Beans are a member of the legume family, along with peas and lentils. They are a main staple for a vegetarian diet, and can be used by meat eaters as an alternative protein in recipes. However, because they are a starch-protein combination, they can be difficult for people to digest. One reason being that intestinal bacteria attacks the indigestible fiber that remains in the large intestine, causing gas to form. Another is a lack of proper enzymes needed to break down legumes trisaccharides into simple sugars. There are, however, a few things the home cook can do to help make beans easier to digest.
Why bother? Because according to Traditional Chinese medicine, beans strengthen the kidney-adrenal function, which governs balanced sexual activity and allows for proper growth of the physical body and brain. So, break out those dried beans that have been gathering dust on your shelf and cook up a batch for dinner. You can always freeze the leftovers for another day.
Tips For Preparing Beans, next