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Adzuki - The Most Magical Fruit of All

Beans, Beans, the magical fruit. The more you eat 'em, the more you - yeah yeah. We know.

But have you ever heard of adzuki ( also spelled aduki or azuki) beans? In Japan, these small reddish beans are the 2nd most popular legume after the soybean.

Like most beans, adzukis are rich in the best sort of fiber - soluble fiber - which helps to eliminate cholesterol from the body. They have 16.8g per cup (that's extra magical).

They are a good source of magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc copper, manganese, and vitamin B3.

As a high-potassium, low-sodium food, they help reduce blood pressure. And adzuki beans are higher in protein than most beans, containing 17g per cup. (Black beans contain 15g, pinto beans contain 14g, and kidney beans contain 13g.)

Not only are they low in fat, but when combined with grains, beans supply high quality protein which provides a healthy alternative to meat or other animal protein.

If you're looking to lose weight, eating beans may help - they make you feel full and take longer to digest, so you'll eat less.

Adzuki beans also contain protease inhibitors which frustrate the development of cancerous cells.

Beans are really nutritious, but the gaseous side-effects can cause you not to eat them. Want to avoid flatulence? Then

  • To avoid the gas, introduce beans into your diet gradually.
  • If you choose to use dried beans and soak them beforehand, THROW OUT the water after they've softened. Do NOT use the water to cook with as it is extremely gas-producing.
  • Choose beans that are easier to digest such as adzuki, black-eyed peas, and lentils. The hardest to digest are navy, lima, and whole cooked soybeans.
  • Cook beans with gas-reducing herbs such as a bay leaf, cumin, epazote, or kombu. Add 6 leaves or 2 tsp dry herb to the pot.
  • Avoid beans that are cooked with added sweeteners such as brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup - it could stress out your digestive system.
  • Try a digestive enzyme sprinkled on your beans. They help to break down the oligosaccharides before they reach the large intestine, which is where the flatulence problem begins.
  • Laugh about it. Everyone gets gas when they eat beans.
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