FIVE Ways to Avoid Gas with Beans

avoid gas from beans

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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26 comments on “FIVE Ways to Avoid Gas with Beans

  1. AJ on

    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….

    • Carolyn Dunn, PhD, RDN, LDN on

      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.

  2. Brad on

    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!

      • Laurie A Phillips on

        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

  3. Joseph Kwamina Haywood-Dadzie on

    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!

    • Carolyn Dunn, PhD, RDN, LDN on

      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.

  4. Cynde Sadler on

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

    • Casey Collins on

      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.

    • Casey Collins on

      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.

  5. Lashay Alexander Thomas on

    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!!


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