Beans – Nutrition and Information

Beans, the Magical Fruit

You’ve probably heard that silly rhyme before. But it’s time to put that behind you and face the healthy facts: the bean isn’t actually a fruit. It’s a legume, and it’s one of the American Heart Association’s key food group recommendations when it comes to living a healthy and disease free lifestyle. The legume is also backed by other agencies like the American Diabetes Association and the American Cancer Society, and its popularity isn’t shocking. Studies have shown that beans are very good for your digestive tract as well as that they may decrease your risk of diabetes, cardiovascular issues, and some forms of cancer. But what makes beans so good for you? Well, for one they’re high protein. They’ll also a filling alternative to other high carb foods that may have a more difficult time breaking down in your body, thus turning into extra weight.

beans

Take the black bean, for instance. It has been noted as one of the best beans for your health despite it’s relatively high caloric quantity per cup. It’s important to look past that number to the other amazing nutritional benefits these beans have to offer. Just one cup offers up to 83% of your daily recommendation for potassium intake, 120% of your daily fiber intake, and over 50% of your magnesium and iron needs. And look at that protein intake! 42 grams of protein adds up to about 84% of what you need each day.

Calorically, beans add up to about the same as meat. Trading in a fatty steak or burger for the low-fat bean alternative a few times a week is a healthy choice that will make everyone happy. Beans, for the most part, have versatile flavors and can go with just about everything. All-bean chili with kidney beans is a great option, as is pasta fagioli – and Italian dish that combines pasta and cannellini bean soup for a hearty dinner option even the kids will enjoy.

Some Other Bean Options

-Black-Eyed Peas
-Chick Peas (Or Garbanzo Beans)
-Lima Beans
-Pinto Beans
-Edamame (green soy beans)
-Lentils
-Soy nuts (or roasted soy beans)

By making beans a regular staple in your diet, you’ll find you and your family more energized and healthier overall. Nutritionist love beans and recommend about 3 cups of cooked legumes a week or a 1/2 cup of legumes six days a week. However you reach your recommended minimum, you’ll be sure to enjoy it. If you’re not sure where to start, give this recipe from allrecipes.com a try!

Three Bean Salad

1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 ounce) can green beans, drained and rinsed
4 green onions, chopped
1 stalk celery, sliced
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon ground dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional)

In this simple recipe, all you need to do is gently mix the garbanzo bean, kidney beans, green bean, green onions and celery in one bowl. Then, combine other ingredients in a seperate bowl with a whisk. Pour the dressing over your bean mixture, tossing gently to coat. Cover your salad and refrigerate two hours prior to serving. Be sure to toss again before serving for best flavor.

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Sources: The World’s Healthiest Foods, Web MD, Mayo Clinic, and allrecipes.com

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