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Making Beans Digestible and Delicious


Photo of several bowls holding dry beans.

Beans are a delicious and versatile addition to your diet and are an important part of your MEDAS score. Packed with protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, they offer numerous benefits, including promoting heart health, balanced blood sugar, and digestive wellness. If you find yourself avoiding beans due to concerns about gas and bloating, here are four tips for making beans more digestible and enjoyable.

  1. Start Slowly: If you're new to beans, introduce them gradually into your diet. Begin with smaller portions and slowly increase the amount over time as your digestive system adapts. For example, add a few tablespoons of black beans to your rice, ¼ cup lentils into a salad or a sprinkle of chickpeas to your pasta.

  2. Give them a soak: Prior to cooking, soak dried beans in water for several hours or overnight. This process not only softens the beans but also helps break down complex sugars responsible for gas production. Remember to discard the soaking water and rinse the beans before cooking.

  3. Spice them up: Incorporate digestive-friendly spices like cumin, ginger, and fennel into your bean dishes. These spices can help reduce gas and bloating while adding flavor.

  4. Puree your beans: One fantastic way to increase the digestibility of beans is to puree or mash them. Bean purees, such as hummus, pureed bean soup or refried beans, have a smoother texture and are easier on the stomach, making them an excellent option if you have a sensitive digestive system.

Creative Ways to Enjoy Beans

  • Make flavorful bean salads with a fresh vegetables, herbs, and an olive oil vinaigrette.

  • Blend cooked beans with garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil and a pinch of salt to create a bean dip or spread to have on whole grain bread or crackers or cut vegetables.

  • Puree beans in soup broth to create a creamy base for soups, adding a rich texture and added fiber, protein and nutrients. White beans and garbanzo beans are a good choice.

  • Try roasting beans with your favorite spices for a crunchy and protein-packed snack. Try drained canned chickpeas and some premade taco seasoning baked at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, shake the pan and bake for another 15 – 20 minutes until they are crispy. Top with a sprinkle of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Peruse our recipe and meal ideas for more bean ideas. The Bean Institute is another good resource for inspiration.


Embrace the wide variety of beans available and discover how these wholesome legumes can not only elevate the taste of your meals but also contribute to a higher MEDAS score.

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