Recent studies reveal that populations who eat the most beans, nuts and seeds have lower rates of cancer of the breast, colon, pancreas, and prostate. Soybeans, in particular, contain special plant hormones that appear to stop the growth of potential cancer cells. Other compounds found in soy may cause cancer cells to become normal or prevent cancer by stopping free radical damage. Raw nuts and seeds contain healthy fatty acids, offering an anti–
Note: If you avoid eating beans because your stomach rebels afterward, don’t put down your spoon yet! Beano, an over-the-counter liquid enzyme solution, or health food store digestive enzymes, can help you digest the starches that cause gas.
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Tips on Beans:
Before you cook dried beans, put them in a bowl, pour on plenty of boiling water, and soak overnight. Add a small amount of fat or a protein source like chicken or kombu (a sea vegetable available at Asian markets) to help the beans cook faster and to increase their digestibility, nutrients, and flavor. Of course, if you need a quick meal, just open up a can of beans, heat and eat. Make sure you rinse canned beans with water before using them, because many brands contain tons of sodium. Remember to drink plenty of fluid, too, when introducing these fiber-filled beauties into your diet.
Tips on Nuts/Seeds:
Eat nuts and seeds in moderation to prevent weight gain. Nuts and seeds contain healthy fats, but they also contain calories. Adding nuts and seeds to your diet is simple: Eat 1-2 ounces per day and choose the nuts and seeds you like the most! Sprinkle a few into salads, sauces, soups, vegetables, or whole grain side dishes. Choose raw nuts and seeds whenever possible.
A quick tip: Try growing sprouts! You can sprout almost any legume, seed, or nut and it’s pretty easy. Grow your own mustard, alfalfa, lentil, pea, mung bean sprouts to amplify the health of your meals. Sprouting Seeds make this an easy, indoor healthy hobby!