Surely you have heard the old jingle about how beans are good for your heart but the more you eat the more you fart.
However, not all beans are the same and, if you are looking to avoid that embarrassing gassiness, green beans might just work.
So, do green beans make you flatulent or not?
Many food will make you gassy due to the presence of certain sugars and soluble fiber in them.
And many beans do increase gassiness however Green beans specifically are fairly low in these ingredients and do not directly contribute to increased flatulence.
In fact, green beans may make you less gassy if eaten at the proper amount.
So dont worry about eating green beans and farting!
There is a lot more to it than just that though, to really dive into the topic of gassy foods, we will go through how green beans are digested in your body.
Plus, we’ll talk about what beans are less gassy and discuss some tricks some people use to reduce means gassiness.
Be sure to read on to find out everything you need to know about how to stay both healthy and less gassy.
Are Green Beans Hard To Digest?
Most beans are notorious for being difficult to digest and green beans also have some of the chemicals inside other beans that give your digestive system trouble.
The main thing that contributes to digestive difficulties in green beans is a protein called lectin.
Lectins are known for their ability to bind up carbohydrates which can lead to gassiness and even bloating or other adverse side effects.
It’s still being debated on whether or not lectin is good or bad for your body and some people are even adopting a lectin-free diet to try and improve their digestive system’s health.
However, for green beans, cooking them can reduce their lectin levels and the other healthy aspects of green beans (such as fiber) certainly help with digestion.
Overall, there is no hard evidence that claims green beans themselves are difficult to digest and are pretty safe to eat if you are worried about your digestive system.
The many healthy vitamins and fiber you get from them makes them one of the healthier foods you can add to your diet.
Which Beans Are Less Gassy?
Not all beans are as gassy as the infamous baked beans and pinto beans. As a matter of fact, there are a pretty fair amount of beans that are decently low in the carbohydrates that give you gas.
Here’s a list of some of the beans that are among the least gassy:
- Split peas
- Black-eyed peas
- Boiled soybeans
- Green Beans
Of course, there’s no bean that is truly gas-free but your best bet is going to be boiled soybeans, which only have 4.1g net-carbs per cup.
Most of the other beans on this list range somewhere in the low to mid 20s in net-carbs per cup by comparison.
Going back to green beans, its net-carbs per 100g cup is at 7g (this can vary based on brand of green beans) so it is also among the least gassy beans you can find out there.
There is more that goes into increasing flatulence than just high carbohydrates but having a lower amount of carbs definitely helps beans break the gas-giving stigma they have around them.
Again, there is no chance you will find a bean that will give you no gas at all, but you’ll be hard pressed to find any food that gives you no gas whatsoever.
Why Do Beans Give You Gas?
Besides the carbohydrates and natural sugars mentioned above, beans also have some fibers known as oligosaccharides, which are fermentable, non-digestible fibers that play a large role in causing gas.
How these fibers work in your body is that they are able to get through your stomach acid intact and do not get digested in your upper gut.
Oligosaccharides will make it all the way to your colon where they then get fermented by bacteria beneficial to your body.
This process has the unfortunate side-effect of creating gas as a byproduct though.
This is the healthiest part of beans and the gas created is really a sign that the bacteria in your colon is doing its job in breaking down the fiber coming in.
The unhealthy part of beans that gives you gas is the sugars and carbs that are the main cause of the feeling of bloating and gassiness from your digestive tract working harder to break down these ingredients.
Does Adding Vinegar To Beans Reduce Gas?
One of the few ways people have tried to get around the gassiness that comes with eating beans is adding some vinegar to it.
This has come with mixed results and the amount of vinegar you need depends on the amount of beans you plan on cooking as well.
Although, there is some truth to adding vinegar to beans to break down some of the gas-creating substances that are present in beans.
Vinegar breaks down indigestible sugars like fructose that cause a lot of gas and some will say the vinegar actually adds a little extra taste to the beans (particularly apple cider vinegar).
Some recipes tell you to add around two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to aid in the process of breaking down the gassy ingredients and let it sit for around 5-10 minutes before cooking them.
The evidence that this works varies from person to person though.
Also, while it is true that vinegar breaks down the sugars in beans that cause gas, exactly how much is needed and how long it needs to soak depends on the amount of beans you are cooking and the type of bean itself.
There are all kinds of recipes out there that you can follow to see if they work and you are also welcome to test this out for yourself.
If anything, you may actually discover a pretty yummy new recipe that adds a little extra taste to your bean dishes.
Does Soaking Beans Make Them Less Gassy?
Soaking beans before cooking them is a pretty well-established way of reducing their gassiness.
Most people will agree that this is a good method of making beans less gassy if done the right way.
Rather than soaking them in vinegar, like in the previous section, simply use three cups of water if you are only cooking one cup of beans.
Add another three cups of water if you plan on cooking two cups of beans and so on.
The best length of time to soak beans is overnight but if you are pressed for time and need a quick soak there is a way to do it that works just as well.
First, put the beans in the water and bring it to a boil for about two minutes. After that, take the beans off of the heat, cover them up, and let them sit for around an hour, then you can proceed to cook them like you normally would.
Much like soaking the beans in vinegar, the water gets a lot of the gassy sugars in beans out and all you have to do is drain the water after you let it soak the beans.
This method is used in many bean recipes and it is pretty helpful in making your beans a lot less gassy.
Is Gas Bad For My Health?
Gas is a natural product that your body releases but it can be a sign of bad health and that your digestive tract is struggling to break down food effectively.
If you think you have an excessive amount of gas you may want to go see a doctor or alter your diet to be more balanced.
However, gas itself is not bad for your health. In fact, it is mostly a sign of good health if you produce gas at a reasonable amount per day.
A typical healthy person will pass gas around 14-23 times per day and it is a good sign that tells you the helpful bacteria in your digestive tract are doing their job.
Beans are a great way to produce healthy gas and for those that are embarrassed of it should reconsider holding it in as well.
Stopping gas from leaving your body is certainly bad for your health and eventually it will leave your body in a much more emphatic manner if you hold it in for too long.
Beans are notoriously one of the gassiest foods you can eat but there are many different kinds of beans and green beans are absolutely on the lower side of the spectrum in terms of the gassiest you can eat.
Keep in mind that you can reduce how gassy beans are by soaking them in water or, possibly, vinegar.
Although, there is no such thing as a bean that will give you no gas at all but you should not worry about this too much.
Passing gas is a sign of good health and beans (especially the green ones) are a great way of improving your diet in a tasty way.
I’m Chris Watson & the Founder of EatForLonger.com. I’m a food and wellbeing enthusiast researching and sharing foodstuffs and simple food-based concepts, such as fasting and clean eating.
I hope it inspires you to make tiny changes to what you eat and when you eat while optimizing your healthspan and all-around well-being.
Read more About Me here.