Things that Make You Go Toot

With all the health benefits of eating a whole foods, plant-based diet, there can be an awkward problem.  Some of the healthiest of foods have one major drawback. Gas. But there is hope! Worried about gas? This is the most common reason people avoid legumes.  But since legumes are so darn good for you, being high in fiber, protein, and other nutrients, it’s important to eat them regularly.

Why do beans make you fart? Beans cause gas because they contain a particular sugar that the body can’t break down called oligosaccharide. Oligosaccharides are not broken down and absorbed by the lining of the small intestine the way other sugars are, because we don’t produce the enzyme to do so. They make it all the way through the GI tract to the large intestine still intact. This produces the gas that must eventually come out sooner or later.

You might experience gas even when you haven’t had beans.  This can be the result of foods that come into the large intestine without being properly absorbed in the small intestine will cause gas. For example, stress can cause food to move through the digestive tract too quickly to be properly digested, with the end result being gas in the large intestine.

Here are some simple tips to reduce the toots.

-Eat with fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kim chi, coconut yoghurt, and miso.

-Cook with fennel or cumin, kombu, ginger, fennel, kelp or wakame to prevent gas.

-Soak for 12 hours in ginger. This soaking process will also cause the beans to sprout, making minerals more available.

-Add half a teaspoon of the prebiotic source raw apple cider vinegar, a fermented food, the last 5-10 minutes of cooking.

-Chew well.

No need to get embarrassed every time you have a bean burrito or lentil soup anymore. So, enjoy!

Live natural.  Live well.

Heather

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