Health benefits of beans

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Five reasons why beans are magical after all

Studies have shown that pulses, the food group that includes beans, lentils and peas, improve your body's ability to burn calories and fat, which may be the missing link to helping you slim down. Read on to learn about the amazing health benefits of beans and my top-five reasons why beans are magical after all.

Health benefits of beans

Packed with fiber, iron, vitamins and protein, there are a number of  health benefits to eating more beans.

1. Beans are gluten-free

If you're looking for less gluten, beans, lentils and peas are a great way to enrich your diet. Bean and pea flours, like chickpea flour, can be used for baking; however, be a label-reader. Keep an eye out for added wheat flour or wheat starch to make sure your selection is gluten-free.

2. Beans are low in fat

The fat content in beans is less than two percent and, for the most part, unsaturated, which is the type of fat you want in your diet. Beans are also cholesterol-free, which keeps your heart happy.

3. Beans are an inexpensive source of protein

Beans are a protein powerhouse with the added bonus of being much lower in saturated fat than animal proteins and much less expensive. A great source of protein, replacing a hamburger with a black bean burger will help you feel full longer due to its fiber content. Legumes also provide your body with much-needed iron, so are a go-to for non-meat eaters to get this important mineral.

4. Variety of bean types to choose from

Beans come in every shape, size, color and flavor you can think of. Some of the most common bean varieties include:

  • kidney beans
  • garbanzo beans or chickpeas
  • lima beans
  • split peas
  • navy beans
  • black beans
  • black eyed peas
  • brown, green and red lentils

Most grocery stores have a large bulk section chock full of dried beans and there are also many canned bean options. My tip is to always rinse canned beans to remove some of the added salt. Dried beans are naturally very low in sodium.

5. Beans are shelf stable for three years

How many foods come to mind that you can store in your kitchen cupboard for any extended period of time without it going bad. Dried beans hold on to their nutritional value for up to three years.

 

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