Beans, be they white, black, pinto, mungo, lima, fava, or kidney beans, as well es lentils, chick peas, black-eyed peas, split peas and any other kind you can come up with from the legume family, are healthy for so many reasons.
The ancients already knew that beans should be a staple in your diet if you wish to look healthier and need to maintain your vigor and vitality. The latter is probably due to the high Vitamin B-15 content of beans: They are a strength-giving food.
Beans should also play an important role in your diet if you need to watch your cholesterol levels and triglycerides. Beans keep too much fat from accumulating in the circulating blood. In order to re-introduce more beans into your regular diet, consider eating oatmeal for breakfast three days a week, and bean soup for lunch several ties a week – just don’t add ham or the sausage. This combination should be an ideal grain-legume mixture to fight cholesterol buildup.
Besides, beans can help lower blood sugar levels, and thus should be a regular choice of (pre-) diabetics. Since high cholesterol levels and triglycerides often go hand-in-hand with diabetes, with beans you have a chance of killing two birds with one stone, as the saying goes: Beans included into the diet at least twice a week has a good chance of lowering blood sugar levels due to the fiber contents of each bean.
Recipe Ideas with Beans
Since it comes in handy to have cooked beans ready in the fridge for various reasons (see below), we usually soak 2 cups of Great Northern beans in a big saucepan over night, and boil them the next day together with some salt and a piece of beef bone until the beans are soft. Then we give the bone to the dogs and keep the beans refrigerated for various further uses:
- A quick lunch can be prepared by boiling some of the beans with some fresh or frozen vegetables and possibly some leftover lunch meat or a crumbled piece of leftover bacon.
- If you like tortillas, cooked beans can be turned into re-fried beans quickly by adding some chili powder and possibly some additional vegetables and cook it all down to a paste.
- In addition, the Italians know how well beans go with pasta: Mix your pre-cooked beans with any kind of cooked pasta and serve with your favorite sauce or (traditionally) as a soup, and you will be surprised how tasty Pasta e Fagioli are. This way, you will also lower your carb intake when having a pasta dish, something many diabetics are concerned about.
This article does NOT talk about green beans, though. They are tasty and healthy as well, but do not technically belong to the legumes just yet because they are the unripe fruit and protective pods of the beans and are counted among the vegetables instead.
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