FIVE Ways to Avoid Gas with Beans

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2021 Update

By the numbers who have read this blog post – nobody wants gas. This is not surprising as you want to eat healthy and more plant based but don’t want to pay for your healthier choices.

The 5 ways that I presented earlier still stand as good ways to avoid gas. However,  I would like to add another way that is perhaps better than some from the original blog post.

"small glass spice jar that reads Best Hing ever from Pure Indian foods"

Hing or asafoetida comes from the leaves of giant fennel plants. You can find Hing in Asian markets or online. I will not lie, it smells really bad. It does not smell like something you would want to put in your food. Fear not, it does not make your food taste like it smells.  When cooking beans, add a pinch per cup of beans.

I use about ¼ to ½ t for 2 cans of beans. Rinse the beans well and cover with fresh water. Add the hing and cook on medium for about 30 minutes. Then drain and use as you need in recipes or eat as is. 

2016 Post

"2 small glass spice jars that read Ajwain and Epazote from Penzeys Spices"

A recent webinar on the Mediterranean diet, specifically on changing your protein – sparked a firestorm of discussion on beans and…gas. Eating more beans is a great way to get plant protein and decrease meat consumption. They are inexpensive, versatile, add variety, and taste great. So why then are we not eating more beans – you guessed it – gas.

No one wants to feel bloated after a meal. Thanks to indigestible carbohydrates found in beans, they do have a bloating – gas – filled reputation. Here are some ways to decrease the gas but keep the beans.

5 Ways to Avoid Gas with Beans

  1. Go slow – add beans slowly into your diet. Start with just a few tablespoons and build up.
  2. Soak well and rinse well. If you are using dried beans soak for 48 hours and drain and rinse well before cooking. Use fresh water for cooking, not the soaking liquid. If you are using canned beans, rinse well.
  3. Cook beans until very soft. Cooking well-done until very soft can help with decreasing gas production as well. Even canned beans can be cooked more prior to serving.
  4. Add ajwain or epazote – both of these spices will decrease gas production – I swear by the epazote! Just add about a tablespoon to a large pot of beans during the cooking process. You can also add ginger or cumin as these spices help with digestion.
  5. Chew – eat slowly and chew well each bite.

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31 thoughts on “FIVE Ways to Avoid Gas with Beans

  1. Hi, an old Southern African American gas reducer, is to add a teaspoon of Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda) as the initially begin to boil and season to taste. Enjoy ya’ll!!

    1. I cook a whole peeled potato in them….little to no gas….as long as you don’t eat the potato. Seems to soak up the gas.

    2. Gas from beans is caused by raffinose (a type of carbohydrate) that is in beans and foods including cabbage, broccoli, and whole grains.
      Raffinose cannot be digested by humans so it creates gas in the intestine as bacteria break down this substance. So, there is really no gas in the beans themselves, just this indigestible

    1. Hi Nada, you can soak beans a number of different ways. If you choose to soak beans for 48 hours we would recommend storing them in the refrigerator for the duration of the soak.

  2. Are Ajwain or Epazote the only names these spices go by? I live in Finland , far, far away from specialty shops in Wisconsin.

    1. Hi Cynde, thanks for the question. We are not aware of any other names for these spices. They can be ordered online from a specialty spice store such as Penzey’s.

    1. These tips may not help with cruciferous vegetables as some of the gas producing compounds in cruciferous
      vegetables are different than those in beans. They do share raffinose fiber as one compound that causes gas
      so you might try some of the tips. You can also cook the vegetables, chew well, and add to the diet slowly.

  3. 1. Brad, how do I get the fennel seed?
    2. Also, how do I get ajwain or epazote?
    Am impatient for a reply cos I just taken to beans as my diet using only pre-cooking as my method.
    Help me!

  4. I have too try these spices because I love my beans, so I will let y’all know how it works out!!

    1. Thanks for advice to others. Tried cummin and ginger added to baked beans. Seems to have worked.
      Will try dried cilantro as I happen to have a bottle in my cupboard.

    2. I add cumin, turmeric, and ginger to baked beans. The taste is amazing and I never have issues with gas

    3. Thanks for the advice , will follow the recipe. I have stopped eating beans for some years cz of the gas issue

  5. Another trick I learned and use to reduce the gas of beans, when soaking overnight (prior to cooking the beans) I put an old fashioned tea ball filled with one tablespoon of fennel seed to the soak water/ beans. When you drain off the soak water, remove the tea ball and discard the fennel seeds. Works like a charm!

    1. Wow so many iideas. I have stayed away from them because of the pain they cause. Chick peas and lentils dont bother me as much but cant have more than one serving a week. I will let u all know how these wonderful ideas work

    1. Consult with your health-care provider as to whether you should take probiotics. Best to promote healthy gut bacteria with a good diet. If you do take probiotics, you may experience gas or diarrhea when you first begin, it will taper off in most people. Don’t know of any interaction with probiotics and beans.

  6. Never heard of these spices to help with gas and hadn’t heard that ginger and cumin help the digest. Thank you very much, going to add both to the next pot of beans I cook. Love my ham n beans however getting older and they don’t love me back it seems, lol. Thanks again….

    1. Me to..Making my Gam and Bean soup tomorrow. I have a digestive problem I just found out Thursday
      So I’ll try all these spices to see if they stop me from getting bloated..

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