Why Legumes are Challenging for Digestion 

Seeds, grains, nuts and beans were “once” alive, but when they show up dried and packaged in your pantry they are in a “dormant” state. 

Who cares? 

This matters because “alive” foods have active enzymes in them which increase vitamin content dramatically. 

Phytic acid is present in unsprouted foods and essentially acts as a magnet by attracting other nutrients to it, thus depriving the body of those nutrients.  Phytic acid impairs the absorption of iron, zinc, calcium and other nutrients and it made lead to mineral deficiencies. 

Techniques like soaking and sprouting help to activate the enzyme phytase which breaks down phytic acid, thus allowing the minerals bound to phytate to be more easily absorbed.  

Raffinose is a complex carbohydrate found in beans that can make them difficult to digest and can cause flatulence and other digestive issues.  Soaking and sprouting beans helps to neutralize raffinose.   

Oligosaccharides are complex sugars that the body is unable to fully break down and can cause flatulence and other digestive issues.  Soaking and sprouting beans helps to neutralize oligosaccharides. 

Soaking and sprouting are centuries-old practice that can provides these benefits: 

  1. Produces vitamin C, vitamin B
  2. Increases carotene
  3. Neutralizes phytic acid 
  4. Neutralizes enzyme inhibitors 
  5. Breaks down complex sugars that cause intestinal gas & other issues 
  6. Predigests some starches into sugar 
  7. Inactivates the potent carcinogen aflatoxin (produced by mold on these foods) 
  8. Produces additional enzymes that aid in digestion


  1. Purchase “sprouted” beans.  (If you can not find “sprouted” beans on Amazon or at your local grocery store, follow the link below).  
  2. 1 cup of water + 3 cups beans + 1 tablespoon baking soda + 1 tablespoon sea salt 
  3. Make sure the beans are submerged in the water with about 2 inches of water covering them. 
  4. Soak for 8-12 hours (or overnight) 
  5. Drain the beans from the water. 
  6. Cook the beans per the instructions in your favorite recipe.  

Click HERE for a master class on sprouting beans.  


Please note that I strongly encourage you to not eat beans out of can (or any other foods for that matter out of a can). 

Canned food is lined with BPA.  

BPA negates synaptogenesis by 70-100 percent while simultaneously disrupting hormone and gut balance.  

What is synaptogenesis?  

Synaptogenesis is the formation of synapses.  Synapses transport information between neurons in the brain thus creating the super highway of brain connectivity and function.  


For some people – and I happen to be one of those people – legumes cause digestive upset whether or not they are properly prepared.  

While legumes can be a great source of fiber and protein, if they cause any of the symptoms below please cut them from your diet and focus on animal protein: 

  1. Bloating 
  2. Delayed / incomplete bowel movements
  3. Flatulence
  4. Burping 
  5. Puffiness (especially in the belly and in the face) 
  6. Diarrhea 
  7. Lethargy 

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About me

About Ishbel

For the last twenty years, I have helped people take charge of their health and feel better. I have been in your shoes - sick, tired, and overwhelmed by how to actionably care for myself. If you want to feel better, but don't know where to start, you've come to the right place. Learn More >


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