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Since commencing my new crusade on becoming vegan, I find myself eating a whole lot of beans (chick, kidney - both white and red, black beans, you name it)every day. I'm finding it hard to digest, even though it is a good source of protein. How can I balance this digestive feeling? What other foods can I incorporate to balance this indigestion or bloating feeling? Will this be temporary?
What type of beans are you eating - cooked from dry, canned, sprouted? If you're not used to eating beans, the high fiber can take a while to get used to. I have read that sprouting makes legumes more digestible and can greatly reduce or eliminate the gas/bloating.
First thing that comes to mind is Sodium! Canned can have a lot of Sodium which will give you grief aswell. It would be cheaper, healthier and more environmentally friendly to buy Dry bulk beans and soak them yourself. Rinse and let stand in water overnight. Add a teaspoon apple cider vinegar to your soak water and this will help shorten some of the longer carb chains that are causing the digestive stress.
Erin was correct! sprouting will make them easier to digest and even make them more nutritious. Rinse and soak for a couple hours then strain and place strainer, beans and all into a caserole dish or something and cover with cheesecloth or a linen dishtowel (to keep out dust and let breath) overnight. Rinse again in the morning and again in the eve one more night. Beans don't need to be 'sprouts' just 'cracked' open is fine and they'll go in place of the bean in pretty much any meal.
I'm not certain how much protein you're looking to eat daily but you shouldn't need a full can of beans. With a well rounded vegan diet there should be plenty of protein available. Try varieties of proteins to give yourself a break from beans every couple days. Grains like Amaranth, Kamut, Spelt and Quinoa have high quality proteins (4g per ounce uncooked), sprout like the beans and make a nice variety.
I sprout all the time, Alfalfa, lentil, mung or adzuki bean sprouts and add them to smoothies and salad. These sprouts have another high quality array of proteins. When you start adding all these varieties up you see you get plenty protein over the course of a day. You don't want to suffer digestive anxiety...it's just another unnecessary stress.
Look at this site for nutritional data and examine some of your favorite foods and some your thinking of adding to see how much protein you are getting.