Often, as folks switch to a plant based diet, “gas” becomes an issue, and a frequent topic for discussion at our Healthy Eating Adventure potlucks! But there’s good news with all this gas:
The fact that you’re producing more gas means that you’re cultivating healthy, happy gut bacteria (microbiome). They thrive on the insoluble fiber which is plentiful in a plant based diet. The gut bacteria break down the fiber by fermentation, which produces gas AND a very important molecule Butyrate; this is a very key nutrient for your gut wall cells. This keeps your gut wall intact and performing numerous important functions, such as preventing leaky gut (which lets in inflammatory molecules and other noxious stuff), resisting cancer, producing some of your immune cells, creating serotonin and many more functions. So the increase of gas is telling you that you are now getting this very important molecule Butyrate
Gas production generally decreases over time. And keep in mind, that despite American “proper manners”, passing gas is a normal bodily function.
Plant based gas has much less of an odor (if any) than carnivorous gas. (I’ve also heard that BO is less stinky in plant based eaters)
Be thankful – With your whole foods plant based eating, you’ve probably eliminated bothersome reflux and constipation and irritable bowel!! By feeding you’re microbiome butyrate, you’re preventing leaky gut and other inflammatory bowel diseases; you’re actually reducing some nasty causes of cramping and bloating.
If the Gas is Bothersome –
Start with smaller portions and gradually increase portions and frequency.
Try leaving out soy, unfortunately, for some people it’s an irritant and also produces more gas. If this helps, you can try gradually introducing smaller amounts.
Some people notice that kidney beans and garbanzo beans produce more gas for them …. try leaving these out temporarily, and then reintroduce gradually. Lentils seem less gassy
Mostly, be observant, see which beans and which amounts bother you the most — usually the symptoms occur 3-8 hours after when you ate them. Then leave these out or have in smaller amounts.
Add “Kombu” when you cook your beans — a 2″ strip of this kind of kelp works to minimize gas. Add it to soups, stews etc. You can get it on Amazon and maybe check for it at “health food” stores. Also a good source of Iodine. Eden brand beans contain Kombu.
Beans are a very Valuable Food –
They increase Nitric Oxide (NO) production by your ENDOTHELIUM (the all important, protective, slippery lining of your arteries — arteries supply blood/nutrients/oxygen to every system in your body). NO helps the endothelium decrease inflammation and improve vasodilatation. ; this is a very important function in preventing and treating heart disease, high BP, strokes, peripheral vascular disease….
Because of their impact on NO production, beans improve exercise capacity and recovery.
Beans are a great source for calcium, magnesium, boron, iron — all important in bone production, muscle function, cognitive function
They are a great source of protein/ amino acids
They contain a large variety of antioxidants and vitamins ….. and many other nutrients.
Eat your Beans with a joyful heart!!