Skip to content
Home » Food » Why Do Beans Give You Gas

Why Do Beans Give You Gas

Why Do Beans Give You Gas

Beans are highly nutritious and rich in various important vitamins and minerals, including potassium, magnesium, folate, iron, and zinc (1Trusted Source).

However, they’re also known for causing unpleasant digestive symptoms, including gas, bloating, and stomach pain.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to prevent or minimize gas caused by beans.

This article takes a closer look at why beans make you fart and how to minimize these side effects.

They’re high in fiber

Beans are high in dietary fiber, a plant compound that resists digestion as it moves through your digestive tract (2Trusted Source).

They’re particularly rich in soluble fiber, a type of fiber that absorbs water in the digestive tract to form a thick, gel-like texture (3).

Soluble fiber is associated with a long list of health benefits, including improved digestive regularity and blood sugar management, lowered LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, and enhanced heart health (4Trusted Source).

Related Post: Why the Way You Cook Red Meat Can Make It Less Healthy

However, increasing your fiber intake too quickly can also cause negative side effects, including gas and bloating.

Once dietary fiber reaches the colon, it’s fermented by the beneficial bacteria that live there. Gas is a byproduct of that fermentation (5Trusted Source).

Eating large amounts of fiber can also cause other adverse symptoms, including diarrhea, stomach pain, and discomfort (5Trusted Source).

SUMMARY

Beans are high in soluble fiber, which is fermented by your gut bacteria, leading to increased gas production in the colon.

Rich in raffinose

Beans also contain a compound called raffinose. It’s a type of non-digestible carbohydrate also found in foods like cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts (6).

Due to the lack of an enzyme called alpha-galactosidase in the human digestive tract, raffinose is generally poorly digested (7).

Therefore, raffinose can pass through the stomach and small intestine undigested and enter the large intestine, where it’s fermented by gut bacteria (8Trusted Source).

This results in the production of gases, including methane, hydrogen, and carbon dioxide, which cause flatulence and bloating (9Trusted Source).

 

SUMMARY

Beans contain raffinose, a type of carbohydrate that’s poorly digested by the body. Bacteria in the large intestine break down raffinose, resulting in gas and bloating.

How to prevent gas

There are several methods you can use to reduce gas caused by beans.

For example, some studies show that soaking and cooking beans before eating them can significantly decrease their raffinose content and help prevent gas production in the colon and subsequent flatulence (9Trusted Source).

Additionally, several over-the-counter products contain digestive enzymes like alpha-galactosidase to help ease the digestion of beans and other legumes.

Several studies have found that these products can decrease gas caused by eating foods rich in raffinose, such as beans (10Trusted Source11Trusted Source12Trusted Source).

Furthermore, increasing your intake of fiber-rich foods slowly and drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated can help your body adjust and ease side effects like gas and bloating (13Trusted Source).

SUMMARY

Soaking and cooking beans, increasing your intake slowly, drinking plenty of water, and taking digestive enzymes like alpha-galactosidase can help prevent gas caused by beans.

The bottom line

Beans are highly nutritious and rich in many important vitamins and minerals.

However, due to their content of soluble fiber and raffinose, they can also make you fart.

Fortunately, soaking and cooking beans before you eat them, increasing your intake gradually, and using supplements that contain alpha-galactosidase can help minimize gas and bloating.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.