In a previous discussion, soaking beans in salted water prior to cooking was a suggestion to soften skins. Does this result in less calcium and magnesium content of the cooked beans?

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    Hi, welcome to Seasoned Advice. Do not wonder that I edited your question to be in line with our faq, here it is normal for high-rep users and moderators to do this. In particular, health questions are off-topic here. You can ask whether the magnesium is lost or not, but its effects on your body depend on bioavailability and should be answered by medical specialists, not cooks. Also, calcium and magnesium are not vitamins but trace elements :)
    – rumtscho
    Mar 5, 2013 at 17:00

1 Answer 1


See Common Bean Myths from Captious for a survey of several bean related issues. They report that Cook's Illustrated has indicated (emphasis added):

[...] during soaking many nutrients leach out of the beans, more so with a quick soak (presumably due to the brief heat) than with a long cold soak. Apparently heat breaks down cell membranes within the beans, and increases the solubility of water-soluble nutrients, such as calcium, magnesium, thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin. As a result, quick soaking tends to leach somewhat more of the nutrients out of the beans than do slow soaking methods.

  • This answers quick soak vs long soak. The question seems to be salted vs unsalted. I suspect that one will be harder to find a definitive answer to. Mar 5, 2013 at 22:55

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