Wednesday, October 27, 2010

ALMOST PERFECT By Valerie Hould-Marchand

Commonly referred to as “the poor man’s meat“legumes have nourished people for thousands of years. The consumption of legumes dates back more than 11 000 years. To this day, they are a dietary staple in many parts of the world. Their ability to absorb the flavours of other foods, herbs and spices makes them a valuable addition to any diet. Not to mention, they are incredibly nutritious and will give you long-lasting energy.

Legumes are high in protein, fiber, complex carbohydrates, B vitamins, iron, calcium and are naturally low in fat. In fact, a few servings of legumes every week can help people suffering from diabetes by keeping the blood sugar levels under control. And like most complex carbohydrates, they provide a gradual supply of glucose instead of a quick surge like most simple carbohydrates. They are also known to considerably lower cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure and prevent colon disorders.

These little nutritional darlings pack more protein than any other plant-derived food, and they won’t break your budget!


So why aren't you eating more of them? They sound perfect right? Well, almost perfect... Unfortunately, they are infamous for causing intestinal distress and flatulence. This can be an unpleasant side effect and a valid concern.
Don’t worry, I have a few tricks.

1. Start slow! Build up a tolerance for legumes by eating small amounts, then gradually increase your intake to a full serving. Chewing well is also an important step as it encourages your body's own formation of the enzymes necessary for proper digestion.

2. Soaking legumes in water overnight makes them easier to digest. When morning comes, rinse your legumes and use fresh water to cook them in.
Soak 1 cup of legumes in 4 cups of water.

3. Try adding a small amount of apple cider vinegar to the water before serving. The vinegar will help break down the protein chains and indigestible compounds.
A squeeze of fresh lemon can do nicely as well.

4. Adding sea vegetables, brown rice or fennel seeds while cooking your legumes can also reduce gas and bloating.

So next time you pass them in the grocery aisle, reach for the fresh or dried legumes, and add them to your favourite dishes.


A peanut is not actually a nut.
Despite what their name implies, peanuts are technically a member of the legumes family. And besides providing you with key nutrients like protein, selenium and vitamin E, they have recently been found to contain resveratrol, a phytonutrient found in red wine that has been shown to help reduce heart disease.

Until next time,

Heal yourself
Heal the planet

Alive Academy-Natural Health Fundamentals
Prescription for dietary wellness, Phyllis A. Balch,cnc

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