I’m sure you’ve all heard the phrase, “Beans, beans, good for your heart, the more you eat the more you fart.” But before you blame gassiness solely on the healthy, protein-filled legumes you eat, you should probably know the full story, which our friends at Mental Floss and Men’s Health told us.
Well, to start you may have noticed that beans have a slight sweet taste to them. This occurs naturally because beans are partly made up of a group of sugars called oligosaccharides. These are more commonly know as raffinose and stachyose, which honestly sound like some crazy drugs to me.
And to throw some basic science at cha, your body cannot digest these oligosaccharides because you don’t have the right enzymes to break ’em down, meaning they’re too big to be absorbed into your blood.
So instead, the oligosaccharides are pushed to your colon where literally billions of good bacteria feast on the them. However, these buggers’ digestive activity produces small amounts of gas including hydrogen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and even a little methane as a result.
Now are things starting to make sense? If not, plain and simply, beans contain a group of sugars called oligosaccharides, which cannot be broken down, or digested, by the human body. So instead they go directly to your lower gut where the bacteria that lives there eats the sugar and produces gas as a result.
I know this probably sounds disgustingly frightening but it’s actually normal, and the gas that accumulates down there will just eventually be released as a fart.
Since we’re the ones who have to deal with this, errrr, mess, you’re probably looking for a solution. And you’re in luck. Obviously, for one, you can stop eating beans. However, if you just can’t give up baked beans or your dad’s famous chili, you can still avoid these hopefully silent and unfortunately deadly guys with gas-relieving supplements.
There’s actually a product just for this problem called Beano. It contains an enzyme, alpha galactosidase, which comes from a fungus called Aspergillus niger. This also sounds ridiculously alarming, but it’s totally our savior because it breaks down those fart-inducing oligosaccharides for us.
All you gotta do is put a few drops of this magic juice into some water and drink up before your bean-filled dinner. Or you can even pop a Beano tablet which will break up those big sugars into more digestible, simple ones like sucrose, glucose and fructose.
So there you have it, the real dirty truth behind why beans make ya fart and a way out of potentially awks situations.