When I think about beans, I’m always reminded of the song “beans, beans the musical fruit…” that my brothers and I used to sing at the dinner table as our parents shook their heads as their attempts to refine their children crumpled before their eyes!  Despite beans’ ability to create music, I’ve always had a great opinion about beans…until I participated in a Paleo Diet challenge a couple of years back and to my surprise and dismay, beans were prohibited completely!

The Paleo Diet got me interested in discovering WHY would these Paleo Diet folks deem beans unhealthy enough to exclude from their program?

Beans are such a great source of protein, and for my vegetarian friends, are used as a major staple in their diets.  However, turns out that beans are very high in phytates.  So?  What are those?  Well, phytates block our body from absorbing essential minerals.  So, if we eat a ton of beans, the nutrients we feed ourselves from other whole foods may be for naught.  In addition to phytates, beans are prone to the development of fungus, and it’s no surprise that beans wreak havoc on our digestive system, potentially making it inefficient and clunky.

It’s for these reasons – phytates, fungus and digestive system – that I recommend limiting your intake of beans.  If you’re a vegetarian, there are other sources of protein – eggs, nuts, seeds, protein powder, and even veggies have protein in them!  Most importantly, we should observe our bodies to notice if beans seem to upset our body’s optimal function.  Keep in mind that food is meant to nourish our body, so the more we pay attention to what we eat and how it makes us feel, the more we will learn!