More Beans = Less Nutrients

Soy is unfortunately not the only legume that can be harmful to our health when over-consumed. Like grains, nuts, and seeds, legumes come equipped with plant defenses, designed to prevent consumption. Unlike the defense from a human or animal, the resistance from plants will likely not be felt at initial contact. However, if consumed frequently, and as a main protein source, the effects will be felt sooner or later.

The first problem with beans is that they contain phytic acid (or phytates), which has been shown to reduce mineral absorption, notably magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, and B12. A vegetarian will tell you that the phytates can be removed with proper preparation procedures (such as sprouting, soaking, drailing, and boiling), but research tells us that only 50% of phytates are removed with an 18hr soak (none removed from soy). More importantly, given the North American norm of prioritizing speed and convenience over quality, I say it’s highly unlikely that most non-meat eaters practice such a tedious process.

My question is, why go to such extremes to make a food edible that would otherwise not be?

When perfectly safe (and more effective) foods are available?

The goal of eating is to nourish our body with the vitamins, minerals, essential fats and proteins we need to prosper. Nutrition is not just about what you consume, it’s about what you absorb. Interestingly, the minerals we fail to absorb with plant-based protein alternatives are the same ones we’re missing out on by avoiding animal protein.  Should it come as a surprise that non-meat eaters are commonly deficient!?

Legumes are also very high in lectins, which (among other things) can cause intestinal damage and increase ones risk of an autoimmune disease (ex: IBS, Chrones).

“…lectins can interact with a variety of other cells in the body and are recognized as the major anti-nutrient of food.”

Don’t get me wrong, other foods have natural defenses and many are high in lectins. But problems arise when we rely on these foods as our sole source of dietary protein. A few soaked beans once in a while isn’t going to kill you, but 1 or 2 meals with beans EVERY day, and you’ll no doubt experience some unfortunate consequences.

Stay Lean!
Coach Mike