Oh sure, you’ve heard the joking (maybe you have said it yourself): “eat all those plants and beans and you’ll be full of gas” or claims that “you’ll be in the bathroom all day” or smirking comments about how “odiferous” the room will be. Perhaps it makes you a little nervous as you consider a plant-based diet. You may be thinking “there is a lot of fiber” and “isn’t that true about beans”?
Well, the truth is that any big change to your diet can cause some unusual conditions and a little more gas is one of them. But the other truth is that our digestive systems are clearly designed to handle diets high in fiber and low in dietary fats, as well as a large variety of foods. (Sure, if one wants to argue about evolutionary biology it’s true we can also manage eating meat – but we sure aren’t well suited to it. Ever seen these when you brush your teeth? Didn’t think so).
At any rate, this great article has all the details about eating beans, but here is the summary: a small increase at first, then it gets better, and then it’s really good (and no, they don’t cause bad smells). Beans are super nutritious and there are no reasons to avoid them.
So, don’t fret. Beans are yummy, versatile, and really good for you. There is a huge variety in taste, texture, and color. You can easily find them canned or in bulk and beans are a wonderful value pound for pound. It is important to cook them properly and our Beans 101 post is a good place to start. They are a fantastic addition to your diet.
Enjoy all the wonderful dishes that include beans, reap the benefits to your health and your wallet, and don’t worry about gas.