Delicious, nutritious, with multiple "faces" and plenty of cooking options, beans should be a key ingredient in any superfood.
The Mediterranean diet requires us to eat legumes at least three times a week. Most of us have a laid back attitude when it comes to eating beans and legumes.
It is a winter food, as many will claim, having in mind the bean soup. But their varieties are many, as are the recipes with which they can be cooked, so beans must necessarily occupy an important place μας in our diet.
Their nutritional benefits are innumerable, their cost is extremely low and their taste is incomparable… Try them and you will not miss.
They help the heart function
Beans are a good "ally" of a healthy heart. Thanks to their high content of soluble fiber, they can significantly reduce the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, which burden the heart.
Low in fat
Most beans are low in fat (2% to 3%) and contain no cholesterol.
Rich in protein
Dietitians are constantly urging us to consume as much vegetable protein as possible. About half a cup of beans, offers our body 7 g. protein, the same amount that we get from 30 g. chicken, fish or meat.
Vegetarians and those who do not like meat or fish or those who are fasting, can choose beans as a good alternative, so that the body receives the necessary fiber.
They keep blood sugar levels low
With a low glycemic index, beans contain an extremely good blend of complex carbohydrates and proteins. As a result, beans significantly slow down the process of digestion and help maintain low blood glucose levels, while reducing the feeling of fatigue and other discomfort that the body feels.
They reduce the risk of cancer
Scientists recommend that adults consume 3 cups of beans a week to "shield" the health of their body, but also to reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as cancer.
This is mainly due to the abundance of fiber and antioxidants contained in beans.
Constipation is over!
Full of fiber, beans help the body function normally, preventing constipation. In any case, a meal rich in fiber, it is good to be accompanied by plenty of fluids -even carbonated water- that contribute to better bowel function. The nutritional benefits in numbers are reflected as follows: at 100 g. Beans, contain about 5-8 g. fiber.
Beans are the ideal food for those who are particularly sensitive to gluten, a natural protein found in products such as rye, wheat, oats and barley.
Feeling of "fullness"
Because beans are metabolized slowly compared to other complex carbohydrates, they also contribute significantly to weight loss. Why is this happening; Beans strongly create the feeling of fullness and make us feel fuller. The result is that we avoid consuming extra meals, while at the same time we have significantly reduced the calories that our body accumulates.
There are many versions in which we find beans in the market. There are just as many recipes.
Friendly in the... Pocket
Beans are a very economical source of protein, especially when compared to meat or fish, which are probably a little harder for our pockets in times of crisis.
In addition to protein, complex carbohydrates and fiber, beans are a real "arsenal" of nutrients. Indicatively we can list antioxidants, vitamins and minerals such as copper, folic acid, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc.
Of course, most of us do not consume the necessary recommended amount on a regular basis, so our body eventually lacks the necessary nutrients.
The ways in which we can consume beans are many and varied and cover all tastes. They can be a main dish, especially spicy, to serve as a healthy and light accompaniment (rice with beans), as a soup (our "national" food, bean soup) or simply as a dessert.
If you have stocks of some varieties of beans or even lentils, fava beans and chickpeas in your closet, you can do wonders with a little imagination.
Create delicious combinations based on their color, taste and nutritional value.