"Beans, beans, good for the heart; the more you eat the more you ..." Most people are familiar with this grade-school truism beans are good for your heart and health, and the unwanted side effect can be easily minimized with proper diet. In addition, beans provide many bodybuilding
benefits. Eating beans is an inexpensive way to add to your protein and fiber intake.
Beans fill you up when you're watching your carbohydrate intake, so don't be too concerned with over consuming them. Legumes are one of nature's powerhouse foods. They're high in soluble fiber (see chart), low in fat relatively high protein and they contain a slew of micronutrients, such as potassium and folic acid. Their fiber content can help lower total blood cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Beans are a filling replacement for rice or other starchy carbs. As a low-glycemic food, legumes won't cause a quick rise in blood sugar. They're digested very slowly because of their high fiber content. Most beans are an incomplete source of protein, however. They are low in the amino acid inethionine, so for a more optimal amino acid profile, eat them with certain other foods.
Any animal protein will fill the bill; good vegetarian choices include corn and most grains. Some of the sugars in beans cannot be digested by the body and are therefore attacked by intestinal bacteria, which causes gas. However, if you gradually introduce beans into your diet and consistently maintain a relatively high fiber intake, you shouldn't experience the discomfort of gas. You can further reduce the potential for gas by soaking whole raw beans before cooking them. To do this, boil two quarts of water; then turn off the heat and add a package of beans.
Let them soak for a few hours, Repeat the soaking process if desired. Strain them and add fresh water before cooking. Some people get good gas-busting results with over-the-counter products such as Beano, which can help you digest the sugars in beans. Black and Anasazi beans are naturally low in gas-causing sugars; navy beans can be big trouble. There are many varieties of canned beans, which makes it easy before cooking them). Try making burritos with meat, black beans and a sprinkling of low-fat cheese. Kidney and garbanzo beans are a great addition to salads - they are more filling than a bowl of veggies, plus they contribute fiber and protein. Add beans to chili or pasta dishes, or use them to top baked potatoes Try this recipe for three bean salad, courtesy of pro bodybuilder Jay Cutler.
Marinate kidney beans, wax beans and green beans in a mixture of apple cider vinegar and a little sugar or your favorite artificial sweetener Add chopped onion, green pepper and celery if desired, plus seasonings o such as garlic, dill and herbs to taste. Serve chilled. We hope you're convinced that beans are a welcome and beneficial addition to a bodybuilder's nutrition program. They're not just for dips anymore.