The health benefits of beans are many. Beans and Legumes include beans,
peas, and lentils, and are an essential part of a vegetarian diet.
Beans are an essential part of a vegetarian diet.
Legumes include beans, peas, lentils and they are a healthy alternative
to meat, providing many of the nutrients our
bodies need. In fact soybeans are considered a complet protein. A
half-cup serving of cooked beans accounts for one ounce of meat.
Health Benefits of Beans
Beans and legumes are foods with protein.
They are also rich in fiber, carbohydrates, and fat.
Fiber improves cholesterol levels in the body, and
according to recent studies, can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by almost 22
percent when consumed four times a week. Fiber also helps regulate blood
The Unites States Department of Agriculture (USDA) ranks beans and
legumes in the top 20 sources of antioxidants. Antioxidants have been
shown to reduce certain types of cancer (e.g., colon cancer). Beans are
also a good source of calcium, iron, potassium, copper, zinc, and folic
Beans are also great for your skin.
Researchers in Australia recently analyzed
the diets of over 400 elderly men and women and found that those who
consumed a lot of legumes developed over 20% fewer wrinkles over time.
According to them, this was the result of isoflavones, powerful
antioxidants, that are found in the beans.
Inexpensive and versatile, legumes include soybeans (edamame), kidney
beans, black-eyed peas, snow peas, black, red, white, and navy
beans, and chick peas or garbanzo beans (chana, ceci), lima, cannelini,
pinto beans. Legumes also include split and whole lentils such as mung,
bengal gram, black gram, red gram, and green gram.
To avoid gas and bloating that beans may produce
Gradually increase the quantity of beans you consume
over several weeks.
Soak the beans for 8-12 hours, replacing the water
every few hours.
Slow-cook the beans to reduce gas-forming compounds.
If using canned beans, drain the water.
Drink plenty of water to avoid constipation.
suggest adding a pinch of baking soda when boiling beans but according
to the US Dry Bean Council, baking soda "robs the beans of the
B-vitamin, thiamin", so you may want to avoid that.
You can make a variety of salads, chilis, curries, soups, chutneys, and
dips with beans and lentils.