Are Beans Good For You?

agriculture-beans-close-up-176169“Beans, beans, the magical fruit, the more you eat, the more you toot! The more you toot, the better you feel. So lets have beans for every meal!”

I can just hear this little chant every time I dish out a freshly cooked batch of beans from the crock-pot. My children laughing and singing this tune will forever be a a sweet memory in my heart. There is just something simple and satisfying about the humble bean.

When I did the Paleo diet for awhile, I actually gave up my beloved beans! Can you imagine!? According to the Paleolithic diet, beans are inflammatory due to their phytic acids and enzyme inhibitors. These chemicals cause the blockage of essential vitamins and minerals such as iron and zinc. I was so confused! I always thought beans were good for you.

So what is it?! Are beans good for you or do they wreck havoc on our health?

YES! Beans are very good for you. In fact, they supply an ample amount of nutrition at such a low cost. What’s not to love? Well, like anything, it depends on each individual person. It’s hard to say that one thing is great for everyone.

That is why there are so many diets out there. What works for one person, doesn’t always work for the other. But lets not write off something completely just because it doesn’t work for a few. Generally, yes, beans are great for you…as long as it agrees with your body.  Strawberries are great for you too but some people are allergic to them. See what I’m saying? You just have to listen to your body. This is good nutrition in a nutshell.

 

Beans do have enzyme inhibitors and phytic acids. ( So do nuts, seeds and other Paleo approved staples.)And yes beans are hard on your tummy due to these components.  However, if we rewind things a little and cook them the way they are intended, these concerns are eliminated. Phytates and enzyme inhibitors are easily removed by soaking beans over night in apple cider vinegar or any other acid medium like whey or lemon juice. This process makes beans way more digestible and increases their nutritional density immensely.  Most people are sensitive to beans simply because they are eating them from a can. If you make them from scratch, using this traditional preparation method, you may be surprised how tolerable beans can be!

The Paleo diet community actually debate about this quite a bit. If you look up Paleo diet and beans, you will find a plethora of debates. Why? Because beans do provide your body with nutrients. And the Paleo community are seeing that it’s not a necessary elimination to gain optimal health.

We live in such a fast paced society that anything that takes longer than 1 minute in the microwave seems so foreign to us.  Most of our food issues has nothing to do with the actual food but the process we put it through to make it convenient.  So lets slow the world down just a tad, and enjoy the benefits this wonderful, simple food has to offer!

  • Beans have prebiotics. Prebiotics are a type of fiber that probiotics need to grow and thrive!
  • They are loaded with iron and b-vitamins!
  • When combined with rice, this frugal dish is a complete protein. This means that it has all the essential amino acids the body needs to build strong muscles.
  • Since beans have lots of fiber, they are great at removing toxins. And they contain antioxidants to help fight off free radicals.

Here is the recipe to easily make beans…toot free!

beans-bell-pepper-carrot-89236

Basic Beans

2 lb bag of beans (black, pinto, navy etc)

2-3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Sea salt/ pepper

water

  1. Empty beans in a big stainless steel or glass bowl. Add enough water to cover the beans plus about an couple inches more.
  2. Add apple cider vinegar.
  3. Soak for 8-10 hours or overnight
  4. Drain and rinse
  5. Put beans in crock-pot and add water to cover.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste (With this many beans, you need about a tablespoon or so of salt and about 2 teaspoons of pepper.)
  7. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for about 3-4.
  8. Enjoy!

 

 

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