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Beans: Benefits and Dangers

Featured Nutrition

Beans: Benefits and Dangers

Ava Morris April 5, 2018

What do we know about balanced and beneficial nutrition? You should be moderate in your consumption of red meat, give up all kinds of canned products, flavor enhancers and trans fats.

But don’t cut out all fats! Natural oils from plants have a ton of useful contents. The regular use of fresh veggies, fruits and seasonal greenery is obvious. Our body also needs dairy products and wholegrain products if you don’t have allergies to these.

However, we pay far less attention to seeds, nuts & beans. Yes, indeed, seeds should be present in your diet as a useful snack — you can garnish your salad or other snacks with nice-smelling seeds. But how often do we treat ourselves to delicious beans? What is their purpose? When should you be cautious with them? How do you prepare beans correctly? Let’s jump below to find answers to these questions.

The benefits of beans

Beans contain oilseeds which are valuable to a nutrition diet, mainly with their vegetable protein and cellular tissue. Going deeper into their content, it can be said that they are a source of the following microelements and enzyme systems:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin PP
  • Provitamin A
  • Mineral salts, including potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sulfur and iron.

How do beans affect the human body?

  • They stimulate digestive processes due to reception of a good portion of cellular tissue.
  • Although the vegetable protein contained in beans doesn’t fully compare to animal protein, it also participates in building cells in the body, though to a lesser extent.
  • A portion of beans can improve the condition of your intestinal microflora.
  • Their content of plant fibers decreases the cholesterol level in your blood.
  • The microelement “molybdenum” causes stabilization of your blood sugar. Molybdenum is also part of an enzyme that neutralizes harmful preservatives (it is very difficult to completely protect oneself from these preservatives).
  • They have a detoxification effect thanks to their fiber and pectin content, so they help excrete such things as the salts of heavy metals and radioactive isotopes from your body more rapidly.
  • Bean dishes can normalize your hormonal state.
  • Their magnesium and potassium content helps strengthen your heart and blood vessels.
  • Beans are good for diabetes because their absorption of carbohydrates occurs without the participation of insulin.
  • Beans help to improve memory and working performance.
  • The content of antioxidants in beans positively affects the immune properties of the human body.
  • The content of lysine in beans makes them a kind of antidepressant. It’s easier to beat stress and find happiness with beans in your diet.
  • Since there is a high content of phytoestrogens in beans, especially in soybeans, they can help to alleviate the symptoms of menopause and also have a rejuvenating effect on the female body.

Beans can safely be attributed to the list of products whose consumption you should moderate. It’s great to eat them — not too often but regularly — and specifically with average-sized portions.

They’re a great addition to your main dish, or as a filling for soups and salads, but it’s best not to overuse beans as a garnish or main dish, and you shouldn’t eat them every day.

The dangers of beans

So, is there anything that can be harmful about beans?

  • Their slow digestion time takes foremost priority (because they have a lot of vegetable protein). This places a pretty significant load on the digestive system and isn’t an ideal occurrence for both breakfast and dinner. You shouldn’t combine beans and meat or beans and mushrooms in the same meal.
  • Beans must be really well boiled before being eaten, otherwise they can contain toxic substances. Fortunately, these substances are completely eliminated by thermal processing.
  • Beans are contraindicated for people with gout, ulcerative diseases of the stomach, intestines, or dysbiosis. People with diagnosed diseases in their gastrointestinal tract should be wary of consuming beans.
  • Beans are beneficial for microflora in the intestine, but they have to be consumed for the prophylaxis of dysbiosis, not its treatment, as they place too heavy-a-load on a weakened intestine.
  • Overeating beans is risky due to meteorism and gas formation in the stomach, as well as the potential formation of kidney stones or gallbladder stones.

How to prepare beans

We now recognize the existence of more than 18,000 different types of beans, many of which have been used in food since ancient times. However, usually beans, peas, lettuce and soybeans are the most popular. Oriental chickpeas with mash are popular too, but to a lesser extent, and not globally.

Beans are interesting for culinary purposes because of their nutritious properties. When dried, they should be well stored. It’s even possible to make powder from beans and add it to bread. Beans are often the main or additional base for soups, vinaigrettes and salads during the winter season.

You need to boil beans well in order to cook them and only consume them when they’ve been thoroughly boiled. You can make purées from them or add them to other dishes. Porridges, sauces and even cutlets can be made from beans if you have a broad imagination.

It’s hard to overestimate the culinary value of the soybean. Beans today are a major component of a healthy diet, as they’re used to produce soy milk, which, in turn, is the basis for making soy pies, soy cottage cheese, tofu, and okara. You can make cutlets and meatballs from them as well.

How to prepare beansTofu can be added to salads and soups, or fried, stewed, boiled, stuffed with other products and even used as a base for other dishes. Fermented soybeans are used to create miso paste which is also used for soups. Soybeans have become a popular replacement for meat. People often now make sausages, goulash, schnitzels, beef stroganoff, cutlets and sausages from soybeans instead of meat. It’s no longer surprising to see soy sauce, butter, dry cream, mayonnaise and even yogurt made from soy.

It’s highly important to consider all the nuances of boiling beans. You can process them according to your requirements, but you always have to start from boiling.

This is the correct way to do it:

  1. Put them in cold water for 4-5 hours as a minimum, or better still, overnight, to significantly improve the boiling process and to preserve their form.
  2. The water you use for soaking them must not be over 16°C or else your beans will sour and boil badly.
  3. Beans are ready to be boiled when their size has doubled.
  4. You’ll need 3 liters of water to boil 1 kg of beans or 1 liter for 300 grams.
  5. You should boil beans slowly and on an uninterrupted level heat for 1-2 hours.
  6. You can check whether a bean is cooked by crushing it with your finger and thumb.
  7. It’s important not to add salt or any other acidulants (like tomato paste, for instance), as this will increase their cooking time. Any additional taste should be added to beans only when they’re cooked.
  8. It is NOT advisable to add soda during the boiling process. Some people believe it makes the boiling process faster (indeed), but it also completely kills all of the B vitamins and the resulting taste is different from the usual one.
  9. It is NOT advisable to add cold water during the boiling process. This will substantially increase the total cooking time.
  10. If you want to improve the taste of your beans, try adding a bundle of greens or roots to the broth.