Most of us already know the associated health benefits of beans. Besides providing dietary fiber and protein, beans also give us B vitamins as well as other important elements such as magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, manganese and phosphorus.

Beans come in various colours, sizes and species. As such there are mung beans, red beans, adzuki beans; to name only a few. The bioavailability as well as quality of all these nutrients however depends on how we consume any of these beans.

Bean consumption

So how do we normally prepare beans? Well, we simply cook.

But did you know that cooking destroys all the vitamins and enzymes present in the bean that would have assisted in the metabolic breakdown of the protein and complex starch found in the beans?

Quite a statement huh?

Heat destroys the very delicate vitamins and enzymes in the beans. That is also why overcooking vegetables destroys all if not almost all the nutrients.

If you cannot cook beans, how then can you eat them? It’s obvious you cannot eat uncooked beans.

Sprouting

This is where sprouting comes in. The best way to eat any kind of beans is to sprout them first.

bean sprouts
Mung Bean Sprouts

Sprouts do not have to be cooked. They can be used to make salads, blended in smoothies and many other creative ideas.

Bean sprouting is a practice that has existed for quite a long time. And with sprouting comes the most health benefits of beans.

Why sprout?

  • Sprouting gives you 3 times the amount of protein you could have acquired from a similar amount of boiled beans. Along with these are intact bioactive nutrients that have not been denatured.
  • Enzymes present in beans are activated when the seed starts sprouting. These break down the complex starch as well as proteins in the beans. When consuming sprouts you are therefore consuming these nutrients in a predigested form, making it easy for your digestive system.
  • Time taken for these predigested compounds to pass through the digestive tract is significantly shortened. This eliminates a problem common with bean consumption; fermentation and gas accumulation i.e. farting.

Beans are a rich source of protein and other phytochemicals. Eating them right however makes a huge difference in the quality and quantity of all the nutrients found in beans.

 

 

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