5 Reasons to Say “More Beans Please”

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The word is spreading regarding the health-promoting benefits of beans.  It used to be that we would primarily see beans featured in dishes such as bean soup or chili.  Today recipes such as black bean brownies, peanut butter garbanzo bean cookies, bean quesadillas and bean burgers are becoming the norm in certain circuits.  People are substituting bean flours such as chick pea and black bean into baked goods.  If you have not yet welcomed beans into your life – isn’t it about time?

 

1. Improve your Health. 

Beans are an excellent source of soluble fiber which can help improve blood glucose and cholesterol values.  The fiber in beans keeps you fuller longer which can be instrumental for weight management.   Increased fiber from beans can conquer even the most chronic cases of constipation.  Try eating a bean dish once or twice a week and see if it has a positive impact on your health. 

 

2. Carbohydrate Champion! 

Choosing beans as part of the carbohydrate with your meal will expose you to the vast source of vitamins, minerals and fiber available in beans.  Beans are outstanding with regard to being a complex carbohydrate source of energy as well as other nutrition essentials such as protein, folate and iron.  Some people worry about flatulence or bloating with increasing their bean intake.  Initially for some this may be an issue; however, as your body becomes accustomed to eating more beans this will likely diminish.  Steps such as rinsing canned beans and discarding the water that dry beans are cooked in will further reduce unpleasant digestive issues.  Whenever increasing your fiber intake, it is important to consume more water.

 

3. A Lot of Bang for your Buck. 

Beans are cost efficient to purchase and have a long shelf life.  Canned beans can be purchased and are convenient.  Rinse before using to remove about half of the salt.  Dried beans are even less expensive to purchase and a treat to use as well.  They are available in different colors and sizes and can be displayed in containers to add aesthetic appeal to your kitchen.

 

4. Convenient to Boot!  

In a hurry?  Rinse garbanzo beans and add a cup to your tossed salad for carbohydrate and protein.  Kids need a snack – how about edamame which can be purchased frozen and steamed in the microwave in a few minutes.  Throw beans into your soups or wraps.  Make a big batch of hummus and freeze in small containers for easy access later.  No need to worry if you prepared too many beans or bean dishes, they can easily be frozen for another meal or snack and will keep for up to a year in the freezer.

 

5. Variety is the Limit! 

Black, pinto, garbanzo (or chick peas), cannellini, edamame, lima, black-eyed peas, kidney, great northern, pinto.   The foods and combination meals you can prepare using beans is endless.  Consider beans as your new pantry staple.  If you have a family, try different dishes, particularly if you have members who are objecting to the “BEAN INVASION”! Research shows that children who are exposed to lots of variety in younger years are more likely to choose more variety in adulthood – let beans be one of those foods.

 

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