This is probably not the most popular subject to broach around here but, facts are, some people experience increased amounts of gas when transitioning into the high-fiber, plant-based diet. This is often because these foods have a certain “Roto-Rooter”effect on much of the decaying animal fragments lodged throughout their intestinal tract. And as these fragments are dislodged, there can be varying degrees of “detox” that happen as your body attempts to process them. (Not very pleasant…but I would rather NOT be carrying that bullshit around in my intestines!)
Even still, beans tend to be the most synonymous with this “dilemma.” This is because beans contain certain carbohydrates that are not easily digested by everyone. So as they pass from the small to the large intestine, your intestinal flora (bacteria) often converts these carbs to gas. Of course, gas is a perfectly natural thing and doesn’t necessarily mean that anything is wrong with how you’re digesting things. Nonetheless, some folks are still wary of including many bean dishes in their regimen, even though beans are an indispensable part of Rock-Solid nutrition. If gas is an issue for you where beans are concerned, here are a few points to consider.
1. As your body acclimates to this new high-fiber regimen, you will typically experience less gas because your body will begin to produce more of the actual enzyme that processes these foods.
2. The soaking and draining process of preparing beans for cooking removes the hemicellulose, which is one of the main gas-producing components of beans.
3. Thoroughly cooking beans will also make them easier to assimilate and can often reduce the incident of gas.
4. Taking a digestive enzyme (like Florazyme by The Ultimate Life) can aid the body in digesting beans easier, which can also mean less gas.
What About Soy?
Various soy products can fall into this category for some (as they are obviously derived from the bean family). If you are experiencing gas or ANY kind of gastrointestinal unrest from soy, consider this:
A) Reduce your total amount of soy per day, then gradually increase your number of servings as your body acclimates.
B) Try the above-mentioned digestive enzyme.
C) If it persists, make sure that you don’t have a soy allergy.
Remember, most who transition to a veggie diet go from “0 to 60” overnight. In other words, they go from eating beans and soy products very rarely, if ever, to suddenly eating multiple servings per day. So, give your body a chance to adjust and then enjoy those legumes and soy items, people!