This question was sent to us this morning by a participant in the new PEERtrainer Mastermind Program
I am really enjoying the process and the wealth of information and support you have provided. I have no doubt in my mind what so ever that I will shed these excess pounds. Down 16.8 already!
That said, I am eating according to the Cheat (System) and would like to replace beans for meat or incorporate them more in soups and salads but find when I do I get bloated, full and frankly a little constipated after eating them on the day of and after. Is there a food combination or suppliment that will remedy this situation and allow me to enjoy my beans?
Here is some information that will hopefully help you. The first thing to understand is that as you increase the amount of fiber in your diet, your body is going to work a lot better. The process by which your body naturally detoxifies itself speeds up, and toxins are eliminated at a more rapid rate.
Additionally, many of the molecules and compounds in fiber rich foods are not easily broken down in the small intestine. The following is a segment from an article published on PEERtrainer, "Why Does Fiber Cause Flatulence?"
"Your body does not digest and absorb fiber in the small intestine because of a shortage or absence of certain enzymes there. So this undigested food then passes from the small intestine into the large intestine, where normal, harmless bacteria break down the food, producing hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and, in about a third of all people, methane. Eventually these gases exit through the rectum.
Everyone has intestinal gas and that is a good thing. The normal amount of flatus passed each day depends on whether you are male or female (men fart more) and what is eaten. Foods that can cause flatulence (gas) in some people may not produce flatulence in others. It all depends on the amount and type of bacteria each person has in the large intestine."
That said, you need to understand is WHY this is happening with beans in particular.
Why Do Beans Give You Gas?
Many beans contain sugar molecules called oligosaccharides, and for some reason our digestive tract does not contain the enzymes necessary to break these molecules down as part of the normal digestive process. These molecules are "processed" by bacteria in the large intestine- which results in gas.
How Do I Reduce The Gas From Eating Beans?
1. In order to reduce a good part of the gas from beans is to target the sugar molecules. The most common tactic is to simply soak the beans for a day, which loosens the skin of the bean, releasing some of these sugars. Make sure to not cook the beans in the same water you soaked them in.
2. Beano, which is a popular product, contains the enzymes needed to digest the molecules in beans. The product also helps to digest some of the other "complex carbohydrates" found in fiber rich foods.
3. Reduce the amount of beans that you eat. Often when people make shifts in their diet, it takes some time for the digestive system to adjust. Additionally, fiber rich foods are helping to heal your body, and this healing process can take a longer time than you might expect. If you have been abusing your body for years with processed and nutrient poor foods, it is going to take some time for your body to get back to equilibrium.
4. Use a wide array of foods to reduce your meat consumption. PEERtrainer takes a broad view of things, and we want to be clear that we are no advocating any sort of vegetarian or non-vegetarian diet. We ARE saying to eat a ton more plants, especially greens. The benefits of adding the good things are proven, rooted in science.
When eating meat, if you do, our advice is to make it super tasty and use it as a garnish on a huge salad. Bacon is a particular guilty pleasure of ours and goes great on a huge salad ;)
Also remember that greens have a good deal of protein in them. When you dramatically increase your greens (both raw and cooked) you are giving your body a huge array of important nutrients. As you bring your body towards equilibrium.
5. Spices, spices, spices!! Many spices function as something called a "Carminative" which "is a herb or preparation that either prevents formation of gas in the gastrointestinal tract or facilitates the expulsion of said gas, thereby combating flatulence."
The basic rule of thumb here is that ANY spice will help the situation. If you need some spice ideas, here is a list of "carminatives" from Wikipedia:
* Anise seed
* Lemon balm
For those of you in the PEERtrainer Mastermind Program, the meal and recipe guides that we had developed feature many of these spices. So keep this in mind if you see a spice that you have not tried before. The health benefits of these spices are pretty amazing as well!
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