Monday, December 1, 2008

Pump up your Fiber with Beans

dry beans

"Bean" can be used as a near-synonym of "pulse", an edible legume, though the term "pulses" is usually reserved for leguminous crops harvested for their dry grain and usually excludes crops mainly used for oil extraction (like soybeans and peanuts) or those used exclusively for sowing purposes (such as clover and alfalfa). In English usage, the word "beans" is also sometimes used to mean the seeds or pods of plants.

Beans are rich in Soluble fiber
In a small bowl of beans you will find about 10 to 12 gm of fiber. They are also rich in protein which makes them ideal for breakfast or lunch. It’s a great way to start the day with energy, this way you would be energetic and won’t feel lethargic during the day. This is also an easy way to increase your fiber intake.

How to cook
A recommended method is to boil the beans for at least ten minutes; undercooked beans may be more toxic than raw beans. Cooking beans in a slow cooker, because of the lower temperatures often used, may not destroy toxins even though the beans do not smell or taste 'bad' (though this should not be a problem if the food reaches boiling and stays there for some time). You can soak it for few hours to make the cooking quicker. while cooking you can add about 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder, it's a great way to incorporate turmeric in our daily diet and it also eliminates any sort of unpleasant aroma if any of the beans.

Flatulence
Many edible beans, including broad beans and soybeans, contain oligosaccharides (particularly Raffinose and Stachyose), a type of sugar molecule also found in cabbage. An anti-oligosaccharide enzyme is necessary to properly digest these sugar molecules. As a normal human digestive tract does not contain any anti-oligosaccharide enzymes, consumed oligosaccharides are typically digested by bacteria in the large intestine. This digestion process produces flatulence-causing gases as a byproduct.

How to avoid Flatulence
Flatulence can be avoided by adding Asafetida (Hing). You can add about ¼ tsp of it for a bowl.

Regulates Bowel Movements
Due to the high amount of fiber in beans it helps to regulate bowel movements.

Aids Weight Loss
High amount of fiber aids weight loss as it makes us feel satiated. Thus we consume less calories throughout the day.

Great for Snacks and salads
Beans makes a healthy snacks and salads. They are easy to prepare and less time consuming too.
Photo by Manasi.

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