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You Asked: Beans Make Me Gassy

Dear FitSugar,
I read this site religiously and love it. I took your advice of incorporating more beans into my vegetarian diet so I got all my amino acids, but it's causing a bit of a gas problem. Is it okay to take something over the counter? Are there other ways to deal with it? Let me know! Thanks!!
— Gassy Cassie

This is a great question! Just so you know beans have this effect on everyone! If you're not used to eating a ton of beans (or foods containing lots of fiber), it's going to take your body a little while to adjust. Start incorporating beans into your diet a little at a time. Try sprinkling a tablespoon or two over salad or on your pasta. Use soymilk in your cereal or mix some tofu in your vegetable stir fry. Slowly introducing beans into your diet will give your body a chance to warm up.

Also try mixing your beans with other foods. This will help to tone down the gaseous effects of the beans (don't just eat them alone). Try eating beans with rice, hummus with pita, or vegetable soup that contains beans. After a few weeks of these smaller amounts, your body will get used to your bean intake, and they'll become easier to digest.

Also, if you are soaking and cooking your own dry beans, instead of canned, be sure to dump out the water after they're done cooking and rinse the beans thoroughly. Soaking and cooking bean water can cause major flatulence. The same goes with the canned beans. Use a strainer to get rid of the extra water the beans are soaking in, and rinse them with water before using.

Some people take Beano, an over-the-counter pill that contains enzymes to help your body digest beans and other high fiber foods. I'm not saying it will cure your gas, but it may help.

FIt's Tips: I wouldn't worry about the gas too much, since everyone farts. Just start off eating small amounts of beans at a time, and you'll be ready for spicy black bean soup in no time!


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