Adults Featured Healthy News Seniors — 06 January 2015

How to eat the musical fruit without the toot!

By: Jodie Shield, RDN

Alright, after all of my bean stories and Tuscan White Bean and Plum Tomato Soup recipe, a lot of you have politely asked about the “aromatic” side effect of beans – gas. There I said it! Beans naturally contain sugars (alpha-galactosides) that we can’t digest. Bacteria in our digestive tract break these sugars down, and in the process, produce gas. This uncomfortable side effect shouldn’t stop you from eating beans. Vegetables in general can give you gas, and this fermentation process is actually healthy for the intestine. To help ease any socially embarrassing consequences that result from eating beans, here are a few de-gassing strategies:

Cook and rinse dry beans.  Drop the beans into boiling water and cook them for three minutes. Turn off the heat, cover, and let the beans soak for a few hours; then drain the beans, pour out the water, and cook them until they’re done. Try my bean soaking recipe.

Add baking soda to the water. Mix one-eighth of a teaspoon of baking soda into the soaking water. This will help leach out some of the offending sugars. Try my Ludington Baked Beans recipe.

Rinse canned beans. Drain and rinse canned beans under running tap water and wash away some of the offending sugars and excess sodium. Try my Red Beans and Rice recipe.

Ease beans into your meals.  Start by serving beans once a week, with no more than one-half cup per serving. Add them more frequently once you develop a tolerance for them. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water to account for the added fiber beans provide. For more easy bean recipes check out my app Time to Eat Healthy.

Got any bean de-gassing tips?  Pass them along.

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