Beans and IBS - VeggieBoards

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#1 Old 07-14-2010, 06:14 AM
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I did a search and read the previous posts, but did not see this specific question addressed. Does anyone with IBS have issues with beans? Since I went totally vegan I have been eating beans almost every day and it is just ruining me. Stomach aches, constipation etc. I think it is just too much fibre. I am having it on salads and maybe that is not the best place for it since salads have a lot of fibre too. So I am trying an experiment where I am halving the serving size of the beans to see if that makes a difference. I was using the recommended half a cup and that is just too much in one sitting, I think I did some calculations today on Spark People because I was worried that if I cut the serving size of the beans. I would not get enough protein, but I turned out to be over the protein for today so I guess that extra bit is not going to make much of a difference.

Any experience with this? Will cutting the portion size of the beans (and upping the portion of the rest of the dish instead) help, do you think.
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#2 Old 07-14-2010, 07:14 AM
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I wouldn't expect beans to make you constipated. I eat a lot of legumes and I'll admit to having a lot of gas- that is, flatulence- but that's the extent of my problems. I wouldn't think a half-cup of cooked beans at one meal was excessive either; I often have a bit more than that.

Are your beans cooked enough? White, pinto, red, and kidney beans don't take me more than 60 to 90 minutes to cook, and split peas or lentils take even less time. But garbanzos and soybeans seem to take forever, and beans really aren't easy to digest if they're undercooked. (I've heard that raw kidney beans can actually make one sick but I don't know if this is true.) If you're using canned beans, this should not be a problem, but canned beans are usually unpleasantly salty IMHO.

Speaking of salt.... if you're cooking dry beans and add salt at the beginning of cooking, instead of when they're nearly done, this can prevent them from cooking and softening properly.

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#3 Old 07-14-2010, 07:49 AM
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I am using canned beans. What I find is I get stomach aches about an hour after, then gassy, then nothing happens. The beans are the only real change from before, where I was eating dairy, eggs and more processed stuff. I don't want to over-do the tofu because it's higher fat and I worry about developing food sensitivities since I drink soy milk already, eat tofu and am prone to food sensitivities. So I was really hoping to replace the non-vegan stuff in salads with beans, but it is making me more uncomfortable than I thought.

I heard there are some Indian spices that aid in digestion, perhaps I could use them to season my salads but I am not sure which ones to use.
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#4 Old 07-14-2010, 07:59 AM
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Are you rinsing the beans? I don't know if not rinsing would lead to what you're experiencing, but it's the only thing I can think of...
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#5 Old 07-14-2010, 10:26 AM
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my sister has IBS, and she's very sensitive to beans too. Not sure if she experiences diarrhoea or constipation, but she gets a lot of stomach cramps from eating too much of it.

Try some other forms of rich protein foods, such as nuts, seeds and grains. Also, different legumes have different effect on my try different kinds of beans to see which one you are more sensitive to and which ones you can digest easier.

Lastly, she doesn't find any difference between canned or dry beans. But do rinse your beans thoroughly, no matter how you prepare them. If dry, soak them longer and rinse a few times during the cooking process...that takes out a lot of the gas creating compounds that can result in cramping.

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#6 Old 07-14-2010, 01:37 PM
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Thanks for the advice, everyone. I did try smaller portions today and did not wilt from lack of protein It may be the cucumber too, it occurs to me, I'll have to experiment. The only issue is, I can't have nuts (except peanuts, which are banned in my workplace) but I do eat sunflower seeds. It's harder to do this right when you ahve restrictions---it would be so easy to just go and get a veggie burger sometimes, but alas, I cannot
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#7 Old 07-14-2010, 02:27 PM
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What about lentils? Aren't they supposed to be easier on digestion than other types of beans?
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