7 Tips To Help You Digest Beans Better

So, you’re trying to eat more plant-based which includes eating more legumes in the form of beans, peas, and lentils. You’ve heard about all of the health benefits of beans. But for some people, especially those that rarely eat beans, eating them can mean some unfortunate gas being passed. And it can be very unfortunate for those downwind of you.

If consuming beans has become a social liability causing you to avoid beans altogether, I have good news for you. You don’t have to be a gas-ball forever nor do you have to avoid beans forever. Our bodies adjust to new foods quite quickly and there are things you can do to make eating beans a lot more comfortable.

  1. Start Slow
    Did you know that the food we eat determines the type of bacteria we have in our gut? Plant-foods that contain fiber promote the growth of “friendly” bacteria in our gut. Fiber-poor diets that are high in dairy, eggs, and meat (think keto and the standard American diet of processed foods) can instead promote the growth of not-s0-friendly bacteria that are not great at digesting fiber-rich foods. But our bacterial makeup can change within just a few days when we start eating different foods consistently. Starting with a small portion of beans, say a few tablespoons, at a time and increasing it gradually can allow time for bacterial flora to form that digests the fiber and gas-forming sugars called oligosaccharides in beans.Starting with easier to digest legumes may be a good idea, too. The smaller legumes such as red lentils, split peas, mung beans, and adzuki beans are great and delicious options. Try to include fermented bean products like miso and tempeh in your new plant-based diet. And tofu is a lower fiber bean option that can be easier to digest than whole beans.
  2. Buy dry beans and soak them before cooking
    As I just mentioned, beans contain a type of sugar called oligosaccharides. This is the main contributor to the bean musical. This compound remains undigested until it reaches the colon. This is where the bacteria begin to feast on it which produces gas. Oligosaccharides are water-soluble which means when you buy dry beans and soak them before cooking, much of that gas-producing compound is left behind in the soaking water. Cover your beans with water by a couple of inches and soak for at least 8 hours. I like to soak mine for 24 hours and I change out the soaking water at least once during that time. Before cooking, be sure to drain, rinse, and use fresh water to then cook your beans. Bonus: dry beans are less expensive than the canned version!
  3. Use kombu when cooking your beans
    Kombu is a type of seaweed that can be added to your pot of beans while they are cooking. Kombu can help neutralize the gas-producing compounds and also add some beneficial vitamins and minerals to your beans. When boiling beans, remove any white foam that forms at the top of the pot as this contains oligosaccharides.
  4. Flavor your beans with beneficial spices that enhance digestion
    Use spices such as fennel, turmeric, ginger, cumin, and turmeric when cooking beans. These spices are known to enhance digestion and decrease gas in the gut. Use a mix of your favorites or pick one or two to add to the cooking water or in any dish that calls for beans.
  5. Be sure to rinse canned beans
    When using canned beans, be sure to drain out the canning liquid and give them a good rinse to help reduce gas.
  6. Consider a supplement or digestive enzyme 
    Most people will notice a reduction in gas when eating beans in about 1-4 weeks. But for those with impaired digestion, it may be a good idea to get some extra help for a short time. This Gentle Digest supplement is a great natural option. All it is a combination of beneficial spices that reduce gas and bloating and promote healthy digestion. You can also use a high-quality digestive enzyme until your body’s bacteria adapt to eating more fiber-rich foods. These are not meant to be used forever though. If you are finding you can’t digest plant-foods well without a supplement’s help, reach out to me. I can help you with that.
  7. Relax when you eat
    This tip is not exclusive to eating beans. No matter what you are eating, it’s a good idea to take a few breaths or say a little prayer before you eat. Whatever works for you to center yourself before eating. Our digestive process doesn’t work at the top level if we eat while we are stressed out. Remember, rest and digest.Now, go and enjoy that bean filled burrito bowl! Or whatever bean dish you fancy.

    Do you have issues digesting beans?
    Did you used to?
    Did you try any of these tips?

    I’d love to hear from you. Drop any comments or questions below



  • Cherilyn says:

    Hi, Hannah! I would appreciate some tips from you. I am crazy bloated and too skinny. I have been recently attempting to eat a whole food, plant based diet. I am drinking lots water, exercising appropriately—I feel not overly too much, and striving to breath deeply, but my digestion is still being crazy slow. I can’t handle more calories, but I am breastfeeding a little one and have to keep up! I haven’t had tons of beans, recently, but more than my body has had in the past. If I have to take something I will but I’d rather not if my body can do this.

    • Hannah Ramirez says:

      Hi Cherilyn,
      Thanks for reaching out! I’m sorry you’re dealing with some digestion issues. I’ve been there! I will send you an email shortly to see if I can help you figure this out.

  • Hairstyles says:

    Valuable information. Lucky me I found your site by accident, and I’m shocked why this accident did not happened earlier! I bookmarked it.


  • suba suba says:

    rQKcuR wow, awesome blog article.Much thanks again. Much obliged.

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  • Raise your hand if you love sour cream but you don't love dairy!! 🙋🏼‍♀️🙋🏼‍♀️🙋🏼‍♀️
Sour cream belongs on tacos in my opinion and this tofu sour cream is so easy to whip up and tastes kind of perfect as a sub for dairy sour cream. ...
1 package of tofu (any will do - I usually buy firm)
~ 2 Tbsp Lemon juice
~ 1Tbsp Apple cider or red wine vinegar
1/4-1/2 tsp sea salt
1. Combine and blend all ingredients into a blender until smooth and creamy. 
NOTE: I like to start with about half of the lemon juice, vinegar, and salt and then blend, taste, and adjust flavors as I go until I get the right sour creamy flavor. 
2. Chill and enjoy!
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Dang, it's been awhile since I've posted consistently on here. I'd like to change that. To be honest, I struggle with allowing my true personality to show up on here which makes it difficult for me to want to be on here much. I sometimes worry about what others might think of the things I share so I end up not sharing anything! But I don't want to do that. I find joy in being able to help motivate and educate people on taking charge of their own health and eating their dang fruits and veggies. While I do that in my real day to day life, I'd like to bring that work on here a bit too because I generally enjoy the people I connect with on this platform. .
TL;DR - Hello again. Instagram is weird. But I like it anyway and plan to be better about posting consistently about plantbased eating and the evidence behind it and a little bit more about me. ✌💜
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We are freezing some for those times we want a sweet snack.
I bet these would be a lot of fun to make with kids, too.
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  • Wise words from Roots!
#Repost @rootszerowastemarket
• • • • •
There's no room for single use! Literally, there's NO MORE ROOM on our planet for single use. .
If you have to take on packaging, make sure you are reusing those containers! Just because the product is gone doesn't mean the value is. You not only bought yourself food but also a re-usable container..so get your money's worth! .
Our recycling system is broken but you can be the solution...every day you #reuse and #refill. .
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