Bean nutrition, a recipe, and a book

At a cook out, I’ve always liked the beans better than the hamburger. They have a more complex flavor. There’s a reason for that. Beans are packed with good things. Beans are one of my favorite plants to study because they contain a wide variety of water soluble compounds. Since the chemicals are water soluble, they are easy to get out of the beans without complicated processes, making them wonderful plant for college students to work with safely. I’ve  studied velvet beans and you’ll find them in Natural Attraction.

Beans contain all sorts of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, and there are a wide variety of amino acids in beans.  Nutrition chemists don’t just look at amino acid content when evaluating the nutrient content of beans. They also look at how animals absorb the nutrients. Yes, that means they look at animal excrement and see how much of the amino acids are in there. The more in the excrement, the less nutritional the beans. Cooking beans makes the amino acids more easily absorbed. Believe it or not, even how the beans are stored and processed affects the amino acid availability. Beans stored dry and then cooked are more nutritious than those stored or canned in water.

Besides amino acids, beans contain “phenolics,” a fancy word for specific kinds of antioxidants that are regarded as healthy to hearts and might prevent cancer. Red beans contain more of these chemicals than white beans.

Of course, beans are known to increase flatulence thanks to their fiber content, which gives intestinal bacteria a work out and they in turn produce gas. This can be decreased by taking an enzyme that will help break down the starchy part of the beans.

For a recipe for red beans and rice, and a peak at an exciting new Young Adult multicultural novel by author Kelly Cain, please go here. And congratulations Kelly on your book ALTERED out today.

 

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