Monday, January 14, 2008

The Livitician says Beans are the Healthiest Food on Earth!

It has been said that a diet high in legumes and soy food may reduce the risk of Type II Diabetes mellitus (DM). So, Raquel Villegas and colleagues from Vanderbilt University and the Shanghai Cancer Institute set out to find the truth.
According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, for nearly five years, researchers observed over 64 thousand women, who were not pre-diagnosed with Type II Diabetes, cancer or cardiovascular disease. They found a contrary association between quintiles of total legume intake and three mutually exclusive legume groups (peanuts, soybeans and other legumes) and Type II Diabetes. As a result, researchers concluded that consumption of legumes, soybeans in particular, was inversely associated with the risk of getting Type II DM.
Researchers also found that those who consumed the highest amount of soybeans were 47 percent less likely to have Type II DM and those who ate the most legumes were 38 percent less likely to develop the disease as well.

On a practical note, to help prevent flatulence from eating beans, rinse your cooked beans and then season before eating them. When you rinse the beans, you are getting rid of the sugars that we can't digest. When we can't digest something, bacteria digests it, when bacteria digests something, carbon dioxide gas is produced, you prevent that whole process from happening by rinsing them, hence you don't need to sing the song, "beans, beans, the more you eat, the more you ____." For example, after opening a can of organic beans, rinse them well in a strainer until all the bubbles disappear, then season them to taste, with some e.g., chili powder, a little cayenne, garlic and onion powder, a little lemon pepper, and place them on a whole-wheat or corn tortilla, with a little shredded mozzarella cheese on top. Place that in a toaster oven or conventional oven at 350 degrees F, for about 5 minutes until the cheese melts. Add some salsa and a little guacamole. Fold the tortilla over and you have a tasty burrito, have it with a salad or some steamed veggies, you have a quick and easy balanced meal. BON APPETIT!

Deborah A. Klein, MS, RD

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