13.7 C
Kawartha Lakes
Saturday, June 22, 2024
No menu items!
HomeHealth and LifestyleBeans: An Underrated Superfood

Beans: An Underrated Superfood

KAWARTHA LAKES-Creamy cannellinis, meaty garbanzos, sweet adzuki, tender pintos, and so many more—beans are one of the most powerful, nutrient-dense plant foods around.
Beans are a wonderful way to add high-quality, plant-based protein to your diet. They are high in iron, B vitamins and fiber, and are versatile enough that you may never tire of them. Beans contain plenty of iron and protein and they are rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients. They are also super low in calories. 
Plus, studies have found them to lower risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Wow!

And, because they are inexpensive, they are a very simple way to add health to your diet, on any budget.

So, how can you add more beans to your diet? Here are a few suggestions:

Toss beans and diced veggies (such as celery, onion, red peppers) with vinaigrette for a quick and easy bean salad.

Blend cooked beans with tomatoes, onions, and your favorite seasonings to create a yummy bean soup.

Top a green salad with 1/3 cup of your favorite bean-I love chickpeas!

Puree beans with a bit of olive oil, a garlic clove, salt, and your favorite seasonings. Quick and Easy Hummus!

Include 1/3 cup of beans with your other favorite toppings next time you make stuffed baked potatoes or sweet potatoes.

Add 1/4 cup pureed beans to your favorite pancake, waffle, muffin, or cake recipe. You’ll be surprised at how moist and springy baked goods are when baked with beans.

If you’re new to cooking with beans, try these tips for delicious and well-cooked beans.
Be sure to wash and clean the beans first.

Soak dried beans for 8-12 hours before cooking (hint: cut a bean in half; if the center is still opaque, keep soaking). I like to add a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar to my bean soak to improve it’s digestibility.

After soaking, rinse, fill pot with fresh water, bring to a boil, then skim off the foam.
To further aid digestion, add kombu, bay leaf, cumin, anise, or fennel to the water while cooking

Cover and simmer for the suggested time.

Remember: Only add salt at the end of cooking (about 10 minutes before the beans are done) or it will interfere with the cooking process.

Quick tips: For speedier prep, boil dried beans for 5 minutes, then soak for 2-4 hours. Or use canned beans instead (some people find them even easier to digest!). Be sure to avoid canned beans with added salt or preservatives and rinse thoroughly once removed from the can.

If You Have Trouble Digesting Beans, Here are a Few Tips:

Some people find it difficult to digest beans. They may develop gas, intestinal problems, irritability, or unclear thinking. Here are a few techniques for preparing and eating legumes that will alleviate most problems.

Chew beans thoroughly and know that even small amounts have a high nutritional and healing value.

Experiment with your ability to digest beans. Smaller beans like adzuki, lentils, mung beans, and peas digest most easily. Pinto, kidney, navy, black-eyed peas, garbanzo, lima, and black beans are harder to digest. Soybeans and black soybeans are the most difficult beans to digest.

Adding fennel or cumin near the end of cooking helps prevent gas. Take enzymes with your meal

Would you like help learning how to choose and cook healthy foods like beans? Curious about how health coaching can help you make your own healthy changes? Visit my website at www.sweathappywellness.com for more information on how to work with me.

Becky Sheehey is a Holistic Health Coach, and a Pilates and Movement Expert with a background in Kinesiology. She lives in Lindsay.

Don't forget to sign up for our morning newsletter.

Catch up on all the local news while enjoying your coffee.

Becky Sheehey
Becky Sheehey
Becky Sheehey is a Holistic Health Coach, and a Pilates and Movement Expert with a background in Kinesiology. She lives in Lindsay.

Most Popular

Kawartha 411