5 Ways to Reduce Gas and Bloating from Beans

As a Registered Dietitian specializing in cardiac nutrition, I often recommend eating beans and legumes because they are full of plant protein and soluble fiber. These nutrients are very important for lowering LDL cholesterol levels as per the Portfolio Diet.

That being said, I often get push back from my clients as they report uncomfortable side effects of gas and bloating when consuming these foods that unclog arteries. Can you relate to this bean bloat?

If this is you, know that you are not alone, and read on to learn 5 ways to prevent this from happening!

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Why Does Bean Bloat Happen?

Beans and legumes contain oligosaccharides and fibre which are complex carbohydrates that require fermentation in the colon to break them down which can result in gas production.

The good news is the gas and bloating caused by beans and legumes can decrease with more frequent consumption. When you eat beans and legumes regularly, your digestive system adapts to the oligosaccharides and fiber, and your gut bacteria become more efficient at breaking them down. Over time, this can lead to less gas production and discomfort.

5 Ways To Reduce Gas & Bloating

Read on to learn 5 proven ways to reduce bean bloat!

1) Soak Beans Overnight

Soaking beans overnight can help reduce gas and bloating caused by dried beans as it reduces the amount of oligosaccharides. 

Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Put desired amount of dry beans in a bowl 
  2. Cover beans with water until they are sitting with at least 3 inches of water above (2)
  3. Leave overnight 
  4. Drain and rinse beans 
  5. Add to a pot with clean water (1 cup of beans to 3 cups of water (2)
  6. Bring to a boil then turn the heat down to low and cook until tender 

2) Cook Beans Well

Cooking beans thoroughly also helps to limit the amount of gas and bloating beans cause. This is because it softens fibers and breaks down complex sugars that cause gas. 

Using a pressure cooker can help reduce oligosaccharides if the beans are soaked first (2).

Adding a pinch of baking soda to the cooking water when preparing beans can also help alleviate the amount of gas beans cause. This is because baking soda helps break down some of the complex sugars and fibers that contribute to gas production (3).

3) Introduce Beans Gradually

Introducing beans gradually is another way to reduce gas caused by beans. This is because it allows your digestive system to adapt to digesting the complex carbohydrates in beans.


  1. Start with a small amount of beans, such as a tablespoon and slowly increase the amount each week to allow your digestive system to adjust
  2. Incorporate beans into other dishes like soups, salads or casseroles, so you’re not consuming a large portion all at once
  3. Start with pureed beans like hummus can be easier to digest
  4. Chewing beans thoroughly can help your digestive system break down the complex carbohydrates more efficiently
  5. Stay hydrated with water to help the fiber move through your digestive system, reducing the risk of fast and bloating

4) Use Digestive Aids

Using digestive aids is also an option for people experiencing gas and bloating from beans. Supplements such as Beano* contain enzymes that break down oligosaccharides that cause gas. 

Also herbal teas like peppermint* or ginger* can be considered digestive aids as they can help to soothe digestion.  

Usage Tips:

  • Take enzyme supplements before meals to break down oligosaccharides.
  • Drink herbal teas after meals to ease digestion.

5) Combine Beans with Other Foods

Combining beans with other foods can help to reduce gas caused by beans. This is because balanced meals can ease digestion. Tips for pairing beans with other foods include pairing  with easy-to-digest vegetables to help aid digestion. Also consider avoiding gas-producing foods like cabbage and onions in the same meal in order not to exacerbate gas caused by beans. 

Watch My Video Summary

Summary of Ways to Reduce Bean Bloat

A summary of 5 strategies to reduce gas and bloating with eating beans and legumes or "bean bloat" infographic.

My Favorite Bean & Legumes Recipes

High protein hummus presented in white bowl on wood cutting board surrounded by edamame beans.
High Protein Hummus (3 ingredients)  – The Heart Dietitian
Beans in smoothie title page with a picture of two smoothies; one is purpose with red kidney beans and the other is green with green peas.
Beans in Smoothies: A How To Guide (+ Recipes!) (theheartdietitian.com)

Final Thoughts

I hope this helps you incorporate these cholesterol lowering beans and legumes without causing bean bloat!

What tip are you going to start with? Let me know in the comments below!

5 Day meal plan to lower cholesterol and blood pressure by The Heart Dietitian.

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