Beans are nearly the perfect food. They have an amazing nutrition track record.
Beans are a super source of fiber and protein. You can’t say eating healthy is expensive when you’re talking beans because they are a bargai. And they are so versatile used in many different types of dishes.
If you haven’t already begun to add a variety of beans to your family’s diet, start introducing a few bean recipes.
You’ll find that it is a great way to save money and eat healthfully.
Why Add More Beans to Your Diet?
- Beans are Frugal - Beans are inexpensive. A can of protein rich beans costs about 50-70 cents; to really save, for under a dollar you can get four or five cans out of one bag of dried beans. One bag of beans can feed about 8 people for under a dollar!
- Beans are vitamin-rich-Beans provide B vitamins; folic acid, niacin, pyridoxine and thiamine. Beans promote healthy blood. Beans are a source of vitamin K, which controls normal blood clotting. Beans are a good source of thiamin, iron, folate and potassium.
- Beans can hep you lose weight - Beans are low in polyunsaturated fat and are cholesterol-free. Beans take longer to digest and are filling so you eat less. They also reduce the amount of insulin released, so the body stores less fat. A recent study released under the National Nutrition and Health Examination Survey concluded that adults and children who regularly eat beans weigh approximately seven pounds less than those who do not.
- Beans increase dietary fiber — eating beans can prevent or relieve constipation. Cup for cup, beans provide about twice as much fiber as most vegetables. Read Benefits of a high-fiber diet.
- Beans can lower your risk of diabetes – a US-Chinese study links beans to a reduced risk of diabetes because they are rich in “resistant” starch: a type that stabilizes blood sugar levels.
- Beans can lower your risk of heart disease – Beans lower total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Replace red meat with beans to lower your intake of saturated fat and cholesterol and to serve as a source of folic acid (lentils, pinto beans).
- Beans can lower your risk of cancer- Studies suggest a diet enriched in beans could help prevent cancer.
5 Ways to Add More Beans to Your Diet
- Main Dishes- bean chili, bean enchiladas, bean burgers, bean casseroles, bean burritos, beans and rice – the list can be endless. Get a good bean cookbook like Easy Beans or Magic Beans: 150 Delicious Recipes.
- Side Dishes – Open a can and serve black, baked, navy, etc. to complement any meal. Allrecipes has more than 690 trusted bean side dish recipes complete with ratings, reviews and cooking instructions.
- Add Beans to Salads- Beans are great in salad. Chick peas (garbanzo beans), kidney or black beans are super easy. Open the can, rinse them and add to a green salad. Or make a bean salad. Google “bean salad” for hundreds of options.
- Add Beans to Soups- Add beans to canned or homemade soup. Use either drained canned, frozen or fresh beans.
- Add Beans to Pasta- Toss with cooked pasta and canned pasta sauce with herbs; top with a sprinkle of Parmesan or Romano cheese.
See my favorite Delicious Bean Soup recipe.
What’s your favorite way to serve beans?
Share your bean ideas or recipe in the comments.