2/24/12

Bean Health Tips

It's amazing just how healthy beans are.  When you add beans to any grain, for instance rice, you have a complete protein.  I recall hearing Dr. Oz saying that women need more protein in their diet, and that 30% of that daily protein should be eaten in the morning to fuel your body.  He suggested 1 Tablespoon of Coconut Oil added to your toast instead of butter.  I prefer adding it to my hot cereal.  But Coconut Oil is for another post later.

However, last year I got on this "bean" kick and started to increase the use of beans in my family's diet.  I know, you are probably saying what my two youngest said, "we'll never be able to breathe around here."

A fact about eating beans, is the more frequent you eat beans, and the more you eat, your body develops the enzyme that actually takes care of the excess gas caused by beans.  We proved that fact to be very true.  Some other options is to eat fresh pineapple with those bean meals.  The bromelain found in pineapple helps to break down the bean enzymes.   We found that if you are very active right after eating beans, that will also break down those legumes and make it easier on your digestive system.   You just might be a little bit "noisy."  We just call it "jet fuel."  Ha Ha.  Another thing to try is to add a strip of Kombu Seaweed to the beans as they are cooking, then discard the seaweed.  And of course, there is always Beano.

One can go buy canned beans and get some nutritional value from those, plus a lot of sodium, but the real healthy beans are the dried beans.  Let me offer some tips to make your experience better.

Soak beans in at least twice as much water as you have beans for about 12 hours.  Do not add salt.  Discard the water and rinse well.  You can try sprouting the beans at this point, which also relieves the gas problems when you eat your sprouted beans.  When you cook a sprouted bean, it will smell like corn on the cob cooking.  If you don't want to sprout beans, then you can cook them in your crockpot for about 8-10 hours.  Now you can add your salt, if desired.  Once the beans are cooked to your likeness (soft and mushy, or with a slight crunch) you are ready to add any seasonings to make soups or chili's with them.  One thing I really like is to take those beans and puree them.  I take that bean puree and sneak it into just about every meal I prepare.  My kids ate more beans than they ever knew, and no gas problems.  My youngest son went to culinary school and loves to make bean dip for veggies and chips.  It is excellent.  This would be great to add to smoothies to help keep your stomach feeling full longer, give you the protein your body needs, and provide lots of healthy benefits.
(TIP: Hummus is made of Chick peas which are beans)

FOOD STORAGE TIP:  If you're beans are older, then instead of cooking your beans in the crockpot, pressure cook them.  My beans are probably 15 years old, and the crockpot doesn't cut it for cooking the beans.  They are still really hard.  I pressure cook them at 17 pounds of pressure for about 45 minutes to an hour.  Lentils do not need to be pre-soaked.  They will cook up in about 15-20 minutes on the stove.  I just boil them in water until they are done to my likeness...more on the mushy side. 

WHY USE THEM: Beans provide anti-aging benefits.  Small red kidney beans rated the highest just ahead of blueberries for  antioxidant protection.  Beans help lower cholesterol levels, help regulate blood sugar levels, help reduce the risk of many cancers, besides providing many vitamins and minerals.  Not to mention the fiber that they give your body to help regulate your body functions.





2 comments:

  1. Thank you for the great tips. I have a question: what is the best way to stay healthy naturally?

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  2. A very famous German doctor said that if the musicians of an orchestra play well but only one of them plays badly, then the music doesn't sound good. He meant that if you eat healthy food and also eat sugar, chocolate, sweets... they don't match with healthy food so there will be problems.
    We don't need so many proteins, he says. Actually, a baby grows very well just drinking breast milk which contains very little proteins! A calf needs a lot because it must stand on its legs after 1 day but we don't need that high protein level a calf needs! He adds that raw cereals are important (3 spoons a day = 50 grams) to have good vegetable proteins and minerals. Vegetables are also very important and one should eat every day different kinds of them (vegetables that grow under the earth like onions, carrots etc., salads and other vegetables directly on the soil (cucumbers, courgettes etc.) and then above the soil (tomatoes, peas etc.). In addition to this raw nuts are also very important and fruits of course too but one should be careful not to eat more fruits than vegetables.

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