The Magical Fruit · 11 June 2013

Beans, beans, the magical fruit.
The more you eat, the more you toot.
The more you toot, the better you feel.
So let’s have beans for every meal.

I am not sure who made up the kids’ poem about beans, but I am discovering that beans really are a magical fruit.

While beans of pretty much every type do tend to make people toot, they are wonderful sources of protein and other essential nutrients. For those eating little or no animal products beans are touted as the food necessary for enough protein. But everything I have read about protein says that we can get enough from eating fruits, vegetables, and legumes. After all, plant-based, whole foods have pretty much everything we need to get and stay healthy. Including protein.

The problem is that most of us have bought into the notion that we need lots of protein to be healthy when in fact, if we were to eat meat, we could get our total recommended daily allowance of protein in just three ounces of meat. Much less if we eat other foods. And of course, we do not need any meat for a protein source if we just eat lots of plant-based, whole foods, including legumes.

Which brings us back to beans. Besides being full of protein and causing gas, beans are magical in other ways. Eating beans helps us to feel more full. Not in a bad way, but in a way that is satisfying.

When I was a carnivore, I was always eating too much too fast. That led to the feeling of being stuffed. Nowadays, I might still eat a bit quickly, but I do not have a need to try and fill my guts to the brim. When I do feel a bit empty, I can eat a banana or other piece of fruit to rid myself of the feeling. But when I really need a stomach filler, beans seem to do the trick.

Part of it is the fiber. But since every plant food has fiber, there must be something more. I am not sure what it is that helps me feel more satisfied when I eat beans, but I am sure it is healthy. Maybe even magical.

That thought is why I started this post with the kid poem about beans. Besides making us toot more, they really are a magical fruit. One that we ought to consider having each day if not each meal.

© 2013 Michael T. Miyoshi

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