Every time we think of healthy eating, we think blech, tasteless and expensive. In the case of beans, it is the absolute opposite! Whether you opt to toss it in a salad or cook it in masala, beans are an inexpensive, delicious and interesting addition to your meal.
The humble bean is more beneficial for health than you may have thought. Beans are powerhouses of nutrients, high in protein and fibre, low in calories and assists with weight-loss.
How do I lose weight with beans?
Beans contain a hormone called leptin, which controls the human appetite as it is made by our body’s fat cells. When the cells realise there is enough nourishment available, they release leptin into the bloodstream. This has two important effects: it decreases appetite and your metabolism is boosted, so calories are burnt quicker.
They are a perfect combination of complex carbs and protein, required for weight loss. Beans are equivalent to meat protein but are more beneficial since meat protein does not contain fibre nor antioxidants which are present in bean protein.
How good is it for me?
Beans not only contain vitamins C and A, iron, but also are low in calories and high in fibre and antioxidants. .Beans help lower blood pressure, reduce bad cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of cancer and prevent constipation. Here are some of the nutritional contents:
Protein: Beans are an excellent, non-fat source of protein. Just one cup of beans provides as much as 16g of protein. One cup of cooked dry beans provides 21% to 27% of your recommended daily allowance of protein. Adults generally need to eat between 50-60g of protein a day.
Vitamin B: This is necessary for a healthy brain and nerve cells, for normal functioning of skin, nerves and your digestive system.
Calcium: The content of calcium facilitates strong bones and teeth and keeps your body more alkaline than acidic.
Potassium: The potassium content reduces your risk of high blood pressure and stroke.
Folate: It is a vitamin that our bodies don’t produce, and dry beans are our single best source of this important vitamin which helps protect against heart disease and cancer.
What are its benefits?
- It helps stabilise blood sugar levels as the high fibre content prevents sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal.
- It contains b-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin which can boost energy levels and beat fatigue.
- It helps increase the passage of food through the digestive system, which helps keep you regular and can protect you from colon cancer.
- It is healthy as well as affordable diet food.
- If you have beans with a glass of orange juice (vegetarians especially) the vitamin C will help absorb more iron from the beans.
Does it have an ugly side?
As we all know, everything in excess is a toxin and beans or legumes aren’t an exception. Purines in beans can lead to increased uric acid levels in the body. Some kinds of raw beans, such as kidney beans and red beans, contain high amounts of a toxic substance called phytohemagglutinin which has been shown to disrupt metabolism. If your body is not used to copious amounts of protein, then beans can cause indigestion and burden your kidneys. Excess proteins consumed can turn to fat, which will negate the attempt at weight loss.
Although they have been around forever, make sure you incorporate in your meals this modern-day versatile superfood which will help you stave off the hunger, illness and calories!