the fact that this is bean harvest season, it’s a good time
to think about incorporating this highly nutritious and
health-promoting food into our meal plans.
are legumes — plants with seeds split into two halves.
(Peanuts are legumes as well.) I was surprised to learn that
dry beans like pinto, black and great northern are produced
from the same plant species as green beans. Dry beans are
allowed to mature and dry in their pods before being
harvested, explain bean growers. Green beans are harvested
when the beans inside are still tiny. So we are really eating
the pods when we eat green beans.
are further defined by experts as "dried edible
beans" — the mature edible seeds of the bean plant.
Here are some reasons why we might want to include them in our
cheap. Personally, I consider these inexpensive nutrient
powerhouses as the best nutritional buy in the whole
bursting with nutrients. One cup of cooked beans provides as
much protein as two eggs or 2 ounces of meat, fish or poultry.
Beans are naturally low in fat and rich in antioxidant
substances that fight off the effects of premature aging and
help regulate blood pressure. Largely due to their provision
of potassium and magnesium, beans and other legumes are an
integral part of the DASH diet — Dietary Approaches to Stop
Hypertension. Research shows that eating small servings of
beans (along with seeds and nuts) 4 or 5 times a week lowers
blood pressure, especially when combined with a low-sodium
help lower blood cholesterol levels. Beans are rich in a
certain type of dietary fiber called soluble fiber. This type
of fiber literally helps pull extra cholesterol out of the
body on its journey through the digestive tract.
help control diabetes. Almost half the carbohydrates in beans
is in the form of dietary fiber, an indigestible substance
that does not contribute to blood sugar spikes.
versatile. Besides my appreciation that you almost can’t
overcook beans, they work in a variety of dishes. Use them as
your primary protein source or as a vegetable in salads and
side dishes. They can also be incorporated into appetizers,
breads and desserts.
last a long time. Properly stored (cool and dry) beans can be
stored safely for a year, according to the California Dry Bean
the "other" issue…According to the Nebraska Dry
Bean Growers Association, when undigested carbohydrates in
beans reach the large intestine, they are fermented by
bacteria and form gas. On the positive side, the more we eat
beans, the less frequent these side effects become. Soaking
beans and discarding the water several times before cooking
can also help.