Legumes

Appears in

The New Vegetarian

The New Vegetarian

By Colin Spencer

Published 1986

  • About

Also known as ‘pulses’, this group includes all types of beans, peas and lentils. They are high in protein and are a useful source of fibre. However, beans have always had a bad press, as they have long been considered a cause of ‘nether wind’. It is sad that beans have taken much of the blame for flatulence. In fact, fifteen per cent of all carbohydrates have the same effect because part of them cannot be absorbed by the small intestine. The result is that the bacteria in the stomach and colon convert the food into gas to make it digestible. As we are all individual, our intestines produce different amounts of bacteria, so some people are more flatulent than others; beans have little to do with it. Legumes add texture, taste and protein to the diet, so don’t avoid them because of their reputation.