Adding Beans to your Diet

Adding beans to grains can turn an incomplete protein into a complete one.

Beans are widespread food around the world and for good reason. They are rich in fiber, protein, and can be delicious. You might think of beans only as an ingredient in chili or baked beans, but they’re not limited to these applications – in Japan, for instance, red beans are commonly used in desserts. Beans are one of the best sources of fresh, complete food, plant-based protein. For people, such as athletes and seniors who might need to boost their protein intake, eating beans at most meals can be a great idea.
Protein is a vital nutrient that plays a key role in virtually everything the body does. Beans are high in amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Beans make an excellent source of protein for vegetarians and vegans. They are also lower in calories and saturated fat than some other protein sources, such as dairy products.

Cooked soybeans, for example, contain almost 30 grams of protein per cup! And cooked split peas and lentils have approximately 16 grams of fiber per cup. To put that into perception, many nutrition experts believe that a 150-pound person requires about 54 grams of protein and 40 grams of fiber per day. Most people in today’s world consume an excess of protein, yet only about 10-12 grams of fiber per day. Beans provide an excellent source of protein and fiber, as well as nearly a full day’s worth of iron, plus a variety of micronutrients and photochemical. The consumption of beans is also associated with a slimmer waistline and can help lower the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some forms of cancer.

Preventing Cancer with Beans

There is no guarantee against cancer, but a large proportion of cancer risk is due to nutritional and lifestyle causes. Beans can help reduce the risk of many types of cancer in several ways.
One way is through the fiber they contain. Beans are among the foods richest in dietary fiber. Fiber is essential to help shuttle excess hormones and carcinogens out of the body. Without adequate fiber, these waste products continue to circulate over and over again, potentially causing cancer.

Beans and Weight Loss

If you’re looking to lose a few pounds or just maintain a healthy weight, beans are one of the best foods you can add to your diet. People who ate beans regularly have a lower risk of obesity and are more likely to have a smaller waist than people who didn’t eat beans. This is because beans are high in soluble fiber, which slows digestion and makes you feel full longer. Beans also have an extremely low glycemic index. Adding beans to your diet moderates blood sugar.

Adding beans to your diet

A mixed bean salad is both filling and tasty.
A person should always wash beans before cooking them and remove any beans that are shriveled or discolored.
Beans can be cooked by boiling them and allowing them to simmer until they are soft.
Canned beans are pre-cooked and can be used straight away in a variety of dishes.

Some simple strategies for adding beans to a regular diet include:

Replacing meat with beans. Try adding beans instead of meat to soups, casseroles, and pasta dishes.
Eating chilled bean salads. Beans are tasty and filling as a standalone salad, or as a garnish to other salads.
Mixing beans and grains. Adding beans to grains can turn an incomplete protein into a complete one.
It can take a little trial and error to find the beans that work best for someone’s preferred dishes, but beans can make a healthy addition to almost any meal.

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