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Kidney beans contain 7.9 grams of fiber per serving.
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Beans contain substances that promote gas production, which is why they earned the nickname "the musical fruit." These high-fiber legumes provide you an excellent source of vegetarian protein, as well as contain vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to help maintain your overall health. Including beans in your diet may help to prevent colon cancer and constipation and aid in weight loss and weight management, according to the University of Arizona.
You'll get a lot of fiber from eating beans, which is one reason they're such a healthy food. However, fiber contributes greatly to gas production. According to Harvard University Health Services, 1/2 cup of beans, such as chickpeas, lentils or kidney beans, provides you with 4.3 to 7.9 grams of fiber. Both soluble fiber and insoluble fiber are found in beans, but majority of it is insoluble fiber. Soluble fibers swell in your digestive tract and turn into a sort of gel. They help to maintain healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Insoluble fibers provide bulk in your digestive tract and help to regulate digestion.
Dietary fiber, while essential to a healthy diet, is indigestible by your body and reaches your large intestine mostly unchanged. Beneficial bacteria that live in your colon consume the fiber and release carbon dioxide and hydrogen as waste products in a process called fermentation. Other bacteria consume these gases and release methane and sulfur-containing gases, which may contribute odor to flatulence. Some of this intestinal gas gets absorbed into your blood stream and is released as waste through your lungs. The remainder of the gas must escape as flatus.
Beans and Gas
Because beans are a rich source of fiber, they provide plenty of food for the bacteria in your colon. The more fiber the bacteria ferment, the more gas gets produced. According to Dr. Fernando Azpiroz, an expert on digestive disorders, beans also contain substances that interfere with the enzyme that normally digests starch in your small intestine. This causes excess starch to reach the colon undigested, providing additional fuel for bacterial fermentation. You may experience bloating, abdominal pain or cramping if excess gas accumulates in your digestive tract.
If you're accustomed to eating a high-fiber diet, beans may cause only a minimal amount of gas. Azpiroz notes that it's normal to pass gas up to 20 times per day. If you're planning to add beans to your diet or want to eat more fiber, gradually increasing your fiber intake may help alleviate gas by giving your body time to adjust. MayoClinic.com also suggests boiling dry beans in water for at least two to three minutes then removing them from the heat and setting them aside overnight. About 75 to 90 percent of the indigestible starches that contribute to gas production get dissolved into the water.