Adzuki beans originated in Asia. Archeologists estimate that it was domesticated around 3,000 BC.
Fun nutritional fact: Adzuki beans may contain a unique mineral known as molybdenum in quite high concentrations. This is a trace mineral and may not be found in many foods, but it might play a crucial part in the detoxification of the liver. It’s a great anticancer food, aids in circulation and balances Uric acid.
Why Feed This To Your Dog?
Yeasty Dogs: This can be fed as a topper for one week to “drain damp” and then repeated again three weeks later.
General maintenance topper for humid climates or weeks – feed as a topper one to three times a week.
Lumpy Dogs: This can be fed to increase blood circulation for one week and then repeated again three weeks later.
- Soak the Beans: First, rinse the adzuki beans under cold water to remove any dirt or impurities. Transfer them into a large bowl and pour in 3-4 cups of cold water. Allow the beans to soak for at least 8 hours, or overnight. If it’s particularly warm, you might want to place them in the refrigerator to prevent fermentation.
- Drain and Rinse: After soaking, pour out the water and give the beans another rinse under cold water.
- Cook the Beans: Put the beans in a large pot and add 3 cups of fresh water.
- Bring the pot to a rolling boil for 15 minutes, then lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cover the pot.
- Allow the beans to cook for 1-2 hours, or until they are tender. You may need to check on them from time to time and add more water if required.
- Once the beans are cooked, taste them and add more salt or other seasonings as needed.
- You can feed the beans as they are. Cooked adzuki beans can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week, or you can freeze them for longer storage.
Don’t overdo it. Start off with 10% of their diet and don’t exceed 30%
Soak it for 12 hours. Rinse and cover with water in a ratio of 1 cup of beans to 3 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Simmer for 6-8 hours.
Feed it within two days and freeze the rest.
For Yeasty Dogs you can pair this with yams and dandelion greens (10% of each) as toppers to your dog’s raw or cooked meal.
For Lumpy Dogs, you can pair this with acorn or summer squash and chard or red cabbage as toppers to your dog’s raw or cooked meal.
Worried about Legumes?
In Chinese Medicine, we look at plants as medicine.
Even though the recommended max is 30% I recommend that this legume be included at a portion not to exceed 10%.
If your dog is yeasty or has blood stagnation, this can be an ingredient you can feed for one seven-day increment a month.
Ideally, it is paired with a red protein, and your dog’s body shows that excess dampness comes out through the urine.
Often dog parents will not blink an eye if they buy a supplement made with synthetic ingredients. I propose we flip the tables around and start to turn to plants grown on the land as our medicine, and we limit the use of supplements made in a laboratory.
What About Phytic Acid and Lectins?
Phytic acid and lectins are naturally occurring compounds found in many plant foods, including beans. They are often referred to as “anti-nutrients” because they can interfere with the absorption of certain nutrients in the body.
Phytic acid can bind to minerals like iron, zinc, and calcium and prevent them from being fully absorbed by the body. Meanwhile, some types of lectins can interact with the cells lining the gut, potentially causing a variety of digestive issues.
However, these compounds are not universally bad. In fact, they have also been linked to potential health benefits. Phytic acid has antioxidant properties and may help reduce the risk of a variety of chronic diseases, including heart disease and cancer. Similarly, some lectins may have beneficial effects on health, including anti-cancer properties.
Thus, while it’s true that phytic acid and lectins can have some negative effects, they are not solely detrimental, and they can be largely mitigated through proper preparation and cooking.
As for phytic acid, it’s important to note that in typical dietary amounts, it doesn’t usually cause problems. In fact, it may have health benefits, including antioxidant effects and potential protective effects against kidney stones and cancer. However, in large amounts, or in diets that are already low in the minerals that it binds to (like iron, zinc, and calcium), it can potentially contribute to deficiencies. We would never be consuming or feeding amounts that even make this a concern.
As for lectins, raw or improperly cooked beans can contain high levels of these proteins, and consuming them can lead to acute effects like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. However, proper preparation and cooking can effectively eliminate these risks.
As for how much phytic acid and lectins are removed by soaking and cooking, that can vary depending on the specific type of bean or legume, the soaking time, and the cooking method. However, some general estimates are as follows:
- Phytic acid: Soaking beans for 12 hours at room temperature can reduce phytic acid by 10-20%. Fermenting and sprouting beans can reduce phytic acid by 50% or more.
- Lectins: Soaking alone does not remove significant amounts of lectins. However, cooking beans at boiling temperatures (100°C or 212°F) for at least 10 minutes can almost completely inactivate the lectins. It’s important to note that cooking at lower temperatures, even for long periods of time, may not effectively eliminate lectins.
While it’s true that beans and legumes contain anti-nutrients like phytic acid and lectins, these substances are not generally a cause for concern in a balanced diet, especially when beans are prepared and cooked properly. They are part of the natural defenses of many plants, and they can even have health benefits in the right context.
Where To Buy?
Note: Some links in this article are affiliate links (Amazon Associates or other programs I participate in). At no charge to you, as an affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Look for the red bean variety that is small and long at your local healthy grocery store or on Amazon.
Which Dogs Benefit From Adzuki Beans
- Dogs with Dampness
- Dogs with Chronic Kidney Disease
- Dogs with blood deficiency
- Dogs with blood stagnation
- Pregnant dogs (due to folate acid)
Are Adzuki Beans Species Appropriate?
Adzuki beans are not toxic to dogs and can be included in their diet in moderation for a therapeutic period, but they wouldn’t typically form a large part of a “species-appropriate” diet for a dog. Dogs’ primary source of nutrition should come from high-quality animal proteins. Beans and other legumes can contribute to a balanced diet, providing extra fiber, vitamins, and minerals. However, they should be properly cooked to ensure they’re easily digestible and to reduce the presence of anti-nutrients like lectins.
I am wishing you and your dog good Health!
Hannah Zulueta obtained her Certificate in Canine Nutrition from CASI Institute. She is also studying for her Doctorate in Acupuncture, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Herbalism from the esteemed Pacific College of Health and Medicine.
She resides in San Diego with her three dogs, Maggie, Orbit, and Mr. Higgins.