Beans, beans, the magical fruit,
The more you eat, the more you. . . toot your horn about their health benefits.
Are beans really fruits? A fruit has a seed, whereas vegetables are all other plant parts, such as roots, leaves and stems. But you may be asking yourself how and where beans fit in? They’re both fruits and vegetables. Beans are called legumes, and there are two types: mature and immature. Mature legumes are the dried fruits or seeds found inside pods, such as kidney beans or chickpeas. Immature legumes are those that have been harvested before they mature, with green beans and garden peas being two examples.
Be Better’s challenge this week is to eat beans. There are so many different types of beans you can choose from this week, ranging from black beans to kidney beans to garbanzo beans. Whatever you choose, enjoy the health benefits while raising money for Women Thrive Worldwide.
According to The Huffington Post, beans are sometimes called the “modern-day superfood” because they are full of health benefits. Did you know that beans:
- Are extremely beneficial for heart health - they contain an abundance of soluble fiber, which can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
- Are full of protein - one-half cup of black beans provides seven grams of protein, the same amount as in one ounce of chicken, meat or fish.
- Are low in fat - Most beans are about 2 percent to 3 percent fat and contain no cholesterol.
- Balance blood sugar – Beans contain a blend of complex carbohydrates and protein. They are digested slowly, which helps keep blood glucose stable, and may curtail fatigue and irritability.
- Cut risk of cancer – Due to their high amount of fiber and antioxidants, beans reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as cancer.
- Are full of nutrients - Aside from protein, complex carbs, fiber, and antioxidants, beans contain a powerhouse of nutrients, including vitamins and minerals, such as copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium.
- Promote regularity - Beans can promote regularity by preventing constipation. It’s best to accompany high-fiber foods with plenty of fluids.
- Satisfy you - Beans are metabolized more slowly than other complex carbs, so they make us feel full.
Check out a Black Bean and Quinoa Chili recipe via fitfoodiefinds. Prep time for the soup is a measly 15 minutes! Plus the mix of whole flavors in this chili makes for a delicious meal that will warm you up during the cold winter months. Or if you’re in the mood for a burrito this week, try yam and black bean burritos via this recipe. Completely vegetarian and super filling.
Four of the top beans for our health are:
- Black beans (Loaded with fiber, protein, and antioxidants)
- Black-eyed peas (A high-fiber bean that helps keep us feeling full)
- Kidney beans (Abundant in vitamin K, which helps with cancer prevention, and provides brain and nervous system benefits)
- Lentils (major source of folate and magnesium, which improves heart health)
Commit to Being Better this week and eating beans, and you will also be raising money for Women Thrive Worldwide. Improve yourself and improve our globe. We look forward to seeing creative recipes and ways you enjoy beans this week.
EXTRA ON BEANS:
- Spill the beans - why they're a superfood: greatist.com
- Scientists recommend that adults consume 3 cups of beans per week to promote health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases, like cancer: health.usnews.com
- Delicious black bean recipes: yummly.com
- Beans are packed with potassium and a preferred source of protein: nutritionfacts.org