Why should I eat beans?
Our bodies need carbohydrates, and beans are one of the foods that healthy, traditional cultures have eaten for thousands of years. Beans are a great source of phosphorus, iron, and fiber. In today’s world where our bodies are bombarded with toxins and environmental pollutants, we need that fiber.
Honestly, when starting on a paleo, ancestral diet, I got a phobia of beans. However, I came across Dan Buettner, who wrote The Blue Zone about populations that lived the longest. Here is a talk with Dan and Chris from Chris Beat Cancer that I found really interesting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRUxo8FEyZo
Many of these cultures ate 1 cup of beans per day and 90% plant food diets (high carbohydrate diets) like sweet potatoes, sourdough bread, greens, and lentils. He doesn’t say sprouting is necessary, but I think sprouting is critical because this unlocks the nutrients and removes the phytic acid.
Some other characteristics of these long living populations that I think are important to reflect on are:
- Exercise – low impact, all day long
Those are not related to beans but are definitely lifestyle choices we should reflect on in trying to improve our health, quality of life, and longevity.
With fiber and carbohydrates in the diet, we aid our digestion and help our body remove toxins. I try to feed Noah sprouted beans once a week, and the next day, his body definitely cleans house! I think this is especially important on a diet that contains meats and dairy that can be constipating depending on the levels. He loves to pick up beans and eat them plain, but making a quesadilla is one of my favorite ways to feed them to him. I love that it is a quick family meal that also gets some healthy fats from the grass-fed cheese into him. I always sprout my beans the night before to unlock the nutrients and neutralize phytic acid. This aids in digestibility.
Nourishing Bean and Cheese Quesadilla Recipe
- 2 sprouted brown rice tortillas
- 1/4-1/2 cup grass-fed cheddar cheese (many kids like mild cheese)
- 1/4 cup black beans (preferably sprouted)
- 1 TBSP grass-fed butter
- The night before, place beans in a bowl of water to soak.
- Cook the beans according to package directions once sprouted, and drain them.
Note: Some kids may prefer the beans to be pureed up
- Shred your cheese.
- Heat your pan on medium heat.
- Add 1 TBSP of grass-fed butter to the pan.
- Put together your quesadilla: lay one tortilla flat, sprinkle with shredded cheese. add a layer of beans, sprinkle with another thin layer of cheese (this is important to hold it together), and top it with another tortilla.