There are a few different reasons that you may need a Beano alternative.
Maybe it’s become too expensive, or ineffective, or you’re just not sure if Beano is vegan-friendly.
Regardless of the case, there’s likely a better product for your stomach issues. I’ve outlined the 3 best alternatives, and I’ve tried to make it as clear as possible who the product is best for.
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Why Beans Cause Bloating and Gas, and How Beano Works
Beano is a well-known brand, but it’s a very simple product.
The only active ingredient is alpha-galactosidase – a digestive enzyme. Any other product with a similar amount of alpha-galactosidase will work just as well.
Enzymes simply break down things. In the case of alpha-galactosidase, it can help break down the fiber in beans that are hard to digest (e.g. oligosaccharides).
Without enzymatic help, this fiber can ferment for a long time in the large intestine, where gas is produced as a byproduct.
The 3 Best Beano Alternatives
For comparison, you’ll need to know that Beano has 400 GALU of alpha-galactosidase in each tablet.
GALU is simply a way to measure the activity units of the alpha-galactosidase enzyme.
Not only is Bean-zyme a significantly cheaper option than Beano, it’s also a reputable company, and the product is clearly vegan.
Yes the bottle is ugly, but I find that’s often a sign of a company spending more time on product quality over marketing.
It’s pretty much an identical product to Beano as it has 400 GALU per tablet.
A few other things you might want to know about Bean-zyme are:
- It’s made in the USA
- Free of all other common allergens (sugar, wheat, gluten, soy, milk, egg)
If Beano is not quite working for you, or you want a product that’s clearly vegan, this is a good alternative.
Ezymedica’s Bean Assist is a similar price to Beano and has 300 GALU of alpha-galactosidase per tablet.
I’ve seen some people claim that it worked when beano didn’t and vice versa. The difference is probably just in their head (i.e. placebo effect), but there could be small manufacturing differences.
In terms of product quality and effectiveness, this is the best for most people, but it’s also the most expensive.
So if you’re getting mixed results from other bean enzyme products, it’s worth a try.
This is different from Beano and the other alternatives because it contains more enzymes than justalpha-galactosidase. It includes:
Protease, Amylase, Glucoamylase, Lactase, Cellulase, Maltase, Hemicellulase, Xylanase, Beta Glucanase, Serrapeptase, Nattokinase, Alpha Galactosidase, Lipase, Catalase, Invertase, Pectinase, Phytase, Glucose Oxidase
Side note: Most words that end in “-ase” are enzymes.
So not only does this Veganzyme product contain alpha-galactosidase, it contains several other enzymes as well.
Some of these may help with digesting the hard-to-digest parts of beans, and others will help with the food you eat alongside beans.
Note that the amount of each enzyme isn’t known (proprietary), there’s just 1,000 mg of the total blend.
With that being said, this product is specifically made for vegans, who typically eat a lot of beans and other plant foods, so it should have enough of what’s needed.
The Best Long-Term Solution to Gas Without Needing Beano
It’s not unhealthy to use a product like Beano long-term, but it’s inconvenient and an extra expense that no one wants.
The better option is to train your body.
Your stomach, small intestine, and pancreas all produce digestive enzymes to quickly break down foods. The more you eat a certain food (e.g. beans), the more your body will adapt and produce more of the appropriate enzymes.
So while something like Beano is useful if you’re suddenly eating a ton of extra beans, the better long-term option is to slowly and regularly add beans to your diet.