Legumes are well known to cause indigestion.
Some people may not tolerate legumes well, as they may cause gas, bloating, or other symptoms of indigestion.
Legumes effect on your stomach may be due to their fiber content.
If your diet is lacking in fiber and you suddenly start eating high amounts, you may well feel gassier than usual.
But everything should go back to normal once your body adjusts to the increased fiber intake.
You can also add legumes to your diet gradually — start with 2 to 4 tablespoons (tbsp) of beans or lentils at a time, then increase your intake as your body adjusts.
Drink plenty of water to offset legumes effects on your stomach, too.
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Legumes also contain lectins, which when eaten raw can lead to symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, bloating, and gas.
Lectins are an anti-nutrient, and some say they cause obesity, chronic inflammation, and autoimmune diseases.
I say not to worry too much, however, as these negative effects are canceled after cooking.
When we cook legumes at high temperature, it will eliminate lectin activity from legumes which make them safe to eat.
In the meantime, there are some things you can do to reduce the stomach trouble after a legume-based meal.
- Choose easier-to-digest canned beans over dried ones.
- Take a digestive aid, before eating legumes.
- If you’re soaking dried beans, change the water a few times to get rid of the gas-producing carbohydrates that dissolve into the water.
- If you’re cooking the beans, simmer until tender to make them easier to digest.
- Drink plenty of water to help your body adjust to the increased fiber.
I also suggest starting your legume journey with lentils.
Some people find lentils easier to digest than other starchier legumes, like black beans or chickpeas, so start with lentils if other legumes cause too much digestive distress.
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