Let’s Talk About Beans! January 7, 2015
What makes beans such a super food? Well to begin with, they’re a fabulous source of vegetarian protein and fiber – two nutrients that help you stay full and satisfied (a bonus when watching your weight!). The protein and fiber in beans also stabilize the rise in blood sugar that occurs after eating, which has also been shown to help stabilize mood. Moreover, as a meat substitute, they are a rich source of iron. Beans are low in fat and have a very high antioxidant content – something we could all use in these winter cold and flu months. They are a great source of magnesium and potassium, nutrients that work together to lower blood pressure, maintain healthy cholesterol, and keep your heart and blood vessels healthy.
What is it? Beans belong to the Fabaceae family (also known as the Leeguminosae family) and are one of the oldest and longest cultivated plants in history.
When are they available? Year-round, dried or canned.
Why eat it?
- 1 cup (boiled) = 240 calories, 15 grams of protein, 60% or our daily recommended fiber
- 29% of our daily recommended iron intake
- 1 cup (boiled) = 255 calories, 15 grams of protein, 76% of our daily recommended fiber
- 23% of our daily recommended iron intake
- 1 cup (boiled) = 269 calories, 15 grams of protein, 48% of our daily recommended fiber
- 26% of our daily recommended iron intake
- 1 cup (boiled) = 230 calories, 9 grams of protein, 64% of our daily recommended fiber
- 36% of our daily recommended iron intake
How to select it? When selecting dried beans, make sure that there is no evidence of moisture. Also make sure that the beans are whole and not cracked. Canned beans are also a great option because, unlike many canned vegetables, canned beans are almost equally nutritious as those you cook yourself. Just make sure you choose cans that are intact and avoid those with added salt and preservatives. You can also find varieties that come in Tetrapaks.
How to store it? Store dried beans in a tightly covered container in a cool, dry place and they should last for about 12 months. Canned beans do not need to be refrigerated – just add them to your pantry!
Did you know?
- There are over 40,000 different varieties of beans!
- Planting and rowing beans actually enriches the earth – they put nitrogen back into the soil.
- When cooking beans, remember do NOT add any salt until they are completely done cooking. Doing so before, makes the beans tough and increases the cooking time!
Look for these recipes featuring Beans: