While beans are packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals and protein, they also have one unpleasant side effect -- they’re famous for leaving you bloated. If you know you’re planning to have a bean dish tomorrow, plan ahead and prepare your beans the night before. You’ll be less likely to pass any gas after eating.
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Preparing the Beans
Measure out the amount of dry beans you want to make. Because it takes a while to properly prepare beans in a way to minimize gas, you might want to cook enough to last for several meals. Place the beans in a colander or strainer and rinse them under cool running water. Remove any dirt or debris that you see.
Put the rinsed beans into a large bowl. You’ll need to pour in enough water to cover the beans, plus a little extra. Put a lid on the bowl or cover with plastic wrap and allow to soak overnight, or for at least 8 hours, suggests the U.S. Dry Bean Council.
Strain the soaking water from the beans by pouring them back in to the colander or strainer, after the allotted time has been reached. Rinse the soaked beans one more time under running water. This removes much of the gas-producing oligosaccharide carbohydrates that were released during soaking.
Transfer the soaked beans to a pot, add in fresh water and simmer until fully tender. You can serve the cooked beans immediately after they’re done cooking and store any leftovers for tomorrow’s dinner.
During Your Meal
Skip dairy foods, like cheese and milk, when you’re sitting down to eat your bean dish. Dairy contains lactose, a type of milk sugar. In some people, lactose leads to gas, so the stomach gas you’re experiencing may not even be caused by the beans.
Chew each bite of beans, as well as the rest of your entrée, thoroughly. If you shovel food in too quickly, you won’t chew enough and will be more likely to swallow air, further increasing any issues with gas. Put down your fork between bites and focus on chewing.
If gas continues to be problematic after eating a bean dish, talk with your physician about taking an over-the-counter gas supplement. They’re designed to break down the gas-causing compounds found in beans.