Thursday, February 10, 2011

Beans , Beans , Beans are good for your Heart, It's True!


Beans are a superb heart healthy food.  Yeah yeah , i know what your gonna say "but beans make me gassy" okay so this is true but the more beans you eat the less gassy you will become.  Yes introduce beans in small amounts everyday and your body will get use to them.  If all else fails take beano or gas ex before you eat them lol.  But don't not eat them because they are gassy.  Your missing out on a whole world of good.

Beans Contain:
  • low fat protien
  • fiber
  • B vitamins
  • Folate
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • phytonutrient
All beans are included in this category, most popular are pinto, navy, great northern, lima, garbonzo, lentils, green beans, sugar snap peas, and green peas.

The traditional objection to the protein from beans is that it's not a complete protein.  This is somewhat old fashioned idea.  It's true that beans (with exception of soy beans which are complete protein) are missing two amino acids and are therefor not complete in the sense that these acids are nessessary for the body to make use of beans protein.  However, bean protein is completed by other common foods, such as nuts, dairy and grains or even animal protein.  In fact, many popular bean dishes , rice and beans, couscous and chickpeas, lentils and barley, capitalize on this combination.  Many people believe it was nessessary to eat beans and the complimentary food at the same time. We now know that eating them in the same day is sufficent.

Beans and the complete proteins issue is an interesting example of how to often we become distracted by relatively insignificant details concerning nutrition.  When we eat fast food burgers and fries at the drop of a hat, looking down on beans because they are not a complete protien, we have lost sight of forest as we stare at the trees.  I do know its more complicated then that because most people grew up believing that meat is an important part of their diet.  This cultural influence is dificult to shed.  It does deserve some rethinking, now that studies suggest eating more bean protein instead of meat protein will extend our health span and aid in avoiding a host of chronic diseases.

It's not that you just dont get the negatives saturated fats with beans, you also get the positives  of all the fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients without fat.

Keep in mind that eating plant protein leads to less calcium loss than animal proetin, a benefit to those of us vulnerable to osteosporosis.  In general, as you increase your protein intake, you increase the amount of calcium lost from your bones.  The acidty that occurs with eating meat increases the calcium loss compared with plant protein.  Plant protein provides more phytonutrients plus vitamins, minerals that are bone friendly. 

Fact: Beans are a good source of watersoluble vitamins, especially thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and folacin.  Canned beans are often lower in these vitamins than dried beans.  Because of this the other substaintial nutrients, this shouldn't be a reason to avoid canned beans. 

Bean Fiber All Stars:

Most of us don't get enough fiber in our diets.  It was estimated that fiber intake was 40 grams a day, then 26.7 grams a day, now studies show about 15 grams a day.  Thats to LOW! beans give you great fiber boost.  Here is fiber content of a few beans in 1/2 cup serving:
Lentils = 8 grams
Black Beans - 7.5 grams
Pinto Beans = 7.5 grams
Kidney Beans = 5.5 grams
Chickpeas = 4 grams


Beans also play an important part in obesity and weight management.   The simple fact is that beans fill you up.  They provide lots of bulk without a lot of calories.  When you add beans to your diet your more likely to get full before you get fat.  Beans high fiber content controls blood sugar and thus helps to keep hunger at bay while helping to maintain energy levels.

Cooking Beans: 
Before cooking spread them out and pick out all the rocks , bugs, and clumps of dirt.  Rinse thoroughly and soak over night.  The more you soak the shorter the cooking time.  If you cooked beans for hours and they don't become tender its not your fault the beans were old so they will not cook.  Make sure you buy fresh dried beans.  Beans that have been recently plucked need shorter soaking time. 

Here are some bean idea's:
  • Hummus its quick and easy to make. Puree canned garbonzo beans with chopped garlic and olive oil. 
  • Bean salads are so delicious and fast to make.  Toss different variety of beans together with some herbs and olive oil.
  • Baked beans count too!  Buy or make them without so much added sugar.
  • Lima beans and green peas.  Baby lima beans are delicious.
  • Combine beans with pasta!
  • Mash beand with finely chopped garlic and use as a sandwich spread.
So, I hope this has given you some great information on the power of beans and the nessessity of them in your diet. 
 Beans, beans are good for your heart, the more you eat the more you "F--t" The more you "F--t" the better you feel so eat your beans at every meal!

 I use to love saying that everytime my mom made us eat beans...Thank you Mom, I love you!

No comments:

Post a Comment