Heart-Healthy Beans and an Easy Bean Recipe

Heart-healthy beans_120613

Beans, beans, the magical fruit, the more you eat, the more you toot!

You probably remember this little rhyme and, for some of us, beans are hard to digest. This is because beans contain sugars called oligosaccharides. These sugars are too large to be absorbed in our small intestine, so they pass through to the large intestine, where special bacteria break down these sugars, sometimes giving off a byproduct of hydrogen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide gas. This gas accumulates and eventually escapes your body as a fart, which I always blame on the dog.

As you know, some people get gas from beans and others do not—that depends on what bacteria you have in your gut and how much. Plus, it also depends on how old the beans are, if they were soaked for a long time, and how many times they were rinsed before consumption. Some people have much healthier intestinal bacteria, depending on their diet. Meat and sugar eaters have much more bacteria in their gut, as well as more leftover rotten food that takes much longer to eliminate compared to what a vegan is digesting.

But even if they may give you gas at times, beans are very healthy—there are many benefits of beans! Navy and lima beans are a great source of fiber, which helps to keep cholesterol at a healthy level. There are more benefits of beans: they also contain folate, potassium, magnesium, B vitamins, and molybdenum, a trace mineral that produces the enzyme sulfite oxidase, which is crucial for liver detoxification.

So why not add more beans to your diet and help reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease? Here’s one of my favorite recipes incorporating heart-healthy beans.

Heart-Healthy White Bean Dip Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon of dry mustard (15ml)
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice (30 ml)
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil (50 ml)
  • 3 tablespoons of fresh parsley, chopped (45 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt (5 ml)
  • Paprika (optional)
  • 1 can of lima beans, 14 fl oz. (398 ml)

Directions

Rinse beans and put in a food processor with mustard, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, and salt.
Blend well. Spoon into a bowl and sprinkle with paprika. Serve with raw vegetables or crackers.