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How To Make Beans Less Gassy

Video Transcript:

Are Beans Good For Gut Health?

Beans are a staple in many diets across the world.

And while they're versatile, nutritious, and affordable, there is one potential downside to consuming beans, which is gas.

Many people may experience bloating, discomfort, or flatulence after consuming beans.

And so if you've ever wondered why is it that I get more gassy after I eat beans today, I'm going to discuss some practical tips to make you less gassy and actually some science behind it.

But before we dig in, I want to introduce myself.

I'm Marcie Vaske. I'm a functional medicine nutritionist with Oswald Digestive Clinic, and I see a lot of people who struggle with gas and bloating, and if that sounds like you, I'm linking our website here where you can easily make an initial appointment as well.

I'll link our free guide here, which is 5 Ways to Improve Gut Health.

So back to our topic.

Why Do Beans Give You Gas?

So I'm going to start off with just kind of answering the question about what is the science behind some of this gas that we sometimes have when we consume beans?

And what happens is that when we eat beans and we break them down, it comes from a complex fermentation process.

This fermentation process is a breakdown of a specific carbohydrate called oligosaccharides.

And what happens is that the body, the carbohydrates are not easily digested by the body, so they actually pass through the small intestine undigested, and by the time they make it to your large intestine, then the bacteria within the large intestine have to break it down.

And what happens then is you have this byproduct that is made and that is going to turn into this gas. Now, another contributing factor to gas from beans is that beans contain a sugar called raffinose.

And like that complex carbohydrate oligosaccharides raffinose is really difficult to digest as well.

So as it makes its way through your digestive system, the raffinose as well doesn't get broken down and creates more gas.

In addition to both of those things, beans do contain quite a lot of fiber, and fiber again, is more difficult to break down in the digestive system.

And sometimes this undigested fiber then gets fermented and again creating gas.

So that's quite a few reasons why you might be experiencing gas from beans, and it's kind of fun to understand that and know that it's not something wrong necessarily with your digestive system.

It's just kind of the makeup of the bean.

Does Soaking Beans Reduce Gas?

Now, over the years may have heard of different ways to reduce gas, and one of the myths that stands out is that often times people will say, well just soak the beans overnight and that will reduce that gas.

But in reality, what happens is not that because even if we soak the beans overnight that those oligosaccharides as well as the raffinose are still intact, which will then still create the gas.

And another strategy that's tried by many people is, you know what?

I'm just not going to eat the beans because I just get too gassy.

As I said earlier, beans are extremely nutritious and so versatile that it's not totally necessary to take them out of your diet.

So let's find a way that you can consume beans with less gas.

How To Make Beans Less Gassy - Add Ginger

Now, there are certain foods that can help to reduce the gas of beans, and one of them is ginger.

And ginger has been around for centuries in the help and assist in the way of digestion. And so you can easily add ginger to a bean dish, which will just naturally help you digest those beans better, as well as maybe drinking ginger tea.

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But ginger is fantastic for helping the digestive process and creating that less gas from those beans.

How To Make Beans Less Gassy - Add Fennel

Now, another food that's really helpful is fennel and fennel can actually help to decrease any kind of spasms in the intestinal tract as well as reducing bloating.

And again, you can add fennel to different dishes.

Some people even kind of chew on fennel. You can make a fennel tea.

And so incorporating some of that can also help reduce that spasms that you might get from having more gas as well as then of course the bloating.

How To Make Beans Less Gassy - Proper Way To Soak Beans

Now, I know I mentioned that soaking beans overnight isn't going to be necessarily helpful for reducing gas, but there is a cooking method that can be helpful to reduce the gas in beans.

And that cooking method is going to be called the hot soak.

So it's pretty easy to do.

And so what you would do is just put your beans in a pot of water, bring it to a boil, and then turn it off and let it soak for an hour before you continue cooking them.

This way, it breaks down this process helps to break down some of those gas producing raffinose and as well as the oligosaccharides.

Make Beans Less Gassy - Add Algae

Another interesting technique to help reduce the gas and beans is when you are cooking your beans, put a piece of kombu in there and it actually has an enzyme that helps to reduce the oligosaccharides, and so therefore reducing the production or possibility of production of gas in your intestinal tract.

Just be sure to take the kombu out when you're done cooking, and that can again, just a couple easy cooking methods to help reduce some gas producing.

Beans and Gas - Drinking Fluid

Now, in addition to those cooking methods, there are other strategies on helping to minimize the gas from beans.

And one of them is simple and it's just drinking enough fluid, drinking enough fluid, number one, is going to help your entire body, but specifically it helps to keep the digestive system functioning optimally, therefore reducing gas production.

Also, making sure that you're chewing your beans well, and this goes for all food, but the more we chew our food, the better it's broken down in our mouth and the better Our digestive system has a better time job of handling it.

Oftentimes, a lot of people eat in a rush and sometimes we're hardly chewing our food, so to help to break down that or reduce the production of gas in our intestinal tract, one easy way along with drinking a lot of water is making sure you're chewing the food.

Beans and Gas - Add Slowly

And the last strategy would be to help your body get used to beans if you have kept them out of your diet for a long time because you do get more gassy when you consume them and you just don't like it or it's just really uncomfortable. The best way is just to add them in slowly.

So maybe it's just a quarter cup at a time until you kind of feel like, oh, that feels pretty good, then go ahead and add a little bit more.

But jumping right into having beans every day after maybe not having them for a really long time is definitely going to create more gas production.

How To Make Beans Less Gassy - Add Natural Enzymes

And along with that ginger and fennel that I talked about to help kind of reduce the gas in your digestive system after eating beans, you can also try to incorporate pineapple or papaya into some of those bean meals.

Or you can even take a supplement form of bromelain, which is the active enzyme that's in pineapple.

And when we have more bromelain, that helps to digest those carbohydrates, so the oligosaccharides as well as the raffinose, creating less gas. You can also try increasing the acidic factor in a dish.

So perhaps you're making something with beans, maybe you add some tomatoes with it because that acidic factor helps to neutralize the bean and then reducing the gas in addition to a tomato.

You can also try vinegar in a dish.

And that, again, just little things that can maybe help to reduce your gas factor after eating beans.

Another one that really is helpful too is going to be increasing probiotic when you're consuming beans.

So maybe you're having some kimchi alongside of it or you eat yogurt, and it doesn't always have to be just with the meal, but those times putting, pairing them together can be helpful.

So I hope that helped give you some just interesting information on how to reduce the gas from beans, why it happens in the first place, and just those easy techniques of implementing some certain foods to reduce the gas production as well as supporting your digestive system with the digestive enzyme such as bromelain, again, can be so helpful.

So I hope this again helped you and will help you enjoy beans for a long time to come.

functional nutrition dietitian, registered dietitian nutritionist, functional medicine clinic, gut health help, how to improve gut health, functional medicine taking insurance

If you'd like to explore any of this information further or obtain an individualized nutrition plan, you can schedule an initial appointment at our clinic.  We also take insurance and some of our clients get full coverage, which is great.

5 ways to improve your gut health free guide by Oswald Digestive clinic, how to improve gut health, functional nutrition, functional medicine, registered dietitian nutritionist, licensed nutritionist, functional nutrition dietitian

Or you can just start by downloading our FREE GUIDE: 5 WAYS TO IMPROVE GUT HEALTH  


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