Do Beans Really Make You Fart?

Beans and Farting

Beans May Not Be As Flatulent As You Think

Beans have long been known as the musical fruit.

I even remember my mom singing me songs about it throughout my childhood.

But just how much, exactly, do beans contribute to intestinal discomfort?

It’s an important question since flatulence and a stinky rectum are often the biggest perceived drawbacks to eating this wonderful type of legume. Beans are a vegetarians best friend, since they’re an unusually good source of protein, iron and zinc, nutrients often cited as weaknesses in the vegetarian diet.

A new study published in the Nutrition Journal attempted to decipher whether perceptions about the musical fruit are more perception or reality

Three groups of people did a placebo-controlled study that required the groups to regularly eat a half cup of beans and report changes in fart-related activities compared to those that didn’t.

Here are the results: (emphasis added by me)

Less than 50% reported increased flatulence from eating pinto or baked beans during the first week of each trial, but only 19% had a flatulence increase with black-eyed peas. A small percentage (3-11%) reported increased flatulence across the three studies even on control diets without flatulence-producing components.

There were three types of beans consumed in the study, and overall less than 50% of participants reported changes in…..”discomfort” of any sort. For black eyed peas this number was 19%….pretty insignificant.

So, while beans do cause some unwanted side-effects, most people are probably over-estimating the adjustments their colon will have to make by incorporating more beans into their diet.

6 thoughts on “Do Beans Really Make You Fart?”

  1. Well, I suppose it’s different for each person. When you account for individual differences in colon activity and the different types of beans, things can probably vary quite a bit.

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  2. […] they are also known to cause less flatulence than other beans. It’s true! Here’s the controlled study. And for reasons too numerous to mention, in this recipe heat was out, discomfort was out and meat […]

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  3. When I eat pinto beans I get banished to the couch. The dog won’t even sleep with me. I don’t get crampy or stomach aches, just fart…A LOT.

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