PCRM: How to Reduce Bloating and Gas from Beans
We know that beans can be an important source of protein and fiber for a vegan diet. But how can we reduce bloating and gas from beans? We decided to ask the experts at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
Thanks to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine for sharing this information about reducing bloating and gas on a vegan diet. For more information about health topics related to a plant-based diet, visit the PCRM website.
The PCRM doctors report:
Gas may initially be a problem when switching to a higher fiber diet. However, your body should adjust to your diet over time. Here are some tips to ease problems with gas associated with eating beans:
- After soaking dried beans, drain them, and then cook them in fresh water. It may also help to add a pinch of baking soda to the soaking water.
- Make sure the beans are thoroughly cooked.
- Drain and gently rinse canned beans. This also decreases the amount of salt in some brands.
- People who eat beans regularly have little or no trouble digesting them, so start with smaller servings and work up to larger and more frequent servings.
- Smaller beans are easier to digest for some people, so try black beans, black–eyed peas, and lentils, and work your way up to pinto and fava beans.
- There are commercial enzyme products, such as Bean-zyme, that help in the digestion of complex carbohydrates. (Bean-zyme has vegan capsules). A few drops of Bean-zyme added to cooked beans right before eating them won’t change the taste and may help in digestion.
- Adding 2-4 inches of kombu (also known as sea kelp) to beans while cooking can help with digestion.