Beans, beans are good for your heart
the more you eat, the more you…
…finish the sentence.
Beans get a bad rap. They are considered peasant food and the cause of digestive discomfort and unpleasantly fragrant side effects. Beans are not meant to be eaten in the company of those you like. Even the newly formed paleo crowd (cult) shun the bean family of legumes. However, beans are nutritious in content, versatile in use and affordable for any food budget.
Bean nutrients – They are full of fibre and plant protein, low in fat and calories and contain iron, magnesium, potassium and B-vitamins.
Types of beans – kidney, black, red, white, turtle, garbanzo, lima, fava, pinto, soy, navy…
How to use beans – Add them to stews, soups, salads (hot and cold) or vegetarian chili. Mash them to make veggie burgers or add to baked goods. Purée for dips and spreads or ground them into baking flour.
Food combining – Combine with grains, nuts/seeds and veggies and eat within the same day as beans to get the full complement of essential amino acids. Most beans are incomplete proteins (except soy) and need to be combined with other foods in order to form a complete protein.
Tips on how to mitigate the ‘effect’ of beans:
- Consume apple cider vinegar either with your bean dish or throughout the day to encourage complete digestion.
- Use spices such as ginger and asafoetida, an Indian spice, to also help with digestion.
- Make sure to drink lots of water daily to help balance the amount of fibre eaten.
- Sprout your beans prior to cooking. These plants contain compounds (eg phytic acid) for self-protection. Sprouting them helps unlock the nutrients that beans contain making them bio available.
- Cook well, rinse well and discard the cooking water along with any foam that forms on the top. If using canned, also rinse well when draining. They are often laden with salt.
2016 is the International Year of Pulses!