Monosodium glutamate, also called sodium glutamate is a salt that is sometimes added to products as a flavor enhancer. It is a common additive in Asian foods, meaning Chinese food causes stomach gas trouble. MSG is classified by the FDA as a safe ingredient. However, due to the controversial results with individuals, the FDA requires processors to list it on the label of foods that contain it.
MSG has been used as an additive for many years. People have been experiencing symptoms of a condition known as MSG symptom complex for just about as long. These reactions include headaches, sweating, flushing, tightness or pressure in one’s face, numbness in one’s face or neck, heart palpitations, nausea, weakness and even chest pain. Even though you may not experience any of these symptoms, you MSG can cause bloating and flatulence.
For many people, the reactions to MSG are mild, short term and do not require treatment from a doctor. However, they can be very uncomfortable. The only way to prevent your body from reacting in this way is to avoid foods that contain the additive.
While many restaurants have had so many complaints about MSG that they no longer add it to food, it occurs naturally in soy sauce. In addition, the restaurants may use chicken stock that has had the flavor enhancer added before being packaged. In addition, some poultry processors inject chicken with MSG as a part of the processing.
While MSG is a likely culprit in the foods you eat, there are other problems that make it worse when eating at this type of restaurant. Stir fry commonly uses vegetables from the cabbage family as they hold up well to the quick heat method of cooking. Broccoli and cabbage are high in fiber, which while good for you may increase the pressure as it breaks down in the digestive track.
If you are eating at a new restaurant and concerned about MSG, the best practice is to ask if foods are prepared using the flavor enhancer. Even if a dish normally calls for the additive the cook may be able to prepare your meal without it. You should take into account the possibility of it being in the ingredients as well as in any soy sauce you add at the table.
When grocery shopping, take time to read labels. You may find it astounding the number of products that add MSG. Many prepackaged foods, canned goods and even frozen foods may include the ingredient. By enhancing flavors the manufacturer helps to make up for what is lost in the processing. Fresh produce is least likely to contain MSG.
Many different foods can result in a buildup of excess gases in the digestive system. The pressure they cause can be uncomfortable for the sufferer. By avoiding foods that use the flavor enhancer, MSG, you may find you eliminate some of the discomfort. If you eat one of these disagreeable foods, walking may be helpful. It speeds the process of expelling the flatulence and relieving the pressure in the digestive track.