Much like you’ll see elsewhere in this lesson, the stance on legumes has evolved over time within the Paleo community. The concern about legumes largely lies around the high amount of lectin and phytic acid present in them. As covered in the grains topic, lectins are resistant to human digestion and can cause an immune response by the body and/or damage the lining of the gut, making someone more susceptible to other food intolerances. Phytic acid binds to nutrients and foods and prevents your stomach from absorbing those nutrients. Now in smaller quantities, phytic acid can be beneficial; however, legumes are often consumed in larger quantities (imagine someone who sources the majority of their protein from beans for example). There’s concern that this amount of phytic acid doesn’t allow their nutrients to be absorbed from their meal. That load, along with the lectin load, is often the case against legumes (Paleo Leap).
That said, sprouting or soaking your legumes prior to consumption can greatly reduce the amount of these anti-nutrients, which is why we’re seeing a boom in sprouted products in grocery stores.
Examples of legumes include: beans, peanuts, soy beans.