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Why you should eat beans every day

October 22nd, 2012 | no comments

 

Beans, beans, the musical fruit
The more you eat, the more you….

OK, so that may be an undesirable side-effect for some people—but that’s usually because they aren’t eating this Power Food often enough! You have to ease your way into beans, or the experience could be a bit, well…musical!

Why such a Power Food?

I’ve always said beans and other legumes (such as peas, soybeans and lentils) are the world’s perfect food, and that’s because a 1/2 cup serving is chock full of: antioxidants, copper, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, phosphorus and zinc. Did I mention that not only are beans and legumes fat-free and cholesterol free, they are the least expensive source of protein and fiber—cashing in at 8 grams of protein and 9 grams of fiber (that’s 30% of your fiber needs for the day!) per serving? All for only 100 calories!

Because they are such an excellent source of fiber (including soluble fiber), beans and legumes can help stabilize your blood sugar AND lower your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. What a wonderful gift to your body! Any of the following will do the trick:

Adzuki
Black
Black-eyed peas
Cannellini
Chickpeas
Fava
Great Northern
Kidney
Lentils
Lima
Mung
Navy
Pinto
Soy

10 Ways to add more legumes to your diet today!

  1. Add to soups and stews
  2. Toss a handful on your salad
  3. Mix in chili
  4. Stir in your favorite pasta sauce
  5. Fold in egg salad
  6. Add to tuna salad
  7. Mix with rice or vegetable dishes
  8. Stir into scrambled eggs or fold into omelets
  9. Make your own hummus with chickpeas. Check out this simple hummus recipe!
  10. Mix 1/2 cup beans or lentils with chopped red bell pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette and season with a touch of salt and pepper.

How to reduce the ‘Toot’

If you’d like to start eating more beans but are afraid of losing friends in the process, here are a few tips that can help:

  • Start slow. Add just a spoonful to one of your meals each day.
  • Never eat them solo on an empty stomach.
  • Soak ’em: Place 1 pound of beans in 10 or more cups of boiling water. Boil for 2 to 3 minutes, cover and set aside overnight. After the soak, 75 to 90 percent of the indigestible sugars that cause gas will have dissolved into the soaking water.
  • Change the water a few times during soaking
  • Cook beans until tender
  • Use canned beans! They may be higher in sodium than dried beans, but gas producing sugars are reduced by the canning process. Rinse beans in a strainer under cold water to slash 40% of the sodium!
  • To help your gut handle the extra fiber load, increase the amount of water you drink.

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