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How to Cook Beans With Less Gas

Updated on July 18, 2011

Why Do Beans Cause Gas?

Beans are excellent for your health. They are high in protein, phytonutrients, antioxidants, and low in fat, only about 2% fat. Their low fat content makes beans a perfect choice for people on a diet. Plus they contain many other beneficial nutrients. And beans are cheap! They are an excellent, cheap way to get needed protein. And beans go great with just about anything.

Beans contain valuable fiber, too. They also contain two types of sugars- oligosaccharide and raffinose. These sugars and the soluble fiber in beans are a volatile combination. Each of them can cause a person to have gas or indigestion. Put all three of them together, and it's nature's own gas recipe!

Raffinose is a complex sugar. Uncooked beans include a lot of this sugar. It has more of an effect on some unlucky people more than others. But the consequences of ingesting this sugar is fermentation within the gastrointestinal system and unpleasant gas.

The other sugar generally present in nearly all beans, oligosaccharide, will not generally break down within the gut. The majority of us don't have the particular enzyme to absorb it. Because of this reason, oligosaccharide proceeds towards the large bowel where it's then broken down by bacteria. These types of normally-occurring microorganisms within the large intestine create gas in the course of processing the sugars.

How to Cook Beans With Less Gas

It's not necessary to refuse yourself the taste and nutrition of beans and various other legumes simply because you are terrified of having gas or perhaps heartburn! There are remedies that will help reduce the gas and indigestion. The first one is this: To consume beans which produce less gas, you should make your own beans. Canned beans tend to be prepared directly in the can. This causes them to capture all the problem sugars right in the can for you to eat.

To stay away from ingesting these kinds of sugars, you should make use of the fact that sugars are water soluble. In other words, soak away most of the sugars.

The Way to Make Beans Which are Less Likely to cause you to Pass Gas

For the best results, you need to place the beans inside a pot and cover them with cold water and 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Both apple cider vinegar and white vinegar work fine. Soak them throughout the night, covering with a lid. If you want to make the beans more quickly or simply forgot to soak them overnight, you can use the quick soak methods on beans which will get rid of sugars nearly as efficiently as soaking them overnight.

In order to do a quick soak, put the beans inside a pot and cover them with cold water, about two inches above the depth of the beans. Bring to a rolling boil. Allow the beans to boil for just three minutes, and then switch off the heat. Add a couple of tablespoons of vinegar to the pot. Place a lid on the beans and allow them to soak for about a couple of hours or so. Once they have soaked, you ought to see a foamy material floating on the water. It is, among other stuff, those sugars which we want to eliminate.

After the beans have been soaked by one method or the other, always rinse them well. Dump out the water they soaked in by putting them into a colander. Then run cold water over the beans thoroughly. This helps flush away the sugars. Next place them into a pot with clean water. Now, put in a few tablespoons of vinegar and make the beans just like you usually would.

I hate the stench of vinegar, however, the little bit you use when making beans evaporates promptly. There's certainly no overwhelming vinegar aroma wafting from your kitchen. I've also never detected a vinegar or sour taste in the prepared beans.

More Ways How to Cook Beans With Less Gas

Roll a piece of aluminum foil into a ball that is about 3 inches in diameter. Add it to the pot while the beans cook. I have no idea how or why this works, but I do have a friend that swears by it. (I haven't tried it.)

This is an old-fashioned way to make beans with less gas. I learned this one from my great-grandmother. Once the beans are ready to cook, add in a large, raw potato into the water. Take out the potato after the beans are finished. The potato soaks up lots of the gas producing irritants, so now you can enjoy your beans without worries.

Yet another way to make beans with less gas is to include seasonings which aid in digestion. Try adding approximately a teaspoon of fennel seeds, ginger root, turmeric, or parsley to the beans. You can add them while they soak tied up in cheesecloth, and then remove them. Or you may add them to the beans during the last half of the cooking time.

Practicing these points can create great-tasting beans that are soft and will probably be painless in your belly as well!

Louisiana Recipe for Beans and Rice Video

How to Cook Beans With Less Gas Comments

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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      My Grandma always soaked her beans in 7-Up overnight. I was little and I do not remember having gas after eating them, and believe me we ate them all the time, I just remember them being good.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I appreciate the article. however, your anecdotal advice re: cooking beans with aluminium foil is outright dangerous. it may well help denature the raffinose or ease digestion ... but cooking aluminum in any slightly acidic medium (remember the vinegar we put in our bean-cooking liquid) produces compounds that cause alzheimers. this is known, please edit your page accordingly. thanks

    • PaisleeGal profile image

      Pat Materna 

      7 years ago from Memphis, Tennessee, USA

      Great hub! Good hints. Some I had heard of and do myself. The foil is one I've never heard of tho. Interesting enough to try just to see if it works. Voted up !

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks--I'm very glad to see the beneficial aspects of beans being promoted! You're so right--high in protein and fiber, low in fat--just what the doctor ordered. :)

      Also, I'm new to HubPages so I don't know if this is okay, but my favorite nutrition resource (non-commercial, not selling anything) has a post today on exactly this topic, beans & gas. The doctor who writes the column is SO funny. The URL is

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      The idea to add a ball of aluminum foil to the cooking beans horrifies me. I have aluminum toxicity and people really need to research the harmful effects of aluminum. There is no way the ball of foil would not leach during the cooking process.

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 

      9 years ago from Northern, California

      Great stuff. Good information.

    • lizmoss71 profile image


      9 years ago from Orpington, UK

      Thanks for the cooking hints, I will definitely give this a try.


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