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Lentils are killing me!



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I’ve tried twice now to make lentil Soup. The first time we didn’t think about de-gassing them and a few bites caused incredible bloating and pain. Last night I brought the lentils to a boil. Rinsed them and added new Water and baking soda to soak them overnight. Rinsed them again tonight before cooking and they still caused me to bloat uncomfortably. I don’t get it - when I go eat Indian food lentils don’t bother me but when I try to make them at home I’ve had nothing but trouble.

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Ghee or butter I believe helps when cooking legumes to aid in the prevention of gas. Oldwives tale... And an antigas med or something like beeno can help too. Have you asked the your NUT about gassy foods and what you can take?

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Nope, haven’t been in contact with my NUT about the issue.

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Maybe ask your fave Indian restaurant their secret? :)

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4 hours ago, FluffyChix said:

Maybe ask your fave Indian restaurant their secret? :)

There's an idea!!

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39 minutes ago, KCgirl061 said:

There's an idea!!

Ha! Then come back here and tell ALL the secrets! ;) :D

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Interestingly I too have bean and lentil issues. That said, If I eat a high Protein meal a few hours before eating Beans or lentils, this seems to mitigate the issue. I am transitioning my diet to plant-based so I am still half-in, half-out. I find my tolerance for other foods is significantly higher when my day starts with solid protein.

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Beans contain three types of oligosaccharides: stachyose, raffinose, and verbascose. These are natural food sugars that humans can’t digest because we don’t produce the enzyme (alpha-galactosidase) required to break them down. Once Beans reach the colon, our resident bacterium begin fermenting these indigestible Prebiotic sugars, fuelling the growth of beneficial microbes to amplify immunity and help prevent allergies, type 2 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disorders, certain cancers, heart disease, and obesity – all worse than having a bit of gas!

There are a number things you can do to reduce gas or bloating, such as:

  • Cook your own instead of buying canned. Soak dried beans in plain Water for 12 -16 hours or overnight to reduce the amount of gas-producing sugars. Soaking twice (draining and refilling with fresh water) will further reduce the oligosaccharides. Even if you use an Instant Pot to cook beans, always soak them first.
  • After soaking, always rinse beans well in a colander under running water, then use fresh water to cook the beans (water plants with the soaking/rinsing water so that it doesn’t go to waste). Quadruple-rinse canned beans in a colander under running water to remove oligosaccharides and sodium in the liquid.< /span>
  • Add a large piece of kombu seaweed to the pot/Instant Pot of beans and water before bringing to a boil, discarding it after the beans are done.
  • Regularly skimming off the foam during boiling also helps to reduce oligosaccharides.
  • If you’re just starting out on a plant-based diet, begin with small servings (1/4 cup or less) to prevent your gut microbes going into fermentation overdrive.
  • Eating beans daily builds up the population of gut bacteria that can digest oligosaccharides. As the community of bacteria in your gut adapts to oligosaccharides, you’ll produce less gas (several studies indicate that gas returns to normal after one to three weeks of eating beans four or more times per week; here’s one of them: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3228670/)
  • Chew extra thoroughly, like you had to in the first several months after surgery! Chewing food stimulates your salivary glands to release amylase, an enzyme which begins breaking down carbohydrates. Chewing food well helps limit gas production in the intestine, and eating slowly also prevents you from swallowing excess air.
  • A bunch of gas-producing ingredients in one meal can cause excessive gas, so if you’re making a dish with beans, onions, and garlic, adjust the recipe as needed. Besides beans, brassicas, asparagus, celery, mushrooms, green peas, garlic, and onions all cause intestinal gas.
  • Not all types of beans increase gas equally, so try different types of beans until you find the ones that work best for you (lentils and black-eyed peas are lowest in oligosaccharides, while chickpeas and navy beans are highest. Coronavirus lockdown is an ideal time to experiment with beans and discover which ones will work best once you’re back at work.

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May I ask what type of lentils you're using?

I ask because I've noticed that green/brown lentils for me are tough and can produce gas, no matter how I prepare them. Whereas, if I use RED/orange lentils, I get a much better consistency and don't notice any gas/bloating. Just a thought.

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So far I seem able to tolerate all types - red, yellow, brown, green, Puy, black/beluga, and macachiados. Are you able to tolerate other types besides red? Overcooking can sometimes help with the digestibility of the brown/green lentils, so while they might not work for you in, say, a salad, dal might be just fine.

One thing I've learned through trial and error is not to salt Beans during cooking: it makes them cook faster, but it also makes them tougher in texture so they may not have the same digestibility that slow soaking and cooking afford. Another thing I've noticed that using the freshest beans/legumes possible makes a difference. Older ones take longer to cook or don’t completely soften up, and often shed their skins during cooking.

Sprouted beans/legumes are also easier for some to digest (plus, it's kind of fun), so you could also give that a try. I try to sprout most nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, and grains before eating. https://draxe.com/nutrition/sprout/

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