The Bean Protocol™, explained: Conversation with Unique Hammond
We chatted with our friend, Unique Hammond, Holistic Nutritionist who coaches hundreds of clients around the world about the healing powers of plant-based eating. She specializes in the Bean Protocol™, which is exactly what it sounds like: eating lots of beans (with other nutrient-rich whole foods). Unique talked to us about the science behind the protocol and why beans, in particular, are key to a healthy overall well-being. Here are some excerpts from our conversation.
On the Bean Protocol™
The protocol is a dietary approach, and at its core is the idea that incorporating healthy fiber into your diet leads to a natural detox and supports a happy, healthy gut. Beans contain more soluble fiber than any other food category in the plant kingdom, which is why this food takes center stage.
Basically, what’s happening in the body is: soluble fiber binds to toxin-carrying bile and escorts it out of the body, allowing for new, healthy bile to start flowing. Bile is made by the liver and helps with detoxification by binding to excess hormones and other fat-soluble toxins. Without this soluble fiber, 95% of this bile gets recycled and has the potential to manifest as food allergies, fatigue, autoimmune diseases, and inflammation. Not a good situation. This is where beans come in.
The protocol’s premise is not groundbreaking, but it’s astonishing how many of us are not getting enough fiber in our diets through beans and other plant-based foods. People living in Blue Zones eat a ton of beans and there’s a reason why they live so long and so well.
On her career path
My path to discovering beans’ superpowers stems from my experience suffering from Crohn's disease and endometriosis. I saw countless doctors, but it wasn’t until I found the right combination of healing foods and soluble fiber-rich foods that I was able to achieve natural remission for all of the painful and persistent symptoms.
On her coaching work
My coaching involves creating personalized protocols to address my clients individual imbalances. These imbalances can be related to inflammation, infertility, digestive issues, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and more. I call them “imbalances” because your body can bounce back in time through the changes you make to your diet and lifestyle. I also work with clients who simply want to make sure they’re doing everything they can to live well and stay well. Live long, live healthy, eat beans!
On gut health
Soluble fiber– the same fiber that binds with bile and removes it from the body– fuels the billions of healthy bacteria in our gut. There is a lot of new research pointing to the fact that thriving bacteria send important signals throughout our body, boosting immunity and overall well-being
On the unwanted side effects of eating lots of beans
If your body isn’t accustomed to high amounts of soluble fiber you might notice a gassy side effect when you start to eat beans regularly. While it may be hard to see the positives, some gassiness is common because it means that your gut bacteria are thriving: they’re fermenting the fiber and creating short-chain fatty acids, which helps feed the microbiome.
To avoid any discomfort, I recommend starting small, even just a tablespoon 3 times a day, and gradually increasing from there. You might also find that certain bean varieties cause more gas than others, so you can experiment to figure out which beans work best for you.
In case you missed it, we joined forces earlier this year to offer a limited-edition bean set featuring 3 of our favorite beans in a special 3-lb pack, which sold out in just a couple of months. Follow us on social at @primarybeans and @uniquehammond to be the first to hear about product restocks and new announcements! You can also learn more about working with Unique or her e-courses on her website.