Side Effects Of Eating Green Peas: Cause Of Gas

Side Effects Of Eating Green Peas: Cause Of Gas

Green peas, also called "garden peas," are spherical seeds nestled within the pods of the Pisum sativum plant.  People have grown green peas for centuries for their nutrition and versatility. Like lentils and beans, green peas can be cooked in many ways. 

Peas, technically considered a fruit because they develop from the ovary of a pea flower and contain seeds, have pharmacologically active extracts, which have been shown to possess anticancer properties.  Peas include varieties like yellow peas and purple peas.

Green peas are available in various forms like fresh, frozen, or canned, and they are rich in proteins, antioxidants, and fibers, making them a valuable addition to a healthy diet.  So, now that we've gotten a taste of what peas are all about, let’s dive a bit deeper into their fascinating origins and the myriad varieties out there.

Historical significance and varieties of peas

Green peas boast a rich history in culinary traditions, featured prominently in Indian, Chinese, Mediterranean, and British cuisines.  Each of these cuisines leverages the unique qualities of peas, effectively blending nutrition and taste. 

To complement the nutritional advantages of these diverse cuisines, consider adding The Good Bug's Prebiotic Fiber Boost to your diet. This not only promotes bowel health and nourishes the gut microbiome but also supports overall wellness, seamlessly integrating with your healthy eating habits.

Archaeological and historical perspectives

Peas boast an illustrious past that stretches back millennia. They have been unearthed in ancient Egyptian tombs, serving as food for pharaohs in the afterlife, and were a mainstay in the diets of ancient Greeks and Romans.  

People dried and stored peas for cold months. As time passed, peas wove their way through Europe during the Middle Ages, becoming an essential sustenance crop. 

The earliest archeological evidence for cultivated peas dates back to around 11,000 years ago, but specific dates can vary based on findings.

Canning and freezing in the 19th and 20th centuries made peas universally popular. 

Before we move on to why peas sometimes make us a bit gassy, let's first take a quick world tour to discover what peas are called in different cultures.

Regional names for peas

In India, peas are commonly referred to by several names depending on the region and language. Here are some of the synonyms or other ways peas are called in India:

  • Matar (Hindi, Urdu) - This is the most common term used in North India.

  • Pattani (Tamil) - Used in Tamil Nadu.

  • Vatana (Gujarati) - Commonly used in Gujarat.

  • Bataani (Kannada) - Used in Karnataka.

  • Pattani (Malayalam) - Used in Kerala.

  • Motor (Bengali) - Used in West Bengal.

  • Batar (Assamese) - Used in Assam.

Depending on the context, these names can refer to peas in general or sometimes to green peas.

Green peas: Nutrition facts and benefits



Green peas, or garden peas, are a popular and versatile vegetable enjoyed in various cuisines worldwide. They are known for their sweet flavor and vibrant green color. Green peas are typically harvested while still young and tender, making them a delightful addition to a wide range of dishes.

Nutritional profile

Green peas are packed with essential nutrients and provide numerous health benefits. They are a great source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein. Here is the nutritional profile for one cup (160 grams) of cooked green peas:

  • Calories: 134

  • Protein: 8.6 grams

  • Fat: 0.4 grams

  • Carbs: 25 grams

  • Fiber: 8.8 grams

  • Vitamin K: 48% of the DV

  • Vitamin C: 97% of the DV

  • Folate: 24% of the DV

  • Manganese: 22% of the DV

  • Thiamine: 22% of the DV

  • Vitamin A: 22% of the DV

  • Phosphorus: 16% of the DV

  • Iron: 14% of the DV

  • Magnesium: 14% of the DV

  • Zinc: 12% of the DV

  • Potassium: 11% of the DV

  • Vitamin B6: 11% of the DV

Green peas also contain antioxidants such as flavonoids, carotenoids, phenolic acids, and polyphenols, which help protect the body against oxidative stress and inflammation.  But that's not all! Let's see how these nutritional powerhouses find their way onto plates in various global cuisines.

What cuisines use peas?

Peas are a versatile ingredient used in a variety of cuisines around the world:

  • Indian cuisine: Peas are often used in dishes like matar paneer, aloo matar, and vegetable curries. They add sweetness and texture to these flavorful dishes.

  • Chinese cuisine: Snow peas and snap peas are commonly used in Chinese stir-fries, adding a crunchy texture and fresh flavor.

  • Mediterranean cuisine: In Mediterranean cooking, peas are used in dishes such as pea and mint soup, risotto, and pasta dishes, highlighting their sweet and delicate flavor.

  • British cuisine: Peas are a staple in British cuisine, often served as a side dish to fish and chips, or mashed into mushy peas, a traditional accompaniment to various meats.

Why peas cause gas: The role of raffinose family oligosaccharides (RFOs)

Green peas, like many legumes, are a common culprit for causing gas and bloating. This is primarily due to their content of Raffinose Family Oligosaccharides (RFOs), which are complex sugars that the human digestive system struggles to break down. Understanding the digestion process of RFOs can shed light on why consuming peas might lead to discomfort for some people.

The digestive journey of RFOs ( Raffinose Family Oligosaccharides)

Similar to other legumes, RFOs in green peas include sugars like raffinose and stachyose, which are not digestible in the small intestine because humans lack the enzyme alpha-galactosidase, necessary to break these sugars down. As a result, these oligosaccharides pass through to the colon intact. In the colon, they become food for the resident bacteria.

Fermentation and gas production

Once in the colon, the fermentation process begins. The gut bacteria metabolize these undigested sugars, a process that produces hydrogen, methane, and carbon dioxide gases. This gas accumulation is what leads to the bloating, cramps, and flatulence commonly associated with eating peas.

Factors enhancing gas production from RFOs

  • Quantity consumed: The more peas ingested, the more RFOs are introduced into the colon, potentially increasing gas production.

  • Individual gut flora: Variations in gut bacteria composition from person to person can influence how much gas is produced. Some individuals might have a microbiome that produces more gas when breaking down RFOs.

  • Digestive efficiency: People with slower digestion or motility issues may experience more severe symptoms as RFOs reside longer in the gut, allowing more time for fermentation.

Additional digestive concerns

Green peas also contain FODMAPs—fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides, and polyols. These are a type of carbohydrate that escapes digestion and is later fermented by gut bacteria, resulting in gas production. Moreover, lectins in green peas, though present in small amounts, can still cause bloating and other digestive issues for some individuals. This is particularly true if green peas form a significant part of one's diet.

Managing Digestive Discomfort from Peas: Causes and Tips

man facing digestive issue

Peas, an everyday staple in many diets, can sometimes cause digestive discomfort due to various factors. Understanding these can help manage or prevent symptoms effectively. Below are some detailed causes and management tips:

Cause: High fiber content

Peas, part of the legume family, are rich in fiber—about 8 grams per cup, fulfilling 31% of the daily recommended intake. This fiber supports digestive health and aids in satiety. However, a sudden increase in fiber intake can lead to digestive issues like bloating, gas, and cramps, especially if your usual diet is low in fiber. It's also not uncommon to observe undigested peas in your stool, as  they contain fiber, including insoluble types, that may pass through the digestive system intact.

Management tip: Gradually increase your intake of peas and other high-fiber foods. This gradual introduction helps your digestive system adjust without causing discomfort. Drinking plenty of water can also facilitate smoother digestion by softening stools. For an added boost, try The Good Bug’s Smooth Move Fiber Boost, which improves digestion and gut health, eases bowel movements, and helps relieve constipation.

Cause: FODMAPs presence

Peas contain FODMAPs—fermentable short-chain carbohydrates that may cause rapid fermentation in the gut, leading to symptoms like gas, bloating, and diarrhea, particularly in individuals with sensitivities.

Management tip: Implement an elimination diet to pinpoint which high-FODMAP foods exacerbate your symptoms. Gradually reintroducing them can help you determine tolerable amounts. 

Also Read: Bloating: Causes, Symptoms, Tips And Remedies

Additional cause: Starch overload

Peas are also high in starches, which can be difficult to digest in large quantities.  Too many peas can overwhelm the digestive system.

Management pip: Balance your meals by combining peas with other non-starchy vegetables and lean proteins. This can help moderate the digestive load and alleviate discomfort.

Explore The Good Bug’s Map My Gut for a detailed look at your digestive health. This kit helps you understand your gut microbiome to enhance your diet, supported by expert nutritionists who guide you from initial analysis to personalized nutrition planning. Enjoy this comprehensive service with exceptional value and quality, all from the comfort of your home.

Cause: Raw pea consumption

Eating raw peas can introduce significant amounts of lectins into the diet. Lectins are natural toxins that can interfere with the absorption of nutrients and lead to digestive distress.

Management tip: Always cook peas thoroughly to reduce their lectin content and enhance digestibility. Avoid consuming them raw to minimize risks of bloating, gas, and other gastrointestinal symptoms.

Cause: Allergic reactions

Peas can trigger allergic reactions, particularly in individuals allergic to other legumes like peanuts. Symptoms can range from mild digestive upset to severe reactions like anaphylaxis.

Management tip:  Consult an allergist if you suspect an allergy.

By understanding these causes and applying appropriate management strategies, you can enjoy peas and other legumes without discomfort.

Historical significance: Peas have been cultivated for thousands of years, with archaeological evidence dating back to ancient civilizations like Egypt and Mesopotamia.

Excessive consumption and nutrient absorption

High consumption of green peas can hinder the absorption of vital minerals like iron, calcium, and zinc due to phytic acid. This effect is especially detrimental if green peas are a staple in your diet without sufficient variety to compensate for these potential nutrient deficiencies.

Risks to kidney health and uric acid levels

While beneficial, the high protein content in peas can strain the kidneys in individuals with existing kidney conditions. Although green peas cause gas and other digestive discomforts, they offer significant health benefits when prepared properly and consumed in moderation.

To reduce the impact of antinutrients like phytic acid and lectins, consider the following strategies:

  • Keep portions reasonable

  • Experiment with cooking methods

  • Eat fully cooked green peas

  • Use fermenting and sprouting techniques

By managing how we prepare and consume green peas, we can enhance their digestive compatibility and enjoy their natural benefits without discomfort. While it's natural to be cautious about the gas and bloating green peas can cause, we should not overlook their potential to support our overall health naturally.

With all that digestive talk out of the way, let’s focus on the brighter side and explore the fantastic health benefits green peas bring to the table.

The health benefits of green peas: Do they cause gas?


Green peas are highly nutritious, packed with vitamins A, C, K, and several B vitamins and essential minerals such as iron, magnesium, and potassium. Their comprehensive nutrient content supports various aspects of health, making them a valuable addition to any diet.

Digestive health and potential gas issues

High in fiber, green peas promote healthy digestion and regular bowel movements, which help prevent constipation and maintain a balanced gut microbiome. However, some people might wonder, "Do peas cause gas?" 

While peas can cause gas due to their fiber and oligosaccharide content, which are fermented by gut bacteria, moderate intake can mitigate this effect. Regular consumption helps the body adjust, reducing bloating and gas over time.

Research highlights the importance of regular, smooth bowel movements for overall health. Constipation, often characterized by hard, infrequent bowel movements, can lead to discomfort and various health issues. 

It is caused by the slow movement of food through the digestive system, which can lead to hardened stools. Effective management includes maintaining a fiber-rich diet, staying hydrated, and engaging in regular physical activity. 

Additionally, tools like the Squat Buddy from The Good Bug can enhance this natural process by positioning the body in a way that aligns the colon for smoother bowel movements, effectively aiding in the prevention and relief of constipation.

Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects

Rich in antioxidants like flavonoids, carotenoids, and phenolic acids, green peas combat free radicals and reduce oxidative stress, which can lower the risk of chronic diseases, including certain cancers. Their anti-inflammatory properties further enhance their health benefits, making them a robust choice for reducing inflammation.

Weight management and immune support

Green peas are an adequate food for weight management, low in calories yet high in fiber and protein. They increase feelings of fullness, helping to reduce overall calorie intake without sacrificing nutrition. 

For an added boost in your wellness journey, consider pairing green peas with The Good Bug's Metabolically Lean. Formulated to restore balance to your gut microbiome, enhance metabolism, and effectively support your weight management goals.

Optimizing digestive health with green peas

Adjusting your consumption of green peas may assist in reducing bloating. For those sensitive to FODMAPs, consuming smaller amounts might be beneficial. Methods like soaking, fermenting, or sprouting the peas before cooking can decrease their lectin content, making them more accessible in the stomach.  

Oxalates are present in green peas, but generally in lower quantities than foods like spinach or beet greens.  The variability in oxalate content, ranging from 168 to 293 mg per 100 grams of dry weight in lentils and peas, can be attributed to differences in their varieties or the conditions under which they are grown. 

Cooking these legumes can significantly reduce their oxalate content, as the cooking process allows oxalates to leach into the water, which is then discarded, thereby lowering the risk associated with these compounds.  Introducing green peas gradually can help your digestive system adapt, potentially lessening bloating and related discomfort. Complementing this approach with prebiotics and probiotics from The Good Bug will yield even better results for maintaining comfortable digestion

Identifying trigger foods

  • Test suspected foods individually: This method allows you to determine which foods to avoid or limit.

  • Maintain a food diary: Tracking your meals can help pinpoint foods that cause gas or bloating.

Using digestive aids

  • Enzyme supplements: Over-the-counter options can aid in breaking down hard-to-digest foods.

Tailored preparations to reduce antinutrients in peas

  • Adding digestion-friendly spices: Asafoetida and carom seeds may alleviate digestive issues and enhance flavor.

  • Fermenting peas: Fermentation significantly decreases raffinose levels, making peas easier on the stomach.

  • Pre-soaking peas: Soaking green peas can leach out sugars like raffinose, which causes gas. Refresh the water every few hours and discard it before cooking to reduce phytic acid.

  • Pressure cooking: This method breaks down complex sugars in peas, making them easier to digest.

  • Baking soda soak: Adding baking soda during soaking can help break down fibers and reduce gas formation.

  • Hot soak method: Boil peas for a few minutes, then soak for up to four hours to reduce raffinose more effectively.

  • Selecting low-gas bean varieties: Choose varieties like black beans or pinto beans that are naturally lower in raffinose.

Preventing excessive air intake

  • Mindful eating practices:Avoid rapid eating, chewing gum, and carbonated drinks to reduce air swallowing.

Stress management for digestive health

  • Effective anxiety management: Stress can increase air swallowing, so finding ways to manage it is critical.

Encouraging regular physical activity

  • Exercise to aid digestion: Activities like walking or cycling can help move gas through the system more efficiently, enhancing your overall digestive health. To further support your digestion, consider The Good Bug’s Gut Cleanse. This blend of prebiotics and herbs aids in detoxifying your body, boosts your energy and immunity, and revitalizes your overall health. It helps your body eliminate waste more effectively, improves skin health, and rebalances your gut microbiome, reducing bloating, gas, and constipation.

Dietary adjustments for better digestion

  • Choose a balanced diet: Avoid foods that cause gas, such as high-fiber vegetables and dairy products.

  • Gradual integration of foods: Start with smaller portions of gas-inducing foods and gradually increase them to help your digestive system adjust. Complement these methods with The Good Bug's Gut Balance for a holistic approach to digestive health. This probiotic, packed with the original Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG strain, offers multiple benefits: it safeguards your digestive system, supports gut health, boosts metabolism, and enhances nutrient absorption.

Also Read: Top 10 Benefits Of Probiotics For Women & Their Gut Health: According To Experts

Seeking professional guidance

  • Consult healthcare experts: If lifestyle changes aren't enough, seek advice for possible conditions like celiac disease or  Irritable Bowel Syndrome IBS.

In wrapping up our exploration of the question "Do peas cause gas?", it's clear that while peas, like many legumes, contain elements like raffinose and FODMAPs that can lead to digestive discomfort, this doesn't have to deter you from enjoying their numerous health benefits. 

By adopting cooking methods that mitigate gas production, such as soaking, using digestive-friendly spices, and gradual dietary integration, you can enjoy peas without undue discomfort. To explore more probiotics and prebiotics super-bundles, check out The Good Bug.

Remember, moderation is key, and understanding your body's responses can help you incorporate green peas into your diet effectively. So, while the answer is yes, "Do peas cause gas?" 

They also provide valuable nutrients that support overall health, making them worth the effort to prepare them in a way that aligns with your digestive health needs. For more tips and expert advice on improving gut health, visit The Gut Academy, your resource for comprehensive digestive health information.


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