Toxins in Dried Beans

Consumers should be aware that it is not safe to eat raw or undercooked kidney and soya beans. There is no need to avoid them as long as they are thoroughly cooked. The temperatures achieved in pressure cooking are adequate to destroy both hemaglutins and the trypsin inhibitor. Pressure cooking also considerably reduces cooking times


Red kidney beans: Incidents of food poisoning have been reported associated with the consumption of raw or undercooked red kidney beans. Symptoms may develop after eating only four raw beans and include nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain followed by diarrhrea. For this reason, kidney beans must not be sprouted. A naturally occurring hemaglutin is responsible for the illness, but can be destroyed by high temperature cooking, making the beans completely safe to eat. The beans must boil for 10 minutes to destroy the toxin.

Basic pressure cooker instructions: Kidney beans should be soaked for at least 8 hours in enough cold water to keep them covered, keep refrigerated to avoid spouting. After soaking, drain and rinse the beans, discarding the soaking water. Put the beans in the cooker and add enough water to cover the beans by 2 inches. Lock the lid in place. Bring to 15psi and then reduced the heat to just maintain that pressure. Cook 10-12 minutes and then remove from heat, using the natural release method to open the lid. Beans should have an even creamy texture throughout - if the center is still hard and white, they require longer cooking.


Soya Soy beans: Contain an anti-trypsin factor (or trypsin inhibitor) which prevents the assimilation of the amino acid methionine. Soya beans also require careful cooking to ensure destruction of this factor.

Basic pressure cooker instructions: Soya beans should be soaked for at least 12 hours in enough cold water to keep them covered, keep refrigerated to avoid spouting. After soaking, drain and rinse the beans, discarding the soaking water. Put the beans in the cooker and add enough water to cover the beans by 2 inches. Lock the lid in place. Bring to 15psi and then reduced the heat to just maintain that pressure. Cook 35-45 minutes and then remove from heat, using the natural release method to open the lid. Beans should mash easily with a fork - if the center is still hard they require longer cooking.


Fava or Broad beans are rich in tyramine, and thus should be avoided by those taking monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors. Raw fava beans contain vicine, isouramil and convicine, which can induce hemolytic anemia in patients with the hereditary condition glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency (G6PD). This potentially fatal condition is called "favism" after the fava bean.


 

While uncooked lima beans contain compounds that can inhibit a digestive enzyme and cause red blood cells to clump together, soaking and cooking the beans renders these compounds harmless. Therefore, it is important to always eat soaked and cooked beans and not to use them uncooked by, for example, grinding dried beans into flour.

 Purines are naturally-occurring substances found in plants, animals, and humans. In some individuals who are susceptible to purine-related problems, excessive intake of these substances can cause health problems. Since purines can be broken down to form uric acid, excess accumulation of purines in the body can lead to excess accumulation of uric acid. The health condition called "gout" and the formation of kidney stones from uric acid are two examples

  • Lima beans have considerable amounts of the naturally occurring substances called purines. Excessive intake of these legumes can cause health problems in persons susceptible to purine-related problems.
  • People suffering from conditions like gout and kidney stones should avoid the regular intake of lima beans, as the purine present in them breaks down in the body to form uric acid. 
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