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.
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 Kombu: Kombu 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.