Beans, beans, the magical fruit …

When it comes to food, it is hard to find anything more super then beans.Check out the following bean facts:

Some beans are higher in antioxidants then blueberries.

Beans lower blood sugar and decrease abdominal fat – lowering rates of diabetes and heart disease.

Cancer risk decreases with bean consumption.

Beans are also a source of cheap and tasty protein. They are even considered an aphrodisiac in many cultures – so why the bad rep? In a word – gas. Many folks report a distinct increase in gas and bloating when they eat beans. And gas isn’t fun or cool or sexy – so the beans stay on the shelf.

Don’t despair – there is good news!  With the proper preparation beans can be a great addition to your diet, without affecting your social life. Follow these tips to embrace the lovely legumes.

Ditch the canned:  Fresh made beans are tastier, more easily digested and easy to prepare.  However, if you are caught in a time crunch and have to grab a few cans, be sure to rinse the beans well.  The gas causing compounds can get concentrated in the bean liquid, so wash them off well.

Soak:  When making beans from scratch be sure to soak them first.  Covering beans in warm water and soaking them overnight will decrease phytic acid – one of the compounds that decreases bean digestion.  Rinse the beans well after soaking and you are well on your way to a tastier, more  digestible bean.  As a bonus, soaking beans can increase the absorption of minerals up to 100%!

Add KombuKombu is a type of seaweed, look for it in the Asian foods section of the grocery store.  Adding a 4-6 inch piece to your beans as they cook will greatly improve digestion.  Consider cumin or bay leaf as well.

Chew:  Your mama was right – chew your food!  Proper digestion, but especially the digestion of beans, starts in the mouth.

Enzymes:  It can take the intestinal tract a bit of time to adjust to dietary changes.  So while you are waiting for your guts to catch up, lend a hand with some digestive enzymes.  You can get bean-specific brands, but a general enzyme will work as well.

So bust out the beans and enjoy some delicious dahl, scrumptious stew or stellar salsa! Enjoy the magic of beans without the toots 😉

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