Beans/Legumes: The Almost Perfect Healing Food
What can legumes do for you?
1. They are a soluble fibre that helps keep LDL blood levels down, glucose levels in check and help lower blood pressure.
2. Legumes are an insoluble fibre too, which means better bowel function, helps with some digestive issues and can possibly prevent colon cancer.
3. They are loaded with complex carbohydrates that keep energy levels up.
4. Provide ample supply of B vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc and magnesium.
5. They are only short one or two amino acids of being a complete protein. Just couple them with rice, nuts or grains to make a complete protein. Essential amino acids are the build blocks for muscles and for repair.
6. They contain phytochemicals, which are health benefits to slow tumor growth (phytosterols), lower breast and ovarian cancer risk (isoflavones) and stop cancer cells from multiplying (saponins).
Key nutrients in different legumes:
1. Cranberry bean - protein, iron, phosphorus, fibre, manganese, copper, magnesium, calcium, vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, folate and pantothenic acid.
2. Split peas - vitamin C, vitamin B1, B6, folate, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, fibre, manganese and protein.
3. Black beans - calcium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, iron, vitamin B1, B3, folate, pantothenic acid, phytochemical beta
Before cooking dry beans, it is important to soak them over night. Proper soaking and cooking will make enzyme inhibitors, lectins and tannins harmless in your body. When you are just starting to introduce beans into your diet, eat small amounts at first in order to build up an intolerance to them. Otherwise, you can experience gas and bloating. You can couple beans with rice or add fennel to the cooking water to reduce this gas and bloating. Interestingly, when your body has built up a tolerance for beans, they can help reduce gas and bloating that might be associated with other foods like onions, cabbage and cauliflower.
Here are some of my recipes for using beans:
Black Bean Soup
2 cups of black beans
6 cups of water
1 tsp celery seed
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp dry basil
1 tsp dill weed
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 medium onions diced
2 celery stalks chopped
1 large carrot grated
1 cup corn (fresh off the cob)
2 garlic cloves minced
Juice of half a lemon
1. Soak and cook beans, then puree with hand blender or blender.
2. Put back in pot with water, spices and coconut oil.
3. Bring to a boil, then simmer.
4. Add vegetables except carrots.
5. Cook for 10 minutes turn off.
6. Add carrots, lemon and minced garlic.
7. Let sit for 5 minutes and then serve.
2 cups of cooked pinto beans and mash
1/2 cup of sour cream
1 tbsp butter chicken spice or a blend of your choice
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup grated parmigiana cheese
Juice of half a lemon
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
Mix everything together except tomatoes; place them on top of bean dip. Let sit in fridge for half an hour before serving.
Balch, Phyllis A., CNC. Prescription for Dietary Wellness. Avery: New York. 2003.
Mix all ingredients together except for the tomatoes