Thursday, February 18, 2010

(image courtesy of know you have thought about it.......but it is not "lady-like" to say it.  So....I'll say it....  The big question....or hesitation about beans is.....Flatulence.  Some of my favorite people have said they don't store beans or eat them because of this very issue. 

Why are beans associated with Flatulence?  Well, here are some facts from Rita Bingham:

  • The raffinose sugars which are contained in beans are the cause.

  • These sugars contain 3 or more simple sugars (sucrose contains 2)

  • The digestive enzymes in the gastrointestinal tract are not capable of breaking these sugars apart into simple sugars for absorption so they pass into the colon.

  • In the lower intestine, the sugars are metabolized by bacteria and form CO2, H, and Methane gas
So, this is the "scientific" response as to why.  Now, let's give you some options to avoid it.

This is Epazote.  Certain herbs have gas-reducing properties, with epazote being one of the most effective.

  • Add 2 teaspoons dry or 6 fresh leaves to a pot of beans before cooking.

  • Other herbs that reportedly that have gas-reducing properties are bay leaf & cumin.

This is Kombu:   It is a sea vegetable that also works well and has the added advantage of replenishing some of the minerals lost in soaking.

  • Add a two-inch strip per one cup of dried beans during cooking.
The next be question may be ...... where do I get these?  I had to look hard for them, but in Utah County, I found them at "Many Lands Market" which is located at 1145 North 500 West, Provo, UT 84604-3335

The Epazote was less than a dollar and the Kombu was nearly $3.50 but had many strips to last you a long time.

Other options:

Sprouting: USU research stated that germination or sprouting reduces the complex sugars and gas production. Sprout the beans first, and then cook them.
Discard soaking water: discard the water you soak you beans in prior to cooking.
Regular Consumption: If you eat beans or start adding Bean flour to things you bake, it helps your body adjust. You may use Bean flour in any recipe calling for flour by replacing up to 25% of the wheat flour with any variety of bean flour.

    Now that you are armed ...
    with information...... give it a try!

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