Beans, legumes, nuts and seeds are a great food and source of many nutrients. They are a great source of protein including many amino acids. Full of fibre, iron, phosphorous, magnesium, B vitamins to name but a few.
Take 100g of black beans and you get;
- 132 calories
- 37% RDA of Folate
- 35% RDA of Fibre
- 25% RDA of Maganese
- 23% RDA of copper
- 22% RDA of Magnesium
- 18% RDA of Protein (including all amino acids)
- 12% RDA of Iron
- 1% RDA of Fat
Here are some nutrtional facts videos on the benefits of beans and legumes outlined by Dr Gregers.
This one is about the health benefits of sprouting.
When reading Dr Gregers book How Not To Die he talks informatively about the benefits of beans, legumes, seeds and nuts. However, he does recognise that we don’t all find these foods easy to digest, especially beans, or they tend to have embarrassing side effects. Dr Gregers suggests sprouting these foods can help aid digestion.
So I looked into it, as I do, and that’s not the only benefit. Other sprouting benefits are as follows;
- Nutrients become more available and more absorbable.
- Sprouting converts the complex proteins into easily digestible amino acids.
- Increases Fibre content.
- Decreases allergens such as gluten.
- Decreases anti nutrients. I’m not sure if I completely believe in anti nutrients but if they do exist and this helps then great!
It is recommended that everyone should be consuming at least 3 portions of beans or legumes a day.
Especially important for vegans to obtain a good amount of amino acids which are the building blocks of protein. My belief is that it’s quality over quantity when it comes to protein.
However, in my experience your best to start off with a small portion a day and build up to 3. Consistency is the key to allow your body to adjust to the uptake in fibre. Your microbiome (which is a real thing find out here) needs time to adjust in order to digest them efficiently.
Obviously, sprouting can help with digestion so here’s how I went about it.
Unknown to me at the time these are one of the harder beans to sprout. So if nothing happens immediately just stick with it.
All you need is a bag of dry black beans. Or any dry beans really. I had black beans in so went for it.
Quantity doesn’t really matter just keep in mind not all the black beans will sprout.
Soak the beans for 24 hours. Packet says overnight but that definitely wasn’t enough. I rinsed them 3 or 4 times.
Then I drained the beans and spread them out in the colander as best I could. Placed a damp cloth over the colander and kept it out of direct sunlight.
Twice a day every day for about a week I rinsed the beans and spread them out again leaving them covered.
It seems like a lot of effort but it’s not. It took a minute to rinse and I did it after doing the dishes.
I used mine when most the beans had sprouted. As pictured below.
I found the black beans to be inconsistent some sprouted quickly and some took a lot longer.
I used these beans in a bean and lentil soup you can find the recipe here.
Now these were a lot easier. I did soak overnight…a good 12 plus hours.
Gave them a good rinse and spread them in a colander and covered. Rinse once a day, maybe twice depending on what you think they need.
Within the first few days they sprouted so no effort at all. I’ve not used them so far so they’re still sprouting. Once I have used them in a good recipe I’ll post the recipe (& hoepfully come back and link it here).
It’s also a great experiment to do with young kids. My boy is 6 and is currently growing things in school so it was good to mirror that at home and it may encourage him to eat a more diverse selection of beans and legumes.
Good luck and let me know in the comments below if you give it a try and definitely let me know your recipes 😉.