Beans, beans! Good For Your Heart! The More You Eat, The More You….

Beans have been all the rage in my kitchen this winter. Mash ’em, slow cook ’em, open a can of ’em.

Beans are a powerful food – full of heart-healthy soluble fiber, folic acid, cholesterol-free protein, and beneficial phytochemicals. However, they have a nasty reputation for making themselves known as they pass through the entire digestive process.

If farts have you phobic, I’d encourage you to try some of the following tried and true methods for reducing the gas-producing probablility of this wonder food:

  • Beans contain a difficult to digest oligosaccharide called raffinose that causes some distress if consumed. Pre-soaking the beans, discarding the soaking water, and scooping off the foam that rises to the surface reduces ingesting this carbohydrate greatly. Soaking helps breaks down the raffinose, and the foamy stuff on top is some of the remaining indigestible starch.
  • If using canned, rinse thoroughly! Beans are cooked in the can, so all those indigestible carbohydrates remain behind. I recommend draining the can in a colander and rinsing thoroughly.
  • Many cultures have figured out ways to increase the ease of eating beans.  For Mexican food, you can add epazote, add kombu to beans for both flavor, powerful nutrition and gas-reduction, and Mango powder (Amchoor), fennel seeds, fresh peppermint, fresh cilantro and fresh ginger is often used in Indian cooking for the same purpose.
  • Add beans to your diet a bit at a time to introduce them to your system. This is especially helpful if you have been consuming a low fiber diet for some time.
  • When all else fails, Beano has been known to be helpful! I have not personally needed it, but have heard others swear by it.

Ready to try some recipes?

Click here for a great source of many bean recipes! Also, my recipe archive has some of my personal favorites posted!

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