A grumbling stomach is a fairly common experience, as Doctor Beatrice Salvioli, gastroenterologist at Humanitas explained in an interview.

Why does our stomach grumble before and after meals?

“Imagining, seeing and smelling food, stimulate the cerebral cortex that sends nervous and hormonal messages to the stomach. Its cells produce excess digestive juices, that cause the grumbling we hear. Basically, the stomach is letting us know that the time has come to eat, and that it is getting ready to accommodate more food”.

How can you stop the grumbling?

A grumbling stomach in public may be embarrassing. Here are some tips from the doctor. “Before a meeting, an appointment or a briefing, you should avoid drinking soft drinks, like soda and sweetened drinks. They could foster wind in your stomach. Moreover, a useful trick is always keeping some snack handy, like crackers or cookies”.

“If you eat something before an important event and you don’t want your stomach to be loud, you should avoid chewing gums, vegetables and legumes (because they increase gases in stomach and intestine), and some sugary fresh fruit such as khakis and plums (because they enhance fermentative processes and thus the gases that cause the grumbling)”.

What happens after meals?

“If you fear your stomach will grumble right after a meal, you should pay attention to fruit. It may be tricky if consumed after a meal, especially if you ate fats, because they slow the digestion down and increase the intestinal fermentation. Pineapple or papaya are instead good after meals, because they favour the digestion of proteins. Then, you should also pay attention to foods such as legumes, cauliflowers, broccoli, onions, potatoes and artichokes, because they may favor fermentation too, thus hindering your attempts at keeping your stomach quiet”, the specialist points out.