Although lentils are nutritious, are full of raffinose sugars, which are difficult to break down for the body. In fact, the enzyme needed to break down this type of sugar is not found in the human body. As the intestines feed on raffinose, they release carbon dioxide and hydrogen, which produces uncomfortable gases. However, there are several ways in which you can help treat the gas produced by the lentils.
Boil the lentils for three minutes before soaking them to release some of the raffins that produce the gas.
Soak lentils overnight before boiling them. Soaking makes them ferment naturally, which helps reduce intestinal gas. Add 1/8 teaspoon of baking powder to the soaking water to help eliminate these sugars from the lentils.
Cook the lentils in a slow cooker for several hours to try to reduce some of the components that produce gas.
Add acidic ingredients such as molasses or tomatoes only after the lentils are cooked. Acidic foods like these prevent lentils from softening. Legumes are more easily digested when soft.
Take an over-the-counter digestive product to help break down the raffinose sugars and relieve the gas.
Rinse canned lentils thoroughly before consuming them to help get rid of some of the raffinose produced by the gas.
Consult your doctor if the gas is accompanied by chronic diarrhea, bloating, abdominal pain or constipation. These may be signs of a more serious complication such as celiac disease or irritable bowel syndrome.