Legumes are difficult for some people to digest and are not appropriate for everyone all the time. If legumes are included in your diet, choose using these criteria.
- Choosing organic legumes is best, and always go with locally grown when possible.
- Buy dried legumes. Canned beans may be packaged in cans lined with BPA (an endocrine disrupting plastic). There are BPA-free cans, like Eden brand, but preparing from scratch is preferable.
- To neutralize the antinutrients in legumes, like phytic acid, soak, sprout or ferment prior to cooking.
- Nutrients are better absorbed when legumes are cooked with meat, hence the tradition of adding ham hocks or bacon to the bean cooking pot.
A note about soy: We do not recommend eating soy foods, except for very small amounts of naturally fermented soy, as a condiment, very occasionally.
- Choose only organically grown soy to avoid genetically modified (GMO) soy and large amounts of chemicals used on conventional soy.
- Soy is extremely high in phytates and other anti-nutrients, so eat only fermented versions of soy like tempeh, miso or naturally fermented soy sauce. Tamari is wheat-free soy sauce. Most tofu available in the grocery store is not fermented and should therefore be avoided.
- You should also avoid soy-based foodstuffs like soy milk, soy cheese, TVP (textured vegetable protein), soy-based faux meats and meat substitutes.
- Large quantities of soy have been linked to autoimmune diseases like thyroid disease, endocrine disruption, and infertility. Stick with very small portions, eaten only occasionally.
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