How to Eliminate Gas with a Diet Rich in Beans
More every day, people are eating more plant-based foods including diets filled with beans and legumes. Yet, some hesitate to continue past a few days due to the amount of gas they experience.
When prepared correctly, you can minimize, and in some cases, eliminate gas entirely. Ten to fifteen minutes time to prep, soak overnight, then rinse and cook the next day. When you think about the amount of fiber and protein you are consuming from a diet rich in beans and legumes, the time is worth it. Especially if you are doing like some people and eliminating meat and dairy altogether from your food choices.
The way a food is prepared affects its nutritional and “good for you” value. If beans have not muscle-tested as good for you, or have not been good to you in the past, preparing them in a different way might help you digest and assimilate them more happily. Beans prepared my way may be very good for you.
Legumes are available dried or canned and ready to use. Soaking and sprouting dry legumes can make them more digestible and non-gas producing, and might be healthier than canned. Beans, peas, and lentils are threshed during harvest, but are not washed because the moisture would encourage sprouting. The outer coating of many beans contains sugars called oligosaccharides, which are hard for our stomachs to digest. They can cause gas when the intestines try to break them down. Soaking them removes field dirt, contaminants, and the indigestible starches which can cause gas.
Garbanzo beans are my favorite dry beans to cook from scratch. A fresh-cooked bowl of garbanzos with salt and pepper is simple to make and more delicious than you might expect.
They have a rich, creamy texture and a nutty flavor that you just can’t get from store-bought canned beans. I soak, sprout, cook, then freeze them in their cooking liquid in two-cup batches to use any time.
Other legumes include navy beans, great northern beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, lima beans, adzuki beans, cranberry beans, black-eyed peas, cannellini beans, and fava beans, to name a few. Legumes that don’t need to be soaked include split peas and red, yellow, and brown lentils (green lentils are harder and benefit from soaking); these are usually dehulled before being packaged for sale.
Soaking Beans – Overnight Method
“Overnight” is not an exact measure of time; it just means from whenever you start the soak until the next day when you get around to cooking them. You can soak them for up to 24 hours if you drain them and change the water about half-way through.
For 1 pound (2 cups) of dry beans use 5 cups of water (yields about 6 cups, equivalent to 3 1/2 to 4 16-oz. cans). Double this for a larger batch.
- Sort through the beans, discarding any dirt, rocks, or shriveled-up beans.
- Rinse thoroughly with cool water.
- Place beans in a bowl or cooking pan and cover with water.
- Drain and rinse the next day and they are ready to cook.
Preparation Makes All the Difference
With a good soak, you should see a marked difference in the amount of gas you experience. You can enjoy fun meals and not have to worry about the consequences.