Beans are highly nutritious and rich in various important vitamins and minerals, including potassium, magnesium, folate, iron, and zinc (
However, they’re also known for causing unpleasant digestive symptoms, including gas, bloating, and stomach pain.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to prevent or minimize gas caused by beans.
This article takes a closer look at why beans make you fart and how to minimize these side effects.
Beans are high in dietary fiber, a plant compound that resists digestion as it moves through your digestive tract (
They’re particularly rich in soluble fiber, a type of fiber that absorbs water in the digestive tract to form a thick, gel-like texture (3).
Soluble fiber is associated with a long list of health benefits, including improved digestive regularity and blood sugar management, lowered LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, and enhanced heart health (
However, increasing your fiber intake too quickly can also cause negative side effects, including gas and bloating.
Once dietary fiber reaches the colon, it’s fermented by the beneficial bacteria that live there. Gas is a byproduct of that fermentation (
Eating large amounts of fiber can also cause other adverse symptoms, including diarrhea, stomach pain, and discomfort (
Beans are high in soluble fiber, which is fermented by your gut bacteria, leading to increased gas production in the colon.
Beans also contain a compound called raffinose. It’s a type of non-digestible carbohydrate also found in foods like cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts (6).
Due to the lack of an enzyme called alpha-galactosidase in the human digestive tract, raffinose is generally poorly digested (7).
Therefore, raffinose can pass through the stomach and small intestine undigested and enter the large intestine, where it’s fermented by gut bacteria (
This results in the production of gases, including methane, hydrogen, and carbon dioxide, which cause flatulence and bloating (
Beans contain raffinose, a type of carbohydrate that’s poorly digested by the body. Bacteria in the large intestine break down raffinose, resulting in gas and bloating.
There are several methods you can use to reduce gas caused by beans.
For example, some studies show that soaking and cooking beans before eating them can significantly decrease their raffinose content and help prevent gas production in the colon and subsequent flatulence (
Additionally, several over-the-counter products contain digestive enzymes like alpha-galactosidase to help ease the digestion of beans and other legumes.
Several studies have found that these products can decrease gas caused by eating foods rich in raffinose, such as beans (
Furthermore, increasing your intake of fiber-rich foods slowly and drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated can help your body adjust and ease side effects like gas and bloating (
Soaking and cooking beans, increasing your intake slowly, drinking plenty of water, and taking digestive enzymes like alpha-galactosidase can help prevent gas caused by beans.
Beans are highly nutritious and rich in many important vitamins and minerals.
However, due to their content of soluble fiber and raffinose, they can also make you fart.
Fortunately, soaking and cooking beans before you eat them, increasing your intake gradually, and using supplements that contain alpha-galactosidase can help minimize gas and bloating.