Beans and Other Legumes
for a Healthier Diet
If you're considering altering your lifestyle for healthier living consider legumes as a significant partner to your overall well being. Whole, cooked beans are low in fat and provide high-quality protein as well as vitamins, minerals, polyphenols and other phytonutrients. Adding legumes to your daily diet may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as, heart disease, diabetes mellitus, obesity and cancer. "Consuming as little as one-half cup of cooked dry beans every day helped volunteers lower their total cholesterol levels in an Agricultural Research Service (ARS) study in North Dakota." Reported by the USDA.
Legumes are a staple in most vegetarian diets. The Mediterranean diet advocates eating more vegetables and replacing red meat in your menus. Consider having a vegetarian day once or twice a week. Black Beans are a great source of protein and, when combined with a whole grain such as whole wheat pasta, provide protein comparable to that of meat or dairy foods without the high calories or saturated fat found in these foods. A cup of Black Beans will provide you with 16 grams of protein (that's 30% of the daily value for protein), plus 48% of the daily value for fiber. All this and only 240 calories with virtually no fat.
Another excellent nutritional choice are Chickpeas called "ceci" in Italian or "Garbanzo Beans" in Spanish. Chickpeas may help reduce your levels of the hormone insulin, lowering your risk of diabetes according to a study at Oregon State University. They have a rich meaty flavor that makes them a family favorite. Delicious in salads, in falafels, heated with olive oil, as a creamy humas, or in curries, chickpeas are a very versatile legume.
A hidden gem of protein is the Lupini bean. In the Lupinus family of the grain legumes are one of the highest in protein content, second only to soy beans. Enjoy Pastene Lupini beans as a nutritious snack anytime. Our Lupini beans are ready to eat right from the jar.
Red Kidney Beans and Cannellini (White Kidney) Beans true to their name, these popular beans are kidney shaped and are especially good in simmered dishes, like chili, where they absorb the flavors of seasonings and the other foods. Kidney beans contain antioxidants that may help prevent hardening of the arteries, according to research at North Dakota State University and the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) .
There is more health for you in beans and other legumes, they are a tremendous source of nutrients and antioxidants. There's no mistake about it. Beside being delicious, nutritious and easy to cook with they make a great partner on the road to healthier living.