Barely finished with the meal, it starts already: flatulence. There was nothing unusual in the food, only the chickpeas were a bit unusual for you. Can chickpeas cause gas? And if so, what can you do to better tolerate chickpeas? We are now clarifying these and more questions:

In this article you will learn:

  • Can chickpeas cause gas?
  • Is there a chickpea intolerance or allergy?
  • How do I recognize a chickpea allergy?
  • When should I see a doctor?
  • How do I prepare chickpeas correctly?
  • What tips are there to help me digest chickpeas better?

Chickpea gas: what may be the cause?

The food was really tasty, but you’ve been farting for a long time. Hm. Is it maybe the ingredients? What was that in there? Certain foods can cause flatulence. While bloating is a  normal part of the body’s function , when it gets out of hand it can understandably be uncomfortable.

However, a scrutinizing look at the recipe reveals nothing unusual about your food. But wait, what about the  chickpeas ?

Can chickpeas cause gas?

Depending on their weight, dried chickpeas contain around 61% carbohydrates – of which around 11% sugar and 17% fiber -, 6% fat and 19% protein. The rest is water and some minerals. The ingredients are also key to getting to the bottom of the gas issue.

Chickpeas are legumes and, like most other legumes, they cause gas. The reason is the many fibers that are made up of dietary fiber.  While fiber is very useful for our bodies, too much can cause gas.

These fibers are difficult to digest and are hardly broken down in our small intestine, but instead are carried on into the large intestine. Here the bacteria have to break down the fibers and this creates gases. Incidentally, a particularly large number of these fibers are contained  in the fine shell of the chickpeas  .

In addition to fiber, chickpeas also contain raffinose, a sugar that is part of FODMAPs. This acronym stands for a group of  short-chain, indigestible carbohydrates : fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols.

Since our body lacks the enzyme that can digest this sugar completely, it migrates largely undisturbed through the human intestine to the large intestine. Here bacteria ferment the sugar and  the fermentation process releases a lot of gases.  The result for you: flatulence.

Are these processes the only cause of chickpea gas or are there other reasons? Sometimes flatulence, along with other symptoms, can indicate  intolerance or allergies  .

Is there a chickpea intolerance or allergy?

In fact, there are  allergies to legumes  in general and chickpeas in particular. In the case of an allergy, there is a disorder in the immune reaction. The body reacts to these allergens as a  potential hazard . A very small amount is enough. The symptoms of an allergy often show up as a child and with mere contact with the substance in question.

Chickpeas are legumes and are in no way inferior to the notorious beans when it comes to flatulence.

This can also quickly become dangerous, as an allergy can trigger  life-threatening anaphylactic shock  . Therefore, the suspicion of an allergy must always be clarified medically.

In contrast to allergies, food intolerance is a  metabolic disorder . As a result of this, certain ingredients or constituents of food are not used at all or only insufficiently by your body. Therefore, food intolerance often leads to gastrointestinal complaints such as flatulence and diarrhea.

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An intolerance can occur  with very common foods  , such as onions, potatoes, lettuce or peppers. But the intolerance is not life-threatening, in contrast to the allergy.

Do you want to know more? Then read on here: Difference between allergies and intolerance.

How do I recognize a chickpea allergy?

As with other food allergies, symptoms of a chickpea allergy often appear on the skin. This includes:

  • Redness
  • Rashes
  • Hives
  • Inflammation

Serious food allergy symptoms often appear after consumption. These include, for example:

  • Lowering blood pressure
  • diarrhea
  • Vomit
  • asthma-like symptoms, such as cough
  • Mouth sores such as blisters

A severe allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis and can become life threatening. You should therefore always call the emergency doctor on 112 if someone has an allergic reaction. Anaphylactic shock may announce itself with the following symptoms:

  • Tingling sensation in the body
  • itching
  • a headache
  • Metallic taste in the mouth
  • difficulties swallowing

Make sure to call the emergency doctor on 112 if those affected show these reactions:

  • Pale and cold skin
  • Lips turn blue
  • Pulse has flattened
  • Airways cramp up
  • Shortness of breath

Is there cross-reactivity with chickpea allergy?

If you already have an allergy to certain substances, you may also react to other substances with these substances. Medical professionals refer to this as cross-reactivity or cross-reaction.

Therefore, if you’re allergic to chickpeas, you may also have a reaction to soybeans. This is because  chickpeas and soybeans have similar proteins that can trigger an allergic reaction . You also run a higher risk of being allergic to other legumes.

Please talk to your doctor about it, also about the dangers of cross-reactivity and which substances are included here. This is how you can deal with your allergy carefully.

How do I recognize a chickpea intolerance?

A chickpea intolerance is not the same as a food allergy. Digestive disorders can occur, but food intolerance does not cause immune system reactions like allergies.

Typical complaints of food intolerance include:

  • stomach pain
  • Flatulence
  • diarrhea
  • However, rashes and itching are less common

These symptoms usually appear  a few hours after you eat  . It can be difficult to attribute the rather unspecific symptoms to a food intolerance. It is therefore a good idea to have these complaints clarified medically if they occur frequently.

When should I see a doctor?

If you are worried that you have an intolerance or even a chickpea allergy, you should have this  clarified medically . There are several tests that can show if you have an allergy. However, these must take place under the supervision of a competent doctor so that they can be checked without risk.

Depending on the severity of your reaction, you can also discuss preventive and emergency measures with your doctor. As long as you don’t know whether you have an allergy or an intolerance, you should  avoid contact with chickpeas  and under no circumstances eat them.

10 tips to help you digest chickpeas better

Are you neither allergic to chickpeas, nor do you have an intolerance? Even so, you have to fart chickpeas very often. This is completely normal in itself, but understandable if that bothers you. Of course, you could now choose not to eat chickpeas anymore.

But that would actually be a shame, because  chickpeas are very healthy . They contain many vitamins, minerals, fiber and also protein. Some believe that chickpeas can help you lose weight and also have a positive effect on blood sugar levels.

Chickpeas are also a very  versatile ingredient because you can incorporate them into various dishes with little effort. Due to their high protein content and the versatile preparation options from hummus to salad to falafel, they are particularly interesting for vegetarians and vegans. The processing is very easy and works as well as in any kitchen – even if you are not an ambitious hobby cook.

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Despite possible flatulence: Chickpeas are healthy and can be used in many delicious dishes such as hummus or falafel.

It is therefore worthwhile for you to try out ways that you can better digest chickpeas and thus digest them better.

How do I prepare chickpeas correctly?

When raw, chickpeas are poisonous due to the lectin mixture called phasin. Only through soaking and then boiling is this poison neutralized and the chickpeas are therefore edible.

1. Wash the chickpeas:

You can buy chickpeas either dry or in a can. Canned chickpeas usually swim in water. Since this is usually not pure water, but may be mixed with additives depending on the provider, you should first pour the canned chickpeas  into a sieve and wash them under running water before using them.

2. Soak the chickpeas:

Dried chickpeas, like other dried legumes, also need to be soaked first. To do this, take your desired amount of chickpeas, pour them into a large bowl and fill it up with cold water. You will need enough water to cover all of the peas at least  three fingers wide  . You now let it stand for  twelve hours  and during this time you change the soaking water a few times. After this time you can prepare the chickpeas.

You want to cook chickpeas today, but you forgot to soak them? Then there is actually  a shortcut : rinse the peas under cold running water and then pour them into a saucepan. You will now need enough water to cover the peas about two inches. Turn on the stove and wait until the water and the chickpeas boil.

Let them cook for about a minute, then take the pan off the stove and let the chickpeas soak in the water for about an hour.Then you can move on to the next step.

3. Cooking chickpeas:

Like most legumes, chickpeas are  slightly toxic when uncooked . Cooking is therefore a must. To do this, you let your soaked chickpeas drain again in the sieve and then pour them all into a large saucepan. Add double the amount of water and you can start cooking.

Please always use fresh water for cooking and  discard the soaking water . There might still be Phasin in there. As soon as the water boils, you can lower the heat a little and simmer the peas until they have the desired firmness. If you want to process them into hummus, they can be very soft, if they are to be crunchy in the salad, it is enough if the previously well-soaked chickpeas cook for 20-30 minutes.

Drain the  chickpeas, cooked soft or crunchy, as desired  . As soon as they have cooled down, you can process them further depending on the menu.

By the way, you can also freeze these cooked and cooled chickpeas. To do this, you need an airtight container and a freezer compartment with enough space.  The peas will keep frozen for about a month.

What tips are there to help me digest chickpeas better?

Many dishes with chickpeas, such as a vegetarian curry, are so delicious that you definitely want to try them. Fortunately, there are some tips that can help your body get used to chickpeas better.

  • Remove peel
    Particularly large amounts of the indigestible fibers are found in the skins of the chickpeas. Therefore, professional chefs from the Orient, where the chickpea is part of practically all meals, recommend removing the peel. This works best if you add a teaspoon of baking soda to the cooking water. After cooking, rub the peas together so that most of the skins come off on their own and can be washed away.
    Alternatively, you can now even buy peeled and halved dried chickpeas. They cost a little more, but you save the work of peeling the peas. In addition, you need less time and energy when cooking, because the peas are cooked much faster.
  • Start with small
    amounts.Use chickpeas as an addition to a salad or in another dish before throwing yourself into a pure chickpea meal.
  • Eat chickpeas more often
    Take advantage of the habituation effect by using chickpeas regularly as an ingredient in food over a longer period of time and slowly increasing the amount.
  • Choose a
    digestible dish Don’t go straight to the greasiest dish to get used to chickpeas. Because fatty food already strains your digestion enough, even without bloating ingredients. Therefore, it is better to rely on food that is gentle on the stomach.
  • Use spices to reduce the bloating effects
    There are some spices that can aid your digestion. Cumin and fennel, for example, are good against flatulence. Caraway in particular goes very well with many dishes with chickpeas, such as curry. But be careful: don’t overdo it with the spices, especially the heat. If you’re not used to strong spices, that can be problematic too.
  • Eat slowly
    Take your time while eating, chew thoroughly and enjoy it in peace. Eating with stress is always a burden for your gastrointestinal tract and that is precisely what we want to avoid now. Legumes in particular can be “predigested” with relish by chewing each bite until it tastes slightly sweet.
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If chickpeas are overwhelming your digestion, eating more slowly can help to minimize unwanted side effects.
  • Smaller Servings
    Don’t fill your plate right away; try smaller servings. This also relieved your gastrointestinal tract.
  • No alcohol, no cigarette afterwards
    Give your digestion a break by not drinking alcohol with your meal and not smoking before or after.
  • Mindful eating
    The way you eat largely determines how your body perceives, absorbs and can deal with food. Mindful eating helps you to eat relaxed and consciously.

Please remember that these tips are only suitable for you if you tolerate chickpeas in general and you just want to weaken the effect of flatulent legumes. If you suspect an allergy or intolerance, you should avoid chickpeas and discuss your concerns with your doctor.

Chickpea cooking water or aqua fava is a real  vegan alternative to protein . Because the Aqua fava can be beaten into snow and is therefore great for baking. But please only use your own cooking water and not the water from the can.

Chickpea Gas: How to Get Rid of It

Chickpeas can cause  flatulence due to the fiber and FODMAPs they contain  . It is also possible to have a  food intolerance  or an  allergy  to chickpeas. These concerns should be clarified medically, because an allergy can trigger an anaphylactic shock, which is life-threatening.

If you are generally okay with chickpeas but want to avoid the gas, there are a few options. First of all, you need to prepare the peas by soaking them  long enough and then boiling them . The cooled chickpeas are easy to process or store.

Due to the many vitamins, minerals and other ingredients, chickpeas are  very healthy and also very versatile . It’s best to try out for yourself how you like the chickpeas best. Get inspiration from our recipes, such as our recipes with black seed oil. Especially the salad with chickpeas mentioned here or the chickpea masala described here are perfect for you to try. We wish you a good appetite!

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