While rajma (kidney beans) and chole (chickpeas) offer so many health benefits, do people feel gassy after eating them? Know why this happens and whether or not you should refrain from having them.
Rajma rice (beans) and chole (chickpeas) are two of the staples that people love to eat especially in North India. The weekend arrives and the first thing mom is doing is boiling one of the two for everyone to enjoy. While we love to eat them, they don’t always sit well with our digestive system. Not always, but you must have had a severe stomach ache or felt nauseous after eating a bowl of chole or rajma at some point in your life. If you were wondering why eating rajma and chole makes you gassy? Let’s find out.
Health Shots asked Sweedal Trinidade, Head of Department – Dietary Services, PDHinduja Hospital and MRC, Mahim, Mumbai, about the side effects of consuming chole and rajma on digestive health.
Why does eating rajma and chole make you gassy?
If you are a vegetarian, you would know how important it is to include protein rich foods like rajma and chole in your diet. Not only that, they’re also a rich source of dietary fiber, vitamin B9, folate, and calcium. While the main source of energy in chickpeas and beans are complex carbohydrates and the glycemic index is just 29, the processing, recipe and portion sizes contribute to the glycemic load, says Trinidade.
Yes, both are loaded with nutritional benefits, but they also contain substances that are not good for you. They also contain anti-nutritional factors such as saponins, hemagglutinin, lectins, phytates, oxalate, proteases and amylase inhibitors so as to protect the plant from insect infestation. A little processing can take care of these, and bloat makes digestion easier.
Rajma and colas also take longer to digest due to some nutrients such as fiber, complex carbohydrates, resistant starch, and protein, which take relatively longer to digest. According to data from Harvard University, fiber is a type of carbohydrate that your body can’t digest easily. While most carbohydrates can be converted into the sugar molecules known as glucose, fiber cannot and instead travels through the body undigested. Fiber absorbs more amounts of water, so it needs to be supplemented with a high amount of water to prevent bloating, adds Trinidade.
Another reason why eating rajma and chole might lead to gas is the presence of two starches, stachyose and raffinose. These unusual starches in the intestines cause gas as bacteria in the lining of our stomachs break this starch down into hydrogen and carbon dioxide, which can lead to bloating.
How can you avoid it?
While they might make you feel gassy, should you avoid them completely? The expert says you don’t have to give up savoring these delicious recipes just because they can make you feel bloated. Instead, you can try ways to make your digestion easier.
She suggests soaking the beans for 4 to 6 hours and discarding any foamy water. Now change the water if the foam persists. You can also add hing (asafoetida), ajwain (carrot seeds) and sauf (fennel seeds) when preparing rajma and chole recipes. Add them in small amounts as they will aid in digestion.
Note: You can make them easier to digest by trying these tips. However, consult your doctor to find out if you can have them.
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