Beans and lentils are a great way to get plant sourced protein to help reduce your consumption of animal products. So why should you consider adding more soaked legumes to your wholefood diet?
1. Eat more Fibre
I add beans or lentils to any dish that you would normally add mince, diced beef or chicken. This way I’m eating much more plant fibre, which helps to keep me regular so that I am eliminating toxins more easily and frequently.
2. Reduce Acidity
In comparison to animal products, beans and lentils are much less acidic than animal products. This means you’re actively assisting your body to maintain its alkalinity by reducing the amount of acid producing foods you are consuming.
2. Reduce the ingestion of Phytic Acid and Lectins
Most people when they eat legumes and grains will not soak them beforehand, they will simply cook directly with the dried grain. I always soak my beans and lentils for 24 hours in spring water to start the sprouting process which will make them much more digestible. Soaking helps break down the undesirable phytic acid and lectins.
When you eat foods with these phytic acids still intact, they bind with important minerals such as calcium, zinc, magnesium, iron and copper and prevent absorption. Phytic acid also has the potential to block protein absorption.
Lectins are carb-binding proteins that stick to the lining of the small intestine and damage the sensitive villi responsible for transporting nutrients into the bloodstream.
Eventually, lectins damage the villi so badly that leaky gut syndrome occurs. “Leaky gut” means that the very delicate lining of the small intestine is so damaged that particles of undigested food, proteins, toxins and other pathogens are able “leak” into the bloodstream and bind to tissues and organs throughout the body. As a reaction, the body increases inflammation to protect the affected tissue. This is why lectins are also linked with autoimmune disorders like IBS, Chron’s, colitis, thyroiditis, fibromyalgia, arthritis and so on.
Here is a list of benefits when you soak your grains, beans, nuts and seeds:
- Remove or reduce phytic acid
- Neutralize enzyme inhibitors
- Eliminate or reduce lectins, gluten, tannins, goitrogens, and other antinutrients that are hard for the body to digest
- Encourage the production of beneficial enzymes
- Increase nutrient content, especially vitamin B
- Increase bioavailability of proteins
- Prevent mineral deficiencies and bone loss
- Reduce hypersecretion of pancreatic enzymes
- Maximise digestion which reduces the need for the body to centralize its reserves to digest food
- Break down hard-to-digest proteins in grain, making them easy-to-digest
Everyday I have a different bean or lentil soaking, then I boil them until they are tender and keep them on hand in the fridge. This way they are ready add to any vegan dish that I am making. Cooked lentils can store in the fridge for up to 4 days before you need to use them.
Being prepared is crucial to eating clean organic food!