Searching for healthy, inexpensive and versatile ways to add more protein into your diet? Why not think about dried beans? Dried beans, also recognized as legumes and pulses, aren’t only an excellent source of protein, but are low in fat, packed with vitamins, minerals and both soluble and insoluble fiber. Ask any vegetarian how they get sufficient protein in their diet plan and they most likely will say “I eat a lot of beans”.
I decided to become a vegetarian as a tiny child and my parents (who were not vegetarians by the way) worried that I could be lacking inside the protein essential for growth. So, following consulting with my pediatrician and many books on raising vegetarian kids, they added beans and lentils to the family table. Not only did I grow, but I am the tallest woman in my family, an enormous 5 feet five inches tall. Yea, nicely, my family is not famous for its tall women?
Protein, Fiber, Vitamins and Minerals
Ok, ok, back to the beans. Beans are an superb, non-fat source of protein. Just one cup of beans has about 16 grams, about the exact same as 3 ounces (audio cassette size) piece of chicken, fish or beef.
Simply because they’re a plant, they contain fiber, vitamins and minerals like vegetables. Nutritionists refer to them as “crossover foods” which means they can be employed in a meal as a protein or vegetable item. Take a take a look at the cuisines of various countries and cultures. You will notice that most cultures contain beans, prepared in numerous different ways. Such a versatile food!
Yet another distinctive top quality of beans is the fiber. Beans contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Huh? What does this mean?
Insoluble fiber is the technical term for what my Mom often referred to as “roughage”. You know.. the stuff that makes food move via your body a lot more easily. Insoluble fiber has received plenty of publicity in recent years because of the link to a high fiber diet and lowered risk of numerous forms of cancer.
Soluble fiber forms a “gooey” substance in the digestive procedure that helps with processing of fats, cholesterol and slows the release of carbohydrates into the bloodstream. The American Diabetic Association loves beans!
Beans are rich in antioxidants, folic acid, vitamin B-6 and magnesium. Folic Acid and B-6 are identified for their ability to lower homocysteine levels inside the blood.
Elevated blood levels of homocysteine inside the blood are related to risk for heart attack, stroke and peripheral vascular illness. 20-40 percent of patients with heart disease have elevated homocysteine levels.
So, whats the downside of this wonderful food? In case you are not utilized to a high fiber diet flatulence. As with the introduction of any high fiber food, go easy with the amounts the first few days until your body adjusts. Then any uncomfortable feeling will possibly pass.
The best way to Cook
You can use canned beans which are nutritionally similar to dried ones. It is a great thought to rinse the beans just before eating them to get rid of the salt and preservatives used in canning.
I tend to attempt and stay away from processed foods where achievable so I buy dried beans and cook them following the directions on the package. Typically, beans are not complicated to cook, but need time. Most beans, except lentils, need an overnight soak in water to soften them up. Then they could be simmered until soft on the stove or in a slow cooker. Generally, the larger the bean, the longer they take to cook. One factor to note: following soaking, rinse the beans and cook them in new water. This will aid prevent flatulence!
Beans could be frozen right after cooking and employed in sauces, soups, salads or anywhere your imagination takes you. Where I live, red bean ice cream is well-liked. Delicious!