Beans. A lovely, healthy addition to your diet, that we all know comes with a cost. But have you ever wondered why? I mean, what is it in beans that causes intestinal gas?
Well, wonder no more – this will be your useless info of the day. But before we get into it, let’s start by explaining what is gas.
Intestinal gas is composed of hydrogen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide (three odorless gasses), and methane (the gas that give farts their distinctive smell). Ironically, because the smell is based on the fermentation of carbohydrates, the healthier the food you consume, the worse the smell. So, what about beans? (the article continues after the ad)
Beans cause gas because of a particular sugar called oligosaccharide. Our body does not produce the specific enzyme that breaks down oligosaccharides and therefore, these large molecules are not absorbed in the small intestine during the normal digestive process.
This means that oligosaccharides make it all the way to the large intestine will still being intact and undigested where they meet that bacteria that finally break them. This process however, produces gas that eventually comes out as flatulence.
Of course, it’s not only beans that have molecules that make it through the large intestine while still undigested. By the same principle, other foods also have the same impact with their digestion being made in the large intestine and thus, producing gas.