"Beans, beans, the musical fruit. The more you eat, the more you toot. The more you toot, the better you feel. So eat your beans at every meal!" That schoolyard rhyme contains some nutritional truth, because, if you're like most fiber-deprived North Americans, adding veggies to your diet can (for a while) increase production in your gas pipeline.
On the other hand, if you become a bean-loving vegetarian, you'll cut your dependence on all that's involved in raising animals (including their gas production), which in turn can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Another benefit? A vegetarian diet helps you live longer!
According to data from the Adventist Health Study 2 - a group of 96,000 people, half of whom were meat eaters and half of whom were vegans, vegetarians or semi-vegetarians who ate meat less than once a week - veggie lovers live younger and longer. In fact, the mortality rate for meat eaters (during the study) was 20 percent higher than for folks who ate little or no meat.
So, if worry about "tooting" is keeping you from becoming vegetarian or semi-vegetarian, consider this: Eating foods such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts and beans may cause flatulence, but it also fights colon cancer, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity! And over time, your body adjusts: One study found that while 35 percent of new bean eaters reported increased flatulence, only 3 percent said it was still a problem by week eight. Also, if you rinse canned beans, you remove most of the trouble-making chemicals and still get a nutritional bonanza.
© King Features Syndicate