5 Tips For Better Bean Digestion

March 29, 2024
Amelia [Writer]

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Struggling with bean digestion? Here are 5 Tips For Better Bean Digestion to make it easier on your stomach so you can enjoy all the goodness beans have to offer!

5 Tips For Better Bean Digestion

Beans are known for being both budget-friendly + loaded with protein-packed goodness. They're delicious and hearty, but let's admit it, they can sometimes be a little tough on the stomach. Ever wondered why? Don't worry, I've got you covered with 5 Tips For Better Bean Digestion! Discover why and learn how to digest them more easily with our practical tips to help you enjoy beans without discomfort!

I'm all about incorporating beans and legumes into my plant-based, vegetarian, and vegan recipes! But let's face it, sometimes they can be a challenge to digest if they haven't been prepared properly. But don't worry, I've got your back! Learn how to digest beans better + why they might cause tummy troubles (hello, gas! Haha.) Discover easy ways to avoid discomfort, so you can fully enjoy all the benefits and healthy nutrients they have to offer.

Once you learn all about beans + legumes, I highly recommend checking out more of Orchids + Sweet Tea. There are plenty of amazing iron + protein-packed dishes to explore, like the Vegan Jamaican Power BowlCrispy BBQ Pinto Bean TacosBaked Vegan Black Bean TacosSpicy Vegan Chili, and plenty more for you to dive into!

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Assorted beans

What Makes Beans So Hard to Digest?

Well, they contain complex sugars and fibers! Our bodies sometimes struggle to break them down completely. These compounds, like oligosaccharides, are notorious for causing gas + bloating. Plus, beans come with enzymes called lectins that can mess with digestion and make things uncomfortable for some folks. And if beans aren't cooked or prepared properly, it only adds to the digestive challenge.

5 Tips For Better Bean Digestion

Here are my top tips + tricks I have learnt along the way!

1. Soak Them

If you are wondering how to digest beans better --- Soaking beans before cooking can significantly improve their digestibility. When you soak beans, you help break down complex sugars and fibers, such as oligosaccharides, which are known to cause digestive discomfort.

The process softens the beans, making them easier for your body to break down during digestion. Aim to soak your beans overnight or for at least 8 hours in water before cooking.

2. Cook Them Thoroughly

Proper cooking is key to making beans easier on the digestive system --- When you cook beans, especially at a high temperature and for an adequate amount of time, you help deactivate anti-nutrients and harmful compounds like lectins.

Boil your beans vigorously for at least 10 minutes to ensure they are thoroughly cooked, which can help reduce the risk of digestive issues.

Dried pinto beans in a bowl being held with hands.

3. Add Digestive Herbs

Incorporating digestive herbs into your bean dishes can help alleviate digestive discomfort and helps you to digest beans better. Herbs like cumin, fennel, and ginger are known for their carminative properties, which means they help reduce gas + bloating. Adding these herbs to your bean recipes not only enhances flavor but also aids digestion.

You can also enjoy a soothing tea like Citrus Pear Ginger Detox Tea or Citrus Ginger Turmeric Tea after your meal to promote healthy digestion.

4. Start Slowly

If you're new to eating beans or have experienced digestive issues with them in the past, it's important to introduce them gradually into your diet. Starting with smaller portions allows your digestive system to adapt to the increased fiber content in beans. As your body adjusts, you can gradually increase the serving size and frequency of beans in your meals. This gradual approach can help minimize discomfort and promote better digestion!

5. Add In A Acid

Adding a splash of acidic ingredients like lemon juice, vinegar, or tomatoes to your bean dishes can help improve their digestibility. The acid helps break down some of the tough fibers in beans, making them easier for your stomach to handle. So, squeeze some lemon juice over your Comforting Tuscan White Bean Chickpea Soup or toss in some tomatoes into your Spicy Vegan Chili for an extra digestive boost!

Cooked pinto beans in a black skillet with a wooden spoon.

Why You Should Add More Beans Into Your Diet

  • Nutrient powerhouse -- Beans are packed with essential nutrients like protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
  • They keep you feeling full + satisfied for a long time!
  • Beans help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
  • They're an affordable source of high-quality protein, perfect for stretching your grocery budget!
  • Versatility --- From soups + salads to dips and main dishes, beans can be incorporated into countless recipes for delicious and nutritious meals.

There you have it—  I hope these 5 Tips For Better Bean Digestion help you to enjoy beans more in your day-to-day life. If you are looking for any meal inspiration check out my "What To Eat This Week" series for some seriously delicious + healthy eats.

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If you've given any of these 5 Tips For Better Bean Digestion a try or given any recipes on my website a go, I'd truly appreciate it if you could share your experience by leaving a ⭐ star rating and dropping your thoughts in the 📝  comments below. Your feedback means a lot, and I love hearing from you on your wellness journey!

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