It’s a fact, pulses (legumes) tend to induce flatulence, but you should certainly not avoid them, as they are very nutritious. They are significantly rich in vitamins and minerals, protein, soluble fiber, which is beneficial for cardiovascular health, and have a low Glycemic Index, ideal for keeping you fuller for longer. In brief, they are a “must” on your plate!
All foods containing carbohydrates can encourage the production of gas in the large intestine. By carbohydrates we mean sugars, fibers and starch. When carbohydrates come from foods that are not completely digested (such as pulses), the production of gas increases even further.
• After soaking legumes, throw the used water away and replace it with fresh water before cooking.
• You can add a large strip of Kombu seaweed to the water.
• Ensure you remove the foam that forms on the surface when the water reaches boiling point.
• The addition of ginger, fennel and cumin seeds to the recipe can equally help. (for example Spicy Red Lentil Soup)
• Avoid combining them with other gas producing foods, such as onions, garlic, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts or cauliflower (especially if these are raw).
• Incorporate them gradually and consistently into your diet.
• Cook legumes at length (slow cooker dishes or soups) (for example Chili con Carne [slow cooker])
• If they still cause you problems, it is possible to buy a natural enzyme to take before eating them, such as the brand “Beano”.