It’s a good question because, as far as canned beans go, they’re a healthy food… that just happen to cause gas. The average can of pork n beans is a source of minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc and copper. They’re also low and fat and provide good vegetable protein.
Baked beans contain vitamins including B and C, and they’re high in soluble fiber. But wait…
Fiber makes you fart!
Let’s get into a little more detail and get the scientific secrets and answer one of life’s greatest questions…
Why do beans make you fart?
Baked beans contain carbohydrates – called oligosaccharides — that include stachyose and raffinose. The molecules in these carbs are too big for your small intestine to absorb during the digestion process. That means they get to move on to the large intestine where the flatulence magic happens.
Even though your small intestine can’t digest these carbohydrates, your colon loves them. Unfortunately, the process that breaks down the soluble fiber provided by the baked beans creates the excess gas the makes up most farts – hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen.
Can I eat beans without farting?
You can’t completely eliminate excess gas, but you can reduce the frequency and volume of breaking wind. Before boiling regular broad beans, soak them overnight, drain the water, and add fresh water for the boiling. This significantly reduces the amount of oligosaccharides.
Many people recommend adding fresh ginger or fennel seeds to the pot just before the beans finish cooking. This can, apparently, make the beans even easier to digest.
That’s great for fresh beans, but…
“How do I stop farts caused by baked beans?”
We already mentioned that your small intestine has trouble digesting the flatulence causing molecules. This is because most people lack the alpha-galactosidase enzyme in their digestive tract. Alpha-galactosidase can break down the otherwise indigestible sugars into much smaller pieces that the small intestine can handle. The result is a lot less oligosaccharides getting to the large intestine where hungry bacteria turn it into gas.
One of the most famous alpha-galactosidase enzyme supplements goes by the brand-name Beano. And now you’re one of the few people that actually knows how Beano works!
Although Beano has many loyal baked bean eating fans, there’s a competitor that a lot of people are discovering. It turns out Bean-Zyme maybe the better buy for preventing excess gas.
Like Beano, Bean-Zyme contains the fart-fighting enzyme. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, there’s an added benefit… Bean-Zyme doesn’t contain fish gelatin, like it’s famous competitor does.
Personally, I recommend Bean-Zyme because it’s just as effective (in my opinion) and much cheaper.
Beano versus Bean-Zyme
In the end (pun intended) the product you choose to reduce bean flatulence is up to you. I encourage you to read the reviews and perhaps order a reasonable portion of both products so that you can compare them.
However, even if you decide to not try them, and continue to blow kisses from your butt, at least now you know why beans make you fart.