Beans, beans, the magical fruit
Beans, also known as legumes, are not a fruit, but they do pack a powerful punch of protein, carbohydrate and fiber! They are also naturally cholesterol and fat-free making them an excellent heart healthy protein source. Beans also contain potassium, iron, folate, manganese and B vitamins.
You probably have a favorite type of bean — black or red beans for example — but did you know that there are actually three different categories of beans?
The three different categories of beans
So whether you prefer garbanzo beans blended into a creamy hummus dip, edamame on a sushi dinner date or black bean soup on a cold winter night, all beans are good!
Research has shown that eating beans regularly can reduce cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of breast cancer is postmenopausal women. Regular bean eaters also tend to weigh less than those who do not eat them, helping reduce the risk of obesity.
As with all high-fiber foods, a common result of eating beans is gas. Gas is often a result of poor digestion or because the body is not use to the increase in fiber.
To reduce gas from bean consumption
A common reason people avoid beans is because eating beans can cause flatulence. The good news is you don't have to stop eating beans. Instead, follow some of these quick tips to reduce gas.
Picking and preparing beans
For convenience: Beans can be bought by the can; the best option is to choose sodium-free beans.
With a little more time: Buying beans dry, soaking them and then cooking them is an affordable and healthy option for those who have time.
To soak beans:
Try this quick delicious and unexpected twist on traditional hummus for a tasty bean snack:
Edamame goddess hummus
Makes 2 cups of hummus
Salad dressing is a great way to add herbs, spices and oil to a bean dip recipe. You can use healthy dressings you have on hand and experiment with what you like. I often add a little extra oil and water for a creamy consistency without an overpowering herb flavor.
More bean recipes
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