Still dealing with stomach discomfort and feel like you’ve tried every trick in the book? If you’re open to trying a few food changes, it may be worth looking into the bean protocol.
Never heard of it? You’re not alone. It’s a relatively new phenomenon, but it centers on — you guessed it — regularly eating beans, in addition to eating a traditionally health diet.
What is the bean protocol?
The bean protocol was developed by Karen Hurd, a nutrition expert who specializes in alternative nutrition methods. This bean-based method isn’t necessarily a diet in the traditional sense.
Instead, it allegedly targets the liver and seeks to detox it from harmful chemicals and build-up that can lead to all sorts of health issues, including inflammation, digestive problems, diabetes, and more.
Its parameters are simple: Participants trying the bean protocol eat beans or lentils three to six times per day for a minimum of three months. Note, however, that this doesn’t mean you have to have a giant bowl of beans every time you eat; you’re supposed to incorporate a smaller amount of beans or lentils — roughly half a cup — every two hours or so.
In addition, it’s recommended that you have a cup and a half of salty nuts daily, a palm-size protein at each meal, and loads of veggies and water whenever you eat. It also calls for no caffeine, sugar, dairy, fatty meats, soy, or supplements.
Unlike some other eating plans, the bean protocol doesn’t need any formal exercise program to go along with it, and it actually requires 56 hours of rest per week.
How does the bean protocol help with health problems?
Because beans and lentils are such a rich source of fiber, they can clean out bacteria and other build-up in the digestive tract and other parts of the body. Additionally, by avoiding things like processed sugar and dairy, you’re less likely to have other foods upset your stomach or make you generally feel bad in the process.
While individual people have shown promising results because of the bean protocol, there hasn’t been much scientific research specifically looking at its effects or how healthy it is, especially over long periods of time. Additionally, depending on the person, consuming so much fiber through beans and lentils may cause some bloating and other temporary digestive discomfort.
Just make sure you talk to your doctor before beginning any new health or diet regimen!
This article first appeared on our sister site, First for Women.