I am sure you have at least heard of the latter – that beans cause gas – if not the former – that they have poisons that can kill you. So here is the truth, beans do have poisons that can give you severe stomach ache and if eaten in large quantities, can kill you too!
Somehow, some well-known celebrities such as Dr. Gundry are making it a point to say that beans have poisons, called lectins, and that is a great reason to stay away from them. No beans, no poison they say. The problem is that the solution throws the proverbial baby along with the bathwater!
There is a Punjabi dish called rajma curry that I just love, love, love! Growing up, we used to eat it every other day and so did many of our friends and family. I do not recall anyone getting sick, let alone dying. Why? Because lectins are destroyed in about 10 minutes of cooking the beans. Kidney beans for example, takes hours to soften! Jenny routinely soaks it for about 36hrs before pressure cooking them for at least an hour before the dish is done. So, if you ask me, the issue of lectin giving you a stomachache, let alone killing you, is a wee bit exaggerated.
Whenever the topic of beans as being the ideal food comes up, the issue of gas arises (pun intended). But how many of us have actually experienced this? By experience I do not mean, going from eating no fiber to having a bowl full of beans! I mean, eating a cupful of beans everyday for a few weeks and see if you get gas.
You see, once the body starts building up a certain type of bacteria that processes the protein, carbohydrates and minerals out of beans, they do not cause as much gas! The second fact is that beans do not have as much sulfur as meat and dairy does. This means there is very little of it that will be converted to smelly gas. In fact, about 100 years ago, doctors used to stick their noses into mouths of patients with gout, and smell to see if the patient needs to ease off on dairy and meat consumption! I am sure glad that they don’t have to do that anymore since we have good tests for gout!
If you feel beans + gas is not a good combination for you, start with soybeans. You see, soybeans are naturally low in gas production.
In my opinion, beans and lentils are the ideal food. They have fiber and a perfect mix of good carbs and proteins. So, try this experiment – give yourself say, about 15 days and eat soybeans everyday. Then let me know if they still cause gas. By the way, during that 15 day period, please do not eat dairy or meat because then the experiment may fail.
Mannose binding plant lectins can reduce neutrophil-mediated inflammatory reactions induced by different stimuli, such as carrageenan and Formyl Peptide Receptor-1 (fMLP).
Plant lectin antiinflammatory activity is probably due to a competitive blockage of a common leukocyte and/or endothelial selectin carbohydrate ligand. Soybean flour derived from beans naturally low in oligosaccharides.