Green beans are different from most other beans (i.e. kidney, black, etc.) in a lot of ways, and while they typically don’t cause much gas, they can cause some.
There are 2 main things that green beans contain that can cause gas: fiber and lectins.
I’ll quickly walk you through why, and what you can do about it.
Green Beans Are Relatively High in Fiber
Green beans have 2.7 grams of fiber per 100 gram serving, as you can see in the nutritional table below.
|Total Lipid (g)||0.22|
For comparison, 100 grams of spinach has 2.2 grams of fiber.
So green beans have a good amount of fiber, but nothing crazy per serving.
The difference between green beans and most other vegetables is that it’s a lot easier to eat a large amount of green beans.
Most people find 100 grams of something like spinach very filling, while it’s easy to eat several servings of green beans at once, especially if you add toppings.
Green beans are relatively high in fiber per serving. This fiber is then fermented in the gut, which produces gas, leading to bloating and flatulence.
Are There Any Hard to Digest Carbohydrates in Green Beans?
Gas is formed through bacterial fermentation in your large intestine. The vast majority of gas is produced by fermenting carbohydrates that don’t break down well in the small intestine.
The most common carbohydrates that lead to gas are:
- Sugar alcohols
We already looked at the fiber content of green beans above.
In addition, unlike other legumes, green beans have very low levels of oligosaccharides (source).
So the last thing we need to do is look at the sugar profile of green beans. This is the amount of sugars and sugar alcohols per 100 grams of raw green beans.
The sugar alcohol content (sorbitol and mannitol) is quite low, so it’s unlikely to be a problem.
However, green beans have a decent amount of fructose per serving. Research has shown that some people are relatively intolerant to fructose and it can lead to gas.
Green Beans Are High in Lectins
Finally, there’s one other substance in green beans that may contribute to gas: lectins.
In short, lectins bind to carbohydrates and make digestion more difficult. Therefore, carbohydrates break down less in the small intestine, which will lead to more fermentation and gas in the large intestine.
It turns out that lectins are highest in beans and grains (source), and this includes green beans.
Can You Reduce Gas From Green Beans?
The main reasons that green beans cause gas for some people is because they are relatively high in:
If you’re having stomach issues from green beans, there are only 2 things you can realistically do.
First, eat smaller portion sizes.
Second,cooking beans reduces lectin content, which can reduce the amount of gas that eating green beans results in.
If that doesn’t help, consider that it may be something else that you’re eating alongside green beans that is causing you to produce excess gas.