Chickpeas or garbanzo beans are among the most consumed legumes in the world. They are packed with nutrients, and offer a lot of health benefits to the human body. However, there is the worry of this wonderful legume causing bloating and other digestion problems among individuals.
Many people have complained of heaving gas and bloating immediately after eating this legume. But are they really the culprit? Do chickpeas really cause gas and bloating? Well, let’s find out.
Before we get down with the relationship between chickpeas and bloating, you might want to know a few facts about farting or flatulence caused by excess gas.
Normally, people get embarrassed when the word “fart” is mentioned. That’s understandable. But yet, everybody farts: it’s natural. If you don’t fart, it means you are not okay, and you need to go see your doctor fast; because you are bloated.
Surely, farting in the public is a poor etiquette. But farting is a sign of a good and working digestive system. It has been estimated that an average person farts about 14-30 times daily, with some people going as high as 40 rounds a day.
If you ask me, I would say that’s a lot. I don’t know about you, but I don’t fart that much in a day. I know by now, you must be wondering how many times in a day is considered normal. Well, most reports have put an average normal human to pass out gas around 14-30 times daily. Anything above 30-40 times per day means you are not okay, and may need medical attention.
Interestingly, several reports have shown that men fart a little bit more than women. It is so, because it’s believed that men eat more fiber than women do, and have stronger bowel muscles to get rid of gas more quickly.
Well, enough of this farting stuffs. Let’s go there!
Do chickpeas cause gas and bloating?
Chickpeas, just like most other leguminous foods, can cause gas and bloating. This is due to their richness in fiber. A cup of cooked chickpeas contains about 12 g of fiber.
While we know fiber to be very beneficial in the body, excess of it can lead to excess gas problems. This is because fiber is hard to digest in the human gut. So, when we eat fiber, most of it passes undisturbed through the small intestine until it reaches the large intestine, where bacteria act upon it to cause the production of a lot of gas.
Apart from fiber, chickpeas also contain raffinose, a sugar that is part of the FODMAPs. This acronym stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols (1). They are a group of short-chain indigestible carbohydrates.
Our body lacks the enzyme that can digest these sugars completely, so they travel largely undisturbed through the human gut until they reach the colon, where bacteria ferment them. The fermentation process leads to the production of a lot gas and bloating.
The gas caused by chickpeas can lead to stomach cramps. Fortunately, it tends to go away fairly quick. However, if the stomach cramps persists and becomes severe, then you should go see your doctor fast, as it may be a sign of a more serious problem.
Chickpeas cause gas and bloating, mainly due to the high amount of fiber they contain, and also indigestible oligosaccharides in the form of raffinose. You can reduce the possibility of this legume making you gassy, by reducing the quantity you consume. You might also want to cook them well before eating.
If the above still doesn’t help, you should consider replacing it with other protein-rich sources of food such as egg or organic grass-fed meat.
Finally, you should note that human systems are a little bit different. So, our bodies react to foods in different ways too. Due to this, what causes you gas might not cause another person gas. So, the best way to find out if a food makes you gassy is by eating it alone without other foods that can be potential causes of gas.