Pass Gas, I Mean Pass The Beans:-)


Rainbow Colors Indicating Antioxidants In Beans

Beans, also know as legumes or pulses are a great source of orchestra-playing flatulence. So how can we utilize them in a meal without having to deal with broadcasting their presence?

The simple answer is planning to bathe your beans. First, purchase dried beans. They are less expensive, don’t have added sodium and when rehydrated are going to taste as good if not better than canned. Also, you don’t have to worry about the dried ones being contaminated with the chemicals that are possibly present in the inner coating of canned beans. Next, place the beans on a sheet pan and pick out any stones or defective beans. Give the beans a bath by covering with 2-3 inches of cold water in a pot overnight in the refrigerator. Not only do you wash off dirt but also break down the oligosaccharides.  This is a sugar compound that humans are unable to digest. When this sugar journeys into your large intestine, bacteria see a buffet feast and digest this food leaving gas in the wake. These gas molecules proceed to find an opening where they exit out, sometimes quite noisily. Refrigeration stops the beans from breaking down while they are rehydrating.

Remember after they soak and before cooking, drain all the water from the pot. Most of the potential gas resides in the drained water. Now the beans are ready for use in any desired recipe.

For lentils and peas, the procedure does differ from dried beans. They are smaller and thinner therefore easier to get ready for the table. Once you sort them out on the sheet pan, then bring 1 1/2 cups of water or stock to a boil and for each cup of dried lentils or peas. Return to a boil and then lower the heat to simmer, partially covered, until tender for 30-45 minutes. Skim off any scum from the top.

Make extra beans and freeze them. Cover with their cooking water in an airtight container. They should last at least 2 months frozen


Goes Into Action Before You Do

Getting back to the production of gas with beans brings to mind the product called Beano. This is a supplemental enzyme (protein) that cuts up the sugar to smaller pieces in your small intestine. So it will eliminate or reduce any gas from the food. You can also use this product with produce like garlic, onions, leeks, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and brussels sprouts. These vegetables have similar sugars to the beans.


Hydrogen Gas Maybe The Culprit, Because Methane Gas Is Green

Gases that succeed in getting through from legume sugar breakdown are composed of carbon dioxide, hydrogen and nitrogen. A smaller portion of the population also produces methane. If your stools float, then your body probably produces methane. All these gases emit no odor. A word of caution about hydrogen (Hindenburg explosion) and methane (swamp gas) because they are highly flammable gases. Stay far away from any open flames.

Legumes lower cholesterol in addition to lowering blood pressure and blood glucose. That is why they are always present on the table in one form or another in the Mediterranean dietary way of life. Beans are thought to decrease heart disease in both diabetic and non-diabetic patients because of this cholesterol lowering effect.

There was a study done in October 2012 in the Archives of Internal Medicine that showed beans improved the glycemic index in Type II diabetic patients. They hit the jackpot with improving blood glucose control, lowering both cholesterol and blood pressure.

Current U.S recommendations are 1-2 cups of beans every week. I think that a majority should get some kind of legumes in their diet at least every other day. Legumes are loaded with fiber, protein, minerals (magnesium, iron and potassium) and folic acid (vitamin in the B-Complex family).


More Convenient Than Dried Beans In A Pinch

If you are purchasing canned beans, remember to drain and rinse them to lower the sodium content. Make sure the cans are not dented or dinged and are free of BPA. Personally, I use canned beans if time becomes a factor.

Categories: Food, Health

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