Human beings need beans

Gerald W. Deas M.D., MPH | 3/22/2018, 11:35 a.m.
Remember, human beings need beans in their diets to enjoy and maintain good health.
Beans Pixino

Just think, you have green beans, lima beans, yellow beans, red beans, black beans, navy beans, snap beans, kidney beans and soy beans. You can spill the beans and you can be full of beans, but there is only one human being who enjoys the healthy benefits of eating the above beans.

Beans are known as the musical fruit—the more you eat, the more you toot. They are known to be the cause of the gas we pass. My mother would frown when I would recite the other poem about beans: “Beans, beans, eat a lot, the mo’ you eat, the mo’ you fot.” I still don’t know why that word is so undesirable. It definitely rhymes with lot.

The ingestion of beans causes a whole lot of gas, known as flatulence, which is produced in the intestines and relieved through the anus. The gas is composed of hydrogen, carbon dioxide, methane and Lord, what an odor!

Intestinal gas is produced by the breakdown of different sugars and fiber by bacteria in the gut. Certain vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and asparagus, contain a sugar known as raffinose, which is a gas producer. Of course, other high-fiber foods such as beans, corn, bran and some fruits add to the formation of gas. It is important to identify what foods you eat that can cause an increase in flatulence by keeping a mental diary of foods you have eaten before passing excess gas. Believe me, excess gas can cause abdominal discomfort.

Gas caused by eating beans can be greatly reduced by rinsing beans in a strainer, and then placing them in a large pot covered with 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a minimum and boil for 10 minutes. The beans are then covered with 2 inches of fresh water, and then soaked for 30 minutes. Rinse, drain and cover with fresh water again and cook for two hours. This process gets rid of most of the gas-producing sugars.

Beans are worth all the gas and discomfort they produce. They stabilize blood sugar in diabetics. Beans lower cholesterol, preventing heart disease. They have also been associated with the decreased incidence of prostate and breast cancer.

Excess gas has also been associated with the chewing of gum and drinking of carbonated drinks. If a gas attack occurs, a teaspoon of baking soda in warm water can relieve the discomfort. This remedy should not become a frequent practice, because baking soda is sodium bicarbonate and excess sodium is related to hypertension. If bloating and abdominal discomfort occurs and is not relieved by the above method, medical attention should be sought.

Remember, human beings need beans in their diets to enjoy and maintain good health.