Why do beans give you gas?

Beans contain oligosaccharides, which are short chains of sugar.  The fiber and the oligosaccharides are not fully digested in our stomach or small intestine, and pass through to the large intestine.  Here, bacteria ferment the fiber and oligosaccharides and give off hydrogen, methane, and hydrogen sulphide gases.

Which beans produce lots and which beans produce small amounts of gas in the body?

Legumes that will leave you with little gas are adzuki beans, mung beans, lentils, black-eyed beans, and split peas

Lima, pinto, navy, and whole soy beans produce a large amount of gas

How to Help?

Soak dry beans overnight and pour away the soaking water before preparation. Rinse them and use fresh water when cooking.

Add cumin and bay leaves to your bean dishes to help gas production.  You can also add a small amount of apple cider vinegar to your dishes after they have been cooked to help digest the beans.  Make sure you purchase an organic apple cider vinegar with the “mother”

Beans are done when they can be easily crushed in your mouth by your tongue.  Make sure you cook them thoroughly to help digestion.  And chew chew chew! Chewing starts the digestive process, so slow down and enjoy those beans!

Try our Black Bean and Corn Salad and Slow Cooker Chili for some great bean recipes!

Article by: Carrie Dancey, RHN


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