Thank goodness the industry invented Beano to help us begin to understand our digestive system and our body’s experience with beans. The body does not digest and absorb some carbohydrates in the small intestine because of a shortage or absence of certain enzymes. Beano contains the enzyme alpha-galactosidase, and if the food doesn’t completely digest it passes from the small intestine to the large intestine where bacteria breaks down the food, producing gas.
After you begin clearing up your digestion, you will notice foods that use to cause you or your friends suffering are not affecting you as severely.
I have seen about 60% of my clients do well on beans, legumes & lentils after they properly soak these (12-24 hours), practice food combining principles, add digestive enzymes, take deeper breaths before eating and overall becoming more conscious on how food affects their bodies.
What is the difference between legumes & beans?
Classic legumes include lentils, peas, beans, or peanuts. Typically the pods are not eaten, but things like green beans are an exception.
A bean is just a seed of a certain variety of plant species, but these days we refer to the whole plant as beans. Classic beans include green beans, lima beans, soybeans, chickpeas, kidney beans, pinto beans, or black-eyed peas.
Legumes contain anti-nutrients called lectins & phytic acids, which can cause stress on the intestinal lining and prevent vitamin and mineral absorption.
One of my favorite articles that breaks down the science behind the effects is by Chris Kresser, there is no way I could have done it better, it’s worth a read.
The takeaway is this: phytic acid in legumes is not a cause for concern as long as you’re eating them in moderation and they aren’t displacing more nutrient-dense food.
So, keep soaking all your beans, nuts, and lentils to enhance absorption and help keep flatulence at bay.