Bountiful Beans

We are happy to spill these beans: Whether drained, canned, frozen or fresh, these special seeds, which come in many varieties, are filled with major health-boosting benefits.  Sometimes referred to as pulses or legumes, these fiber-filled vegetables – half a cup of cooked chickpeas contains 5 grams of fiber – also pack quality protein – 7 grams in half a cup.  Did we mention beans are virtually fat-free?  The soluble and insoluble fiber in beans helps the body maintain regularity, control cholesterol levels, regulate blood glucose levels and reduces risk for certain cancers.  And, beans are a super source of potassium, folate, magnesium and thiamine.  Large-scale studies have shown that bean-eaters are less likely to be obese than their non-bean consuming peers.  All beans, from black and kidney to fava and navy are soft when cooked making them easy to eat with dentures or a tired jar.

Concerned about gassy side effects?  There is no need to be embarrassed by nature.  To calm an active gastrointestinal system, ease into bean eating with a small amount each day.  Eventually your body will adjust to the habit of consuming more fiber.  Some of Williamson chefs’ favorite ways to serve beans: In soups, salads, dips, with Mexican food and in vegetarian casseroles.

Published by Anna Bullett, MS, RD, on August 8th, 2011 at 9:00 am. Filled under: Diet,Fiber,Health,nutrition,Protein,Uncategorized,VegetablesNo Comments