Beans, beans, the magical fruit.
Black beans, kidney beans and peas. We love the way they taste, but the potential side effects (excess flatulence) can be unpleasant enough to avoid eating them. Many people avoid eating legumes to abstain from gas, and Rose Villa’s residents are no different. Diets such as Paleo or autoimmune dietary protocols suggest avoiding beans (also classified as legumes), but Blue Zones research has correlated legume consumption with living a longer, healthier lives.
What are legumes?
- Legumes are the seeds of pod plants or sometimes, the entire pod.
- All beans are legumes. Peas, green beans, peanuts, chickpeas, soybeans, and lentils are also legumes.
- Dried edible seeds within the pod are sometimes referred to as pulses.
What are some of the benefits to eating beans?
- Legumes are high in protein, fiber and rich in antioxidants and complex carbohydrates known as smart carbs.
- The soluble fiber found in legumes has been shown to improve blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 Diabetes and improve cholesterol levels.
- The insoluble fiber in legumes is a prebiotic that feeds the “good bugs” in your gut; as the fiber is broken down, inflammation-fighting short chain fatty acids are produced. One side effect of this breakdown is gas.
How can gas be avoided?
- Soak legumes overnight: Soaking the beans for 8+ hours will absorb some of the gas-causing “complex sugars.”
- Use digestive herbs and spices: Adding the herb epazote, or spices like turmeric and black pepper while cooking can make the beans easier to digest and adds flavor.
- Eat more beans: Gas can likely be overcome by gradually increasing the amount of beans in a diet, provided they are cooked properly.
- Take digestive enzymes: Gas commonly occurs when the body is unable to properly digest certain foods. By taking enzymes targeted at what is difficult to digest, excess gas is resolved naturally.
Why do some people avoid eating legumes?
Popular diets such as Paleo or autoimmune protocol diets may avoid certain foods like legumes due to their lectin content. Lectins are a carbohydrate binding protein found in many healthful foods such as legumes, whole grains and the nightshade family.
Who should add beans into their diet?
- Each person is unique; it’s good to remember that general dietary advice is aimed at reaching most people.
- Please note that dried beans should always be eaten fully cooked. The consumption of undercooked beans can cause food poisoning.
- People with autoimmune conditions who are interested in adding any food to their diet should seek advice from a care provider who specializes in dietary interventions intended for their specific diagnosis.
Want to eat more beans?
Try our new fresh Bean Salad at Harvest Grill featuring three different types of beans, peppadews, olive, onion, artichoke, tomato, cucumber and vinaigrette.
Have you found a way to enjoy this superfood without the gas? Tell us about it!