Bean Pastas and Lentil Sprouts

Bean Pastas and Lentil Sprouts
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Do the benefits of beans, and lentils, and chickpeas remain when they’re powdered? Also, how to use temperature stress to boost sprout nutrition.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

I’ve talked about the benefits of beans, and lentils, and chickpeas. But do the benefits remain even when they’re powdered? There are a bunch of bean pastas on the market now, made from bean powder instead of wheat powder. Does it have the same benefits as whole beans? In terms of blood sugar control, yes. “[N]o differences in [blood sugar responses] were observed between [whole beans, puréed beans, and powdered beans].”

This study, however, failed to show a benefit. They gave people powdered chickpeas/lentils/peas and did not see any cholesterol benefits—for example, compared to a potato placebo. Now “[c]onceivably the [powdering] process may have altered the properties of the…fiber,” but they were only giving people 100 grams a day—which is less than half a can of beans, and previous studies that have shown significant cholesterol benefits tended to use more than that. Another bean powder study also found no cholesterol effect, but they were only giving 15 grams a day—that’s just like 15 beans a day. If you do a systematic review of all the randomized, controlled regular bean studies, significant benefits were found more like up around 130 grams a day. In other words, at least one full serving.

If you ever get sick of pulse pastas and beans that are canned and cooked, “[s]prouting is a cheap, effective, and simple tool…for improving the nutritional…quality of [certain] legumes.” I have fawned over lentil sprouts previously as one of the healthiest snacks, along with kale chips and nori sheets. Anyone can make lentil sprouts at home super easy for pennies; fresh produce year-round on your windowsill, but any way to boost their nutritional quality even higher? Well, as a response to environmental stresses, “plants modify their metabolism,” and we may be able to take advantage of that to modify the composition and activity of plant foods. For example, plants are subjected to free radicals too, which can damage their DNA just like it damages our DNA. So, “to reduce excess [free radicals],…plants can ramp up their “antioxidant defense system,” which we can then take advantage of when we eat them.

So, for instance, as a germination technique for chickpeas, if you irradiate them with gamma rays you can boost their antioxidant defences. But, if you don’t want to Bruce Banner your chickpeas into hulk hummus, how about eliciting the “nutritional and antioxidant potential” of lentil sprouts “with temperature stress” instead.

For example, what if you took your sprouts when they were two days old and put them in the fridge for an hour. Then you take them out and let them continue to germinate normally. Would that one hour of cold stress make them more nutritious? Or, instead of putting them in the fridge, what if you lived in Phoenix, and then took them outside for an hour?

Here’s what happens to a measure of the antioxidant power of lentil sprouts germinated the whole time at room temperature–a slow rise with time. But just that one hour in the fridge on day two, and days later significantly more antioxidant build-up. Same thing for an hour at 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

What about then storing them in your fridge? Sprouts are usually consumed fresh; however, to keep them fresh we usually stick them in the fridge. But, there hadn’t been any studies about the effect of fridge storage on the nutritional quality of sprouts… until, now.

On days three through six, you can see the phenolic phytonutrient content of sprouted peas decline, but keep them in the fridge and they go up instead. The same thing with mung bean sprouts, which are your typical bean sprouts—whereas in lentils? No significant difference. We should still keep them in the fridge to prevent them from spoiling, but the best way to ensure maximum nutrition is to store them at body temperature, by eating them.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: milivanily via Pixabay. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

I’ve talked about the benefits of beans, and lentils, and chickpeas. But do the benefits remain even when they’re powdered? There are a bunch of bean pastas on the market now, made from bean powder instead of wheat powder. Does it have the same benefits as whole beans? In terms of blood sugar control, yes. “[N]o differences in [blood sugar responses] were observed between [whole beans, puréed beans, and powdered beans].”

This study, however, failed to show a benefit. They gave people powdered chickpeas/lentils/peas and did not see any cholesterol benefits—for example, compared to a potato placebo. Now “[c]onceivably the [powdering] process may have altered the properties of the…fiber,” but they were only giving people 100 grams a day—which is less than half a can of beans, and previous studies that have shown significant cholesterol benefits tended to use more than that. Another bean powder study also found no cholesterol effect, but they were only giving 15 grams a day—that’s just like 15 beans a day. If you do a systematic review of all the randomized, controlled regular bean studies, significant benefits were found more like up around 130 grams a day. In other words, at least one full serving.

If you ever get sick of pulse pastas and beans that are canned and cooked, “[s]prouting is a cheap, effective, and simple tool…for improving the nutritional…quality of [certain] legumes.” I have fawned over lentil sprouts previously as one of the healthiest snacks, along with kale chips and nori sheets. Anyone can make lentil sprouts at home super easy for pennies; fresh produce year-round on your windowsill, but any way to boost their nutritional quality even higher? Well, as a response to environmental stresses, “plants modify their metabolism,” and we may be able to take advantage of that to modify the composition and activity of plant foods. For example, plants are subjected to free radicals too, which can damage their DNA just like it damages our DNA. So, “to reduce excess [free radicals],…plants can ramp up their “antioxidant defense system,” which we can then take advantage of when we eat them.

So, for instance, as a germination technique for chickpeas, if you irradiate them with gamma rays you can boost their antioxidant defences. But, if you don’t want to Bruce Banner your chickpeas into hulk hummus, how about eliciting the “nutritional and antioxidant potential” of lentil sprouts “with temperature stress” instead.

For example, what if you took your sprouts when they were two days old and put them in the fridge for an hour. Then you take them out and let them continue to germinate normally. Would that one hour of cold stress make them more nutritious? Or, instead of putting them in the fridge, what if you lived in Phoenix, and then took them outside for an hour?

Here’s what happens to a measure of the antioxidant power of lentil sprouts germinated the whole time at room temperature–a slow rise with time. But just that one hour in the fridge on day two, and days later significantly more antioxidant build-up. Same thing for an hour at 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

What about then storing them in your fridge? Sprouts are usually consumed fresh; however, to keep them fresh we usually stick them in the fridge. But, there hadn’t been any studies about the effect of fridge storage on the nutritional quality of sprouts… until, now.

On days three through six, you can see the phenolic phytonutrient content of sprouted peas decline, but keep them in the fridge and they go up instead. The same thing with mung bean sprouts, which are your typical bean sprouts—whereas in lentils? No significant difference. We should still keep them in the fridge to prevent them from spoiling, but the best way to ensure maximum nutrition is to store them at body temperature, by eating them.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: milivanily via Pixabay. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

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