Green Beans and Tubers…Paleo?
Green beans and green peas are technically speaking, legumes, which are not allowed on the paleo diet. With this being said, green beans and peas are generally acceptable to be consumed by followers of the paleo diet, for a variety of reasons. Tubers can be a bit more controversial, but depending on your dietary needs and lifestyle, you may opt to include them in your paleo diet.
One of the key differences in green beans and peas, as compared to other beans, is the fact that they can be eaten fresh, instead of dried. Legumes such as black beans and kidney beans are left on the vine until they are dried, which makes them more difficult to digest. Green beans and peas can also be eaten raw, which is another way they differ from other legumes, that makes them more in line with the paleo diet.
Green beans and peas are also much lower in carbohydrates and lectin than other beans, and the lectin that is found in green beans and peas has been shown to be less toxic than the lectin found in other beans. Lectins are proteins that bind to sugars and carbohydrates, and can lead to digestion problems.
Tubers aren’t considered strictly paleo, but often people who are extremely active or consider themselves athletes may include them in their diet. Tubers are beneficial to athletes because they have a high Glycemic Index (GI) number, meaning they have a high amount of starch that is converted to sugar once consumed. People who are athletes or very active may choose to consume tubers, which are a complex carbohydrate, after workouts in order to refuel the stores of glycogen and carbohydrates that have been lost. For athletes, an additional 60-100 grams of carbohydrates, per hour of strenuous activity is often necessary to provide the body with the proper nutrition.