Looking to make healthier choices? Perfect! This is Day 14 of 30 of my 30 Day Paleo Plan. For more information on 30 Day Paleo as well as 30 Minute Paleo, check out the get started page. Post each day on your 30 Day Paleo journey to Twitter or Instagram and show me by tagging me with @dranthonygustin — get after it!
“Beans, beans, the magical fruit…” as the song goes. You toot because beans irritate your gut, your body cannot process them, and gas builds up in your colon. We should probably steer clear of any food with a popular children’s song dedicated to your body’s inability to digest that food. Pretty simple.
Beans and legumes are gut irritants, because they contain compounds called phytates and lectins. We explained this problem on Day 7 when discussing grains – these types of compounds destroy the lining of your gut. When the lining of your gut is destroyed, your body can’t utilize all nutrients from the good food you are eating and instead fills you with inflammation. Increased systemic inflammation leads to a whole host of nasty things that we don’t want.
Some forms of preparation, such as sprouting and some cooking methods, are known to reduce the concentration of damaging phytates and lectins that are found in beans and legumes. However, even after sprouting and cooking, these compounds they still remain to some extent. These are time intensive processes that are meant to minimize irritants, but not completely eradicate them. I don’t know about you, but I would rather choose to have zero gut irritants and anti-nutrients in my food, rather than spending time to reduce but not eliminate the source of the problem.
Yes, there are some positive things that beans and legumes offer – fiber, protein, etc. But no matter how you prepare them, you will be left with negative compounds. Minimize the negative consequences of your nutrition. There are no compounds or health benefits in beans or legumes that you can’t get from other whole food sources.
And yes, both peanuts and soy are members of the legume family. Not only do peanuts and soy have all of the problems associated with other legumes as described above – they each have additional unique issues as well. Peanuts are typically roasted and paired with hydrogenated oils and trans fats when packaged. Soy contains phytoestrogens which are extremely disruptive to your body’s intrinsic endocrine (hormone) system. Soy should be avoided at all costs for men and women alike.