Most persons have a love or hate relationship with beans, however personally I can’t get enough of them. With a range of options to choose from for example peas, lentils, alfalfa, peanuts I find myself using them in many different dishes. Beans and legumes are extremely versatile and can be eaten cold in salads or as a perfect substitute for hot meat dishes like in chili. Here are a few reasons why beans are a regular item in my pantry:
- Packed with protein – Probably one of the top reasons I find myself going back to beans is because they are a great source of protein. A half a cup of beans contains 6-8g of protein which makes it a suitable alternative of protein for vegetarians and vegans a like. Compared with other plant based forms of protein it is one of the most easily accessible and inexpensive option which makes it an unbeatable plant based addition to your diet. Protein is an important part of your diet as it helps which many brain and bodily functioning therefore ensuring that you get the correct daily intake of protein is crucial for proper development.
- Low in fat – Most beans contain 2-3 percent of fat and also have no cholesterol (cholesterol is found in animal products not plant based foods) which makes it ideal for persons trying to reduce cholesterol levels. If you are trying to lose weight, beans are also a perfect option because they are packed with nutrients but have none of the additional high amounts of sugars or fats.
- Beans keep you satiated – Beans and legumes contain natural soluble fiber that helps regulate for digestive system. Beans are also a complex carbohydrate than blends protein and carbohydrate which metabolize slowly in the body and help you to stay fuller for longer. This is especially beneficial when you consider the fact that beans are low in calories. Therefore you can chow down on these super foods without being overly concerned about your caloric intake.
- They have lots of nutrients - Aside from the numerous benefits listed already; beans are packed with nutrient, vitamins and minerals including iron, folate, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium and zinc. For most persons, staying on top of your daily intake of nutrients can be difficult and it is easy to register a nutrient deficient if you are not careful. Therefore beans and legumes are a great way to ensure that your diet includes essentials nutrients that aid in your growth and development.
The nutrients in beans make them a no-brainer when it comes to incorporating them in your diet. They are a low-cost alternative to more expensive health products and can be used in a variety of ways. If you are not fond of the taste, try experimenting with different recipes and flavors, my personal favorite way to use beans are in Indian recipes like curry, or maybe even in a meal like chili. Beans and legumes are without a doubt one of the most inexpensive ways to start incorporating more healthy food in your diet. Give them another try today, you may find yourself hooked!