If you are after an ancestral or gut-healthy diet such as SCD, AIP, GAPS, paleo, or even a leaky gut dietplan, beans are one of the most vexing foods you’ll hear mentioned.
On the 1 hand, you grew up thinking beans for a”healthy food” They are flexible, inexpensive, tasty, and satisfying… there’s a good reason they’re a staple in diets across the world.
However on the other hand, if you are interested in gut health, you might have heard some terrible news about beans…
Like this beans contain anti-nutrients. Or they hurt your own gut. That they’re really very bad for you.
So which is true? Are beans bad or good?
The truth is that (like just about any food) beans and legumes are not strictly good or poor.
Based on the person, legumes may or might not be a great food for you right now.
However one thing is certain: to be a nutritious food for anyone, beans should be correctly prepared.
When prepared correctly , beans are a nutrient-dense food which may nourish your entire body. Within the following report, I will briefly cover the bean controversy plus share the way to safely prepare beans.
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Why Do Beans Own a Bad Rap?
Beans, like most of plant foods, contain anti-nutrients.
Anti-nutrients are mother nature’s way of protecting plants from being eaten by other creatures.
Some anti-nutrients you’ve likely heard of:
- And many more
(A side note – you’ll also hear lots of those known as acids – i.e. oxalates as ellagic acid, or phytates like phytic acid – for our comprehension, it’s just a different way of stating the exact same thing.)
Beans contain elevated levels of both lectins and phytates, which is why several gut-healing diets exclude beans entirely.
Can Be Lectins Making You Sick?
Lectins are a kind of anti-nutrient utilized in most plant foods – everything from legumes and beans to skillet and nightshades.
Uncooked beans contain elevated levels of lectins – and if not cooked completely, will make people ill .
Lately, diets that restrict or avoid foods full of lectins have gotten popular.
And while it is true that more than swallowing lectins can cause symptoms in sensitive people (particularly those with ailments like leaky gut or autoimmunity), many lectins are eliminated by cooking.
So, as our friend Chris Kresser puts it,
Is Phytic Acid Stealing Your Nutrients?
Phytate includes a kind of phosphorus which is not bioavailable to humans and other primates. This means we aren’t able to consume and divide the phosphorus contained in the phytate. (Plants such as cows who have multiple stomachs are much better able to digest the phytates in beans and grains.)
The unabsorbed phosphorous then binds to calcium, zinc, magnesium, magnesium, and iron from the intestinal tract – meaning which not only can we never digest the nutrients found in food high in phytates – you also miss out on the nutrients from other foods because the phytates”steal” them.
Fear over the consequences of phytates”stealing” nourishment directed many people to fully eliminate beans from their diet. While we respect every individual’s right to personalize their diet for their own needs, you certainly don’t have to eliminate beans to be healthy or shield your nutrients.
But by soaking beans before cooking, then it’s possible to drastically decrease the amount of phytates in legumes and make them much easier to consume, even in huge amounts. Additionally, it is easy, inexpensive, and requires no particular skills.
Proper Preparation Makes Beans Gut-Healthy
Let us briefly return to cows to get a moment.
Animals that graze on carbohydrates for nearly all their food have multiple stomachs which help them break down anti-nutrients like phytates found in plant foods.
People have only 1 stomach.
Fortunately, we have something else that helps us break down our food and also make it a lot much easier to digest: kitchens!
I am not kidding! From preparing our meals properly, we could make them less harmful, more beneficial, and a lot easier to digest.
Beans are a prime illustration of this. By massaging beans before cooking them, we can significantly reduce the levels of phytic acid present in the finished beans.
In a sense, soaking and cooking (especially pressure cooking) act like 2 extra stomachs for all us!
Soaking beans before cooking them also makes them less likely to cause gastrointestinal disturbances such as gas and bloating.
The Way To Eliminate Beans
Soaking beans is very straightforward.
There are 3 elements to consider when soaking beans:
- Type of bean
- Length of time
- And water remedy
If all else fails, soaking any dehydrated beans from plain water overnight is better than not soaking at all – however you can personalize the soak to reap the most benefits.
Here’s how I boil my beans:
- Working with a 4:1 ratio of beans into warm water, I put them for 10-24 hours in warm water with an acid or a base inserted – or nothing additional at all (it all depends on the type of bean)
- For acids, so I personally use either lemon juice or vinegar, and add 2 tablespoons for each 1 cup of legumes
- In my base, I add 1 pinch of baking soda per 1 cup of legumes
- After soaking, I wash and rinse the beans then cook them in accordance with my own recipe
This chart can help you Determine What to add to your water, based on the bean you’re using:
By way of instance, if I was grilling two cups of dried black beans I’d combine the 2 cups dried legumes, 8 cups tepid water, and 4 tbsp (or even 1/4 cup) lemon juice or vinegar. I would let them soak for 18 – 24 hours. If I had been planning to have beans as part of the dinner Tuesday night, then this might indicate setting them out to boil as I was preparing dinner night.
Beans Are Back to the Menu
If you’ve been excluding beans from your diet, I expect soaking and properly preparing them lets you reintroduce them.
Remember that there isn’t a”one-size-fits-all” diet and also the perfect approach to understand if beans function for you is to test them out!
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and confused by figuring out what to eat, what to prevent, or the way to check out reintroducing foods, then I hope you will consider attending a free training on our Solving Leaky Gut course.
In Solving Leaky Gut, you are going to learn how to follow an elimination and reintroduction diet to cure your gut and find the ideal diet – customized to your specific needs.
Does this seem like something you require help with? Subscribe for a free webinar here (we’ll email you a recording, also!) .
P.S. – Would you have a favourite bean recipe? Please share it!
The post the Way to Properly Get Beans (So They Are Gut-Healthy) appeared first on Healthy Gut Company.