Beans are full of fibre and protein, packed with nutrients and have many health benefits including lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. However, many people avoid eating beans because of a well-known side effect; flatulence. Beans cause flatulence because they contain a sugar that our bodies cannot break down. When these sugars hit the large intestine, bacteria in the colon ferments them, causing gas and bloating.
There are several cooking tips, however, to help prevent gas from beans:
· If cooking dry beans, soak them for at least 8 hours prior to cooking.
· Add little baking soda to the soaking water not only reduces bloating but also speeds up cooking time. Rinse well before cooking.
· If cooking canned beans, rinse well before cooking.
· Adding a teaspoon of fennel seeds to beans while cooking reduces gas or bloating.
· Cook beans with carrots to eliminate gas.