Nutrition

Bean Hacks: Tasty Ways to Slip Beans into Your Diet

Get more fiber and protein by easily incorporating pulses into your daily diet. Here’s how.

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Beans Hacks: Tasty Ways to Slip Beans into Your Diet

We all know that there’s no one best food for weight loss. But one comes awfully close. A recent meta study in the Americal Journal of Clinical Nutrition examined data on approximately 1,000 overweight adults over the course of six weeks. It found that those who consumed a daily serving of beans lost three quarters of a pound more than those who did not. Coincidence? We think not.

Of course, this isn’t the first time beans have been lauded for their health benefits. In fact, there’s so much evidence in support of beans that 2016 was named the International Year of Pulses. Beans provide a healthy dose of protein and filling fiber—10g of fiber in a half-cup of cooked navy beans, and 9g of protein in the same amount of cooked lentils, a winning combination for waistlines. Not too shabby, eh? In addition, most types of beans boast high amounts of important nutrients, like potassium, calcium, vitamin C, and iron.

Despite high accolades, some of us avoid beans like the plague for fear of flatulence. And yes, it’s a concern: our digestive tracts aren’t designed to effectively break down the sugars in beans (oligosaccharides), so the beans pass through to the colon, undigested, where various bacteria begin to break them down. This, plus a higher dose of fiber, and, well, you know the rest. But the bean-gas relationship may have been blown a bit out of proportion.

While there is an ongoing debate about whether to soak or not to soak beans, it appears not to make much of a difference as far as flatulence. What does, though, is being a consistent bean-eater. A 2011 study in Nutrition Journal found that most participants who ate a half cup of pinto or black eyed peas daily, and stuck it out for a few weeks, felt their flatulence was mostly relieved by the third week. Caveat: Drink lots of water to help all of that fiber move through your GI tract. And, hey, if sticking it out doesn’t ultimately work, there’s always Beano.

Don’t know where to begin with getting more beans? Here’s how to stealthily incorporate them into every meal of the day:

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