How to Remove lectins from Beans and legumes

Today’s topic: How to Remove lectins from Beans and legumes? I know beans and most other legumes are a part of our daily diet. Thinking of it as harmful due to lectins really breaks my heart. There are several myths and facts about beans and lectins that we will discuss. So I am gonna present my thoughts and ideas. Hope you would like that.

(*Be Careful all of this information is only for educational purposes. Consult your Doctor for Medical Advice. Site or the Author Never Validates Consumption of Lectins in any Manner. Always Stay Aware About the Foods you consume. *) 

Before proceeding, you should first be aware of what we are talking about and what is a matter of discussion. So keep reading and write below if you need something more than this.

In the meanwhile, you can read another article about How to remove lectins from Tomatoes or Potatoes.

What is a lectin? – Lectins are basically natural proteins that bind with carbohydrates to provide structure. It is a natural substance that is present in many plants and their products.

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How to Remove Lectins from Beans and legumes
How to Remove Lectins from Beans and legumes?

Do Beans contain lectins?- Yes, all types of beans contain lectins. The seeds contain more lectins than green beans. The amount of lectin present in beans may vary with changes in size and variety.

How to remove lectins from beans and legumes?- Boiling and Slow cooking is the best way to reduce lectins from beans and other legumes. Another method to remove lectin is natural fermentation.

Fermentation is an important way to reduce lectins in our foods at least to some extent.

Is lectin found in all legumes?

It is true that most of the legumes contain lectins. In fact, the very common legumes like lentils, beans, and chickpeas contain a rich quantity of natural lectins.

Lectins are found almost in the entire legume family including your favorite beans. Sometimes it is good and sometimes it is not. You should only worry if you are on the other side.

Are beans harmful due to lectins?- No, Absolutely not. Beans are not harmful, not only for lectins. Lectins present in beans are only harmful to those who are really intolerant of them. Generally, there is nothing to worry about beans in your diet unless you have any medical history.

A mild digestive problem is common with a person intolerant to lectins. Sometimes a severe allergic reaction can occur. Therefore, it is always advised, if you are intolerant to lectins of any type – to avoid taking them.

Can Beans and legumes cause lectin poisoning?- Though it is very rare, sometimes lectins present in Beans and legumes can cause lectin poisoning. In fact, some research shows that several cases of food poisoning may be related to lectin poisoning.

Only Raw legumes and beans are known to cause harmful effects due to the presence of lectins. They contain a type of lectin known as “Phytohaemagglutinin”. It can cause red blood cells to clump together. This lectin can also produce nausea, vomiting, stomach upset, and diarrhea.

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Keep reading to know more about How to Remove lectins from Beans and legumes?

How to Remove Lectins from Beans?

Follow the steps carefully to remove or just reduce lectins from beans.

  1. Wash the beans carefully. Carefully washing any type of beans is a necessary step. This step not only cleans the lectin present in beans but also removes any dirt or harmful preservatives used to protect them from pests or insects.
  2.  Soak the beans. Beans should be soaked in clean water for at least 6 -10 hours. Soaking is also an effective way to reduce the amount of lectin present in it. Overnight soaking is the best and easiest way to do this job.
  3. Wash the Beans again after soaking. The mount Lectins get fairly reduced just after washing and soaking. Washing once again is a second try to rinse off any surface lectins.
  4.  Cook the beans in slow heat for a long time. In fact, it is advised to cook kidney beans for at least 60 minutes in low heat. Minimum 30-minute cooking is necessary for any kind of beans. Cooking not only cleans lectin but also makes beans easy to digest and yes, soft to eat. It is also good to reduce gastric problems.
  5. Fermenting the Beans for a few days. This is not necessary but if you like pickles then this is good to reduce most of the lectins present in Beans. Actually, fermentation is one of the best methods to break down natural lectins.

How to remove lectins from Legumes like lentils?

It is 100% true that most of the legumes contain lectins. Also, these lectins are sometimes harmful. So should we stop eating legumes? No, it is not possible. In fact, legumes play a very important role in our natural protein diet.

Now, what to do?- Simply remove it or at least reduce lectins up to the level that is not harmful to us. Removing lectins from any legumes is just very the same as beans. Washing Cooking and Fermentation are all good for this purpose. So let us see the best and universally accepted way to reduce lectins from legumes.

Though Fermentation is a good way to reduce lectins but is not effective for legumes. Only because we don’t eat them as pickles or maybe you can try.

So I will go through the universally accepted method to remove lectins from legumes- The cooking method.

  1. Wash the legumes carefully. They may contain dirt and impurity. So clean it properly before proceeding.
  2. Roasting the legumes. Slow roasting the legumes for 3- 5 minutes before cooking is best to reduce lectins as well as to enhance flavor. You can fry it also if you like.
  3. Boil legumes for a minimum of 30-40 minutes.  30 to 40 minutes of cooking is necessary to reduce lectins present in any type of legumes.
  4. Using turmeric powder is also helpful. In ancient culinary traditions, it is shown that cooking legumes with turmeric powder greatly reduce the amount of lectin present in it. Also, it is very healthy and contains several medicinal properties. Turmeric is also good for digestion.

Do canned beans have lectins?

Yes, Canned beans do have lectins present in them. Especially if the beans are not cooked properly then it can cause harmful effects like indigestion or nausea. On the other hand, properly cooked and carefully canned beans may contain a very low amount of lectin.

Does cooking beans destroy lectins?- Yes, Cooking beans destroy lectins. In fact, cooking is the best method to reduce the amount of lectin present in raw food. It is also the best way to make the food safe to eat and digest.

How to remove lectins from canned beans?- Canned beans are pre-cooked. This means they are already treated to reduce lectins. If you are still unsure then you can heat it again for at least 10 minutes before eating. Sometimes just a low heat in the microwave for 10 minutes is sufficient for this purpose.

Alert: – NEVER heat a sealed can in a microwave. It can cause severe damage both to property and life. Beware!

Do you really need to worry about lectins in Beans?- No, Actually Not. It is a common assumption that lectins are very harmful. It can only cause damage to our health. There is no benefit of it but is this perception 100% true.

Strictly no. In fact, many recent pieces of research have shown us that besides being a cause of severe allergic reactions, lectins are somehow good for our gut. Yes, This is not a joke, we know lectins are hard to digest but this difficulty has made our digestive system stronger.

Are lectins and Beans Harmful to All?

Yes, Lectins are harmful to us at least to some extent. There is a general misconception that Beans are bad due to lectins. But recent studies show that neither beans nor lectins are completely harmful to us. Though there are some complications like indigestion or gastric problems in an overall sense it is not that dangerous.

If you ignore the high intolerant persons then the rest of others may never notice any harmful effect of lectin due to the food they are consuming.

In fact, The presence of lectins in your food like beans may help you to fight high blood sugar and several cardiac problems. It is now confirmed that several lectins can act as antioxidants. Thus helpful in fighting with excess free radicals or indigestible mineral contents in our body.

Another benefit of lectins is their property to absorb carbohydrates. It leads to a reduction in sugar concentration and hence helps in balancing high sugar levels.

Some benefits of lectins present in Beans?

We all Know Lectins are Harmful to us. Do you know- It also has some benefits that can change your views about lectins in beans. Let’s see

  • Lectins are hard to digest but they are present in bean fibers. This characteristic has balanced the harmful effect and increased digestion capacity.
  • Lectins can cause gastric problems but they are known to be good antioxidants. This means the excess of minerals that can affect proper fluid circulation in the body can be balanced easily.
  • Lectins absorb excess carbohydrates. Beans can also be a good food to control a sharp rise in blood sugar levels. The lectins present in the beans in somehow responsible for this extraordinary job.
  • Beans are also known to be good food for patients suffering from several cardiovascular diseases. This is mostly considered due to the presence of a high amount of lectins.


I have no problem with lectins as I am fairly tolerant of these foods. But for those who are intolerant to lectins, foods like legumes or Beans can be harmful. So I would suggest knowing your condition before making any speculation is always a good idea.

You should not worry about lectins if you have no problem with it or at least you don’t know right now. Else you can follow the steps given above to remove and reduce the amount of lectin present in beans or any other legumes.

After, that you are good to go, you can have it as you like. Write your views about How to Remove lectins from Beans and legumes.

Good day, stay healthy! Live the Green.


Hi, My name is Sukant. I am an I.T professional. Gardening for me is not just a hobby, it's a way of living life with nature. My Ancestors were Commercial farmers: So I personally feel attached to the green. I am not an expert, I'm here only to share my gardening experiences. It's always Refreshing.

5 thoughts on “How to Remove lectins from Beans and legumes

  1. Hello
    I just moved to Panama and tried to soak and germinate grains, and rinsing them 3 times a day but they have been smelling bad after 24 h. I wanted to know if I can germinate the beans in the fridge?? Or what can you recommend me.
    I used to live in a colder weather and this has never happened.

    1. Hi Mariamalia,
      The smell is due to temperature and over-soaking. You can simply try to reduce the soaking time to 12-15 hours. After that wrap the beans in a soft cotton kitchen towel and leave in the freeze. You may have to water the towel once it feels dry. And that’s it. The beans should sprout in a day or two without any smell. Good Day.

    1. Actually, there is some packaged food available that does not have any lectins. They are preprocessed but make sure you read the label and ingredient details carefully before purchase. You can ask the shopkeeper or any attendant for lectin-free emergency food packages.

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