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Cool Beans

January 25, 2011

The following is an archived post

 

“Beans, beans the magical…” 

 

Ah, beans.  We probably all know various ways to continue the beginning of the above expression, as beans have long been the subject of various jokes and rhymes.

 

The truth is that beans are wonderfully healthy.


Beans:


*  Are an excellent source of protein.
*  Are a good source of fiber.
*  Contain important vitamins like iron, calcium, zinc, selenium, and folate.
*  Are rich in antioxidants, which are chemical substances that protect cells in the body.
*  Are low in fat.
*  Are beneficial in reducing the risk of developing chronic disease

 

While it’s true that beans contain a compound that we can’t digest (producing gas – and providing the inspiration for all of the bean-related humor), the good news is that slowly increasing the amount of beans you eat can help you to overcome this.In addition to being high in fiber, beans are source of protein that is low in fat.  Beans therefore are not only very important in the diets of vegetarians, but are also key in all healthful eating.  If you are a vegetarian, keep in mind that beans should be consumed with grains for a complete protein combination. 

 

They are also a great base for meals if you’re a flexitarian, someone who actively incorporates meatless meals into his/her diet but isn’t necessarily a vegetarian.  By making a slight change in the diet and simply eating one meat-free meal a week, it makes a significant impact on both individual health and the environment.  In fact, FISD’s parent company, The Compass Group, has launched a flexitarian initiative, encouraging partners and customers to take a flexitarian pledge on Facebook!

 

From a culinary standpoint, beans are extremely versatile — and there is such a wide variety of different beans to choose from!  Check out this fantastic recipe for Favorite 3-Bean Chili from nutritionist Dana White, President of Dana White Nutrition, Inc.  It’s a hearty and healthy recipe that will keep you warm during the cold winter!

 

Beans are also referred to as legumes, which are plants that have pods with neat rows of seeds inside, and can be eaten fresh, canned, frozen, or dried. We can eat the beans or seeds on their own, and we can eat the beans in their pods sometimes, too.

 

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