Lentils: They’re easy to make, packed with protein and nutrients and they taste delicious. The only problem? Sometimes you’ll chow down on a bowl of lentil soup, only to feel a little meh afterward. But why?
As healthy as they are, lentils have the potential to cause some, um, tummy troubles—bloating and gas, to be specific. While medical experts (like those at the Cleveland Clinic) agree that the primary cause of this digestive upset is their high fiber content, some dieticians and nutritionists purport that “anti-nutrient” compounds are the culprits behind the gas. These substances—which are naturally found in many plant- and animal-based foods—can potentially block the absorption of nutrients. The good news? Many of the so-called anti-nutrients found in lentils (like lectins and phytates) can be deactivated by soaking the lentils in water.