Beans are a healthy and satisfying food, but they also produce flatulence. Here’s how to get the health benefits of eating beans without the embarrassing gas.
Yes, beans are good for you. In fact, beans are one of the healthiest foods you can eat. Not only are they high in protein and a rich source of various vitamins and minerals, they contain resistant starch which may reduce the risk of colon cancer as well as promote healthy blood sugar levels. Beans also help to give you a full sensation so you won’t be craving doughnuts within an hour of eating. Unfortunately, eating beans can also lead to another problem, socially embarrassing gas. If you want to get the health benefits derived from eating beans without the stigma of flatulence and gas, here are some ways to make beans less gassy.
Choose your beans carefully.
As a generalization, eating beans that are smaller in size produces less flatulence and gas production by the colon than do larger beans. You may want to choose smaller sized navy beans as opposed to kidney beans if you’re worried about problems with flatulence. Try experimenting with different types of beans and keep a record of your symptoms. When you find a bean that causes less flatulence for you, stock up.
Mix beans with other grains.
Another way to reduce the number of beans and still enjoy their taste and health benefits is to mix beans with other healthy whole grains such as brown rice or quinoa. Eating beans produces large quantities of gas because they contain an undigestible carbohydrate known as raffinose. Whole grains lack raffinose, although the fiber in the grains can cause bloating and flatulence in some people. Another way to get the health benefits of beans with less gas is to add beans to a soup where you’ll need a smaller amount.
Presoak before cooking them.
On a day you know you’ll be eating beans, allow them to soak for eight hours the day before. Once they’re thoroughly soaked and softened, eliminate the water they soaked in. This will remove most of the indigestible raffinose responsible for causing gas. When cooking beans, always cook them until they’re well done with a soft consistency. Well cooked beans are less likely to induce gas formation in your intestines.
Beano is an over the counter supplement that helps to break down raffinose and other indigestible carbohydrates in beans making them easier to digest. This supplement doesn’t work for everyone, although a significant number of people do get some relief. It can be found in most drugstores in the section that sells digestive aids.
Don’t neglect the marvelous health benefits of beans because you’re worried about flatulence. Eating beans is both filling and satisfying.