A few months ago, I had a lab look closely at the DNA of my gut bacteria. It might be surprising to you (as it was to me) to find the results came with some very specific and helpful dietary guidelines. Several gut bacteria were found at low levels. Based on this, it naturally followed that I should increase my intake of certain foods – especially lentils and beans.
I hadn’t eaten legumes for many years, so the results were spot on. But here’s the frustrating catch – I gave them up, not because I didn’t like them but because they caused me pain.
The legume quandary.
Like grains, legumes contain anti-nutrients (phytic acid and lectins) which are not only tough on a sensitive gut, but they bind the nutrients inside them, preventing you from absorbing them. Soaking, sprouting and culturing grain can reduce phytic acid and lectins, you can find out how to do that here.
In addition to the anti-nutrients, legumes are also FODMAPS, meaning that they contain a type of carbohydrate called galaco-ligosaccharides that can cause unpleasant digestive problems for some people, especially people who have IBS or a similar digestive problem known as SIBO.
But, I’ve given lentils and beans a bad rap for too long – so now it’s time to consider the benefits!…