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When it comes to eating habits, beans are one of the most neglected and under-valued items. Some people don't like them, others might think they are not versatile or, let's be honest, you avoid them because they give you gas (there are ways to avoid this and you know it).

So here I am sharing the goodness of BEANS: budget friendly, protein option, and cholesterol free. Should I keep going?

Beans are heart-healthy: They contain an abundance of soluble fiber, which can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

They are full of protein: About 1/2 cup of beans provides 7 grams of protein, the same amount as in 1 ounce of chicken, meat or fish. Vegetarians, vegans and individuals who seldom eat meat, poultry, or fish could count on beans as an alternative choice.

They balance blood sugar: With a low glycemic index, beans contain a beautiful blend of complex carbohydrates and protein. Because of this, beans are digested slowly, which helps keep blood glucose stable, and may curtail fatigue and irritability.

Beans are fulfilling! Because beans are metabolized more slowly than other complex carbs, they may aid in weight loss by keeping us feeling full without being excessively high in calories.

They are rich in nutrients: Aside from protein, complex carbs and fiber, beans contain a powerhouse of nutrients including antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals, such as copper, folate, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium and zinc. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans refer to many of these important nutrients as "shortfall nutrients," meaning most of us aren't getting enough of them. Beans can help you step up to a more complete plate.

Versatility is their middle name: They can be incorporated into a main dish (chili), side dish (rice and beans), appetizer (soup) or snack (dip). It's easy to be creative when you have kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, lima beans, black-eyed peas, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), split peas and lentils in your pantry. Take advantage of their various shapes, sizes and colors when planning meals.

Source: Huffington Post

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