Be full of beans this winter

ANASTACIA SAMPSON

Beans are a cost-effective and highly nutritious, energy-packed food widely available in processed tin forms, sprouted or commonly in dried packs.

As beans can be stored for long periods in dried form, they are great to stock up on.

There is a substance in plant foods, including beans, called phytate. This can reduce availability of some minerals but the phytate content is drastically reduced by sprouting, soaking and fermenting foods.

Soaking also reduces the minor trypsin-inhibiting activity found in cereals and legumes (such as beans). Trypsin is an enzyme that your body makes to digest protein.

Beans are exceptional sources of plant-based protein and magnesium. They are noteworthy suppliers of fiber, B vitamins and other nutrients.

Various research studies have highlighted the benefits of regular bean consumption. These advantages include decreased harmful cholesterol levels, reduced cardiovascular disease and better blood sugar levels.

This is far from the whole list of what beans can do.

When you first begin to eat beans you may experience the unsociable side effect of flatulence. The gas-causing substances in beans are stachyose and raffinose.

Don’t avoid beans though, as your body does adjust and this side- effect can be diminished.

Marjoram and oregan are two great herbs with digestive supporting properties, and support the digestion of beans.

There are many types of beans, and some take longer to cook than others.

Soaking your beans enhances digestion of them, while speeding up cooking time.

Beans should always be soaked overnight or for about twelve hours before cooking, then rinse and add clean water.

Bring to the boil and when there is a film of white foam floating, skim that off. That white foam is also liable to cause a bit of flatulence, so toss it away.

Then simmer until the beans are soft and they are ready to prepare however you want them and eaten.

As your body gets full of beans, through regular dietary intake, you might enjoy a more bouncing bean-fuelled energy.

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