Eat. Play. Love.

Body Slimming Beans

  • February 26th, 2013

Beans, also known as legumes are an excellent plant-based protein source. Beans are seeds (or fruit if you are consuming the whole pod) found in the cuisines of most traditional cultures. The grounding and strengthening properties of beans make them a great endurance food. In particular, they strengthen the kidneys and adrenal glands, thus promoting physical growth and development. Funny enough, they even look like our kidneys! In Traditional Chinese Medicine the color of the bean indicates the organ it most benefits. For example, red beans such as adzuki beans and kidney beans target the heart while green beans such as mung beans and split peas focus on the liver.

Beans range from 17 to 25 percent protein and are great for building body mass. They are a good source of fiber, calcium, potassium, iron, zinc and several B vitamins. According to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in Canada, bean eaters weigh less, consume more nutrients and have lower blood pressure and slimmer middles than their non-bean eating counterparts.christmas lima beans and fr

Beans have a reputation for causing digestive distress, but this is usually because they have been undercooked or improperly prepared. Remember, beans are seeds that are waiting to be germinated! There are enzyme inhibitors in the seed coat that keep the seed dormant and prevent it from germinating until the conditions are right. If your beans aren’t pre-soaked in water, you won’t be able to fully assimilate the nutrients of the bean. Most beans should be soaked for 24 hours in warm, filtered water with a pinch of baking soda. You will need to change the soaking water at least once. Drain and rinse your beans well and then place intoa pot and cover with two inches of water. To further reduce gas, add spices like bay leaf, oregano, fennel or cumin, or the sea vegetable, kombu, when cooking. My friend Monica Corrado created a fabulous resource – her Grain & Bean Chart.

Here’s a list of beans to try:

aduki or adzuki
black beans
black eyed peas
cannellini beans
chickpeas
kidney beans
lentils
lima beans
mung beans
navy beans
peas
pinto beans
red beans

Not a bean eater, but trying to figure out where to begin with them? One of my favorite winter bean recipes is Myra Kornfeld’s Spicy Baked Beans. It’s great comfort food with a healthy twist!

Also, during the summer months, I frequently make the following yummy bean salad. It’s super easy, tasty and easy to personalize according to your taste buds.

Italian Bean Salad

Ingredients:

    • 2 cups dried cannellini beans (I also have made this with aduki beans)
    • 1 onion  – diced
    • 1 spring onion – diced
    • 1 chili – finely chopped
    • several garlic cloves (to your liking) chopped or pressed
    • ½ cup of finely chopped herbs of your choice (see note)
    • 1 tsp sea salt (may need a bit more)
    • 1 part red wine vinegar
    • 3 parts olive oil
    • 2 TBSP raw apple cider vinegar
    • 2 inch strip of kombu seaweed

Directions:

1. Soak 2 cups of aduki beans in warm water with a pinch of baking soda for 24 hours.

2. Rinse and drain beans and place in a pot with a 2 inch strip of kombu seaweed. Cover with a half inch to inch of water and bring to a boil. Once the water begins to boil, turn down the temperature a bit and begin to skim the “scum” off the top of the water. Cook until tender and the water is evaporated.

3. Cool beans and then mix all the ingredients together. Season with salt and dress with olive oil and vinegar to taste!

Note: Instead of fresh herbs, you can also use Herbs de Provence or Italian Seasoning.

Feel free to share your favorite bean recipes here!

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