprove Your Health With Our Free E-mail Newsletter

Join thousands of people from all over the world who receive our natural health newsletter.

  • 100% free. You can unsubscribe anytime.
  • No spam. We respect and protect your privacy at all times.
  • Valuable information that you can use to improve the quality of your health and life.
First Name:


Just a note to let you know how much I appreciate your newsletter. As a fellow health care provider (optometrist) and medical researcher, I find your distillation of the literature into lay terms to be accurate and very understandable. I really enjoyed your contribution regarding macular degeneration. Keep up the good work. - Kristine Erickson, OD, PhD, FAAO

I get a lot of e-mailed newsletters and yours is the only one I read thoroughly from top to bottom. Your advice is enlightening, educational, easy to follow and it works! Thank you so much for all that you offer. - Lisa Abramovic

Thanks for your excellent health newsletter. I look forward to it every week. Thanks for providing the best online health resource I have found. - Moorea Maguire

I'm sure as a doctor you hear your share of complaints. I just thought you'd like to know that there's at least one person in your "e-audience" that appreciates the time and effort you put into sending the emails. I really look forward to them. - Linda H., Raleigh, North Carolina

Many of my adult ESL students are Korean, and enjoy bits and pieces from your newsletter that I have shared with them. In addition to your logical approach to health, I enjoy sharing your newsletter because your English is unfailingly correct as well as easily understood. Thank you for your beautiful approach to life. - J. Zetterstrom

I thank you and your staff for such a great website. I am former National Level Bodybuilder so I know a thing or two about health and fitness. Your site is very valuable and I do my best to pass it on to friends and people I train. It is also a helpful resource in my career as a human service provider working with clients who need to recover from substance abuse. I believe a major part of recovery is getting your body and mind feeling healthy and strong. Thank you again! Great Website! - Michael Christopher, MSW

I truly appreciate your wonderful newsletter - your balanced and professional way of looking at issues is so helpful! - Erica H.

First Name:

Disclaimer: Throughout this entire website, statements are made pertaining to the properties and/or functions of food and/or nutritional products. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and these materials and products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.