It’s no secret that beans are among the best foods out there. They’re high in protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants — did we mention they’re also low in fat? Here are four reasons to go with beans over animal proteins (or just add them to your diet)…
- Taste. Beans can be prepared countless ways, so you’ll never get bored of them. You can use them in a variety of recipes, including soups, stews, dips and even desserts. Add beans to salads for protein or serve them on their own for a meatless meal.
- Heart health. Studies have shown that eating beans regularly may lower your risk of heart disease because they help lower cholesterol levels, blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Beans are also high in soluble fiber, which helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels already within normal range.
- They can help regulate digestion. Beans contain soluble fibre that helps to move food through the digestive tract. Soluble fibre also slows down digestion so you feel fuller longer. In addition, beans contain oligosaccharides, another type of fibre that works by feeding our good gut bacteria, thereby helping to improve digestion.
- They’re easy on your waistline. Beans are filling and contributing a single cup of cooked beans to your meal plan can help you lose weight by helping you fill up on fewer calories overall.
- They’re easy on the environment. Because they require less processing than other forms of protein like red meat or poultry, bean production is relatively eco-friendly. And because they contain so much protein in such a small package, you can feed more people with less land than if you were raising cattle or producing eggs or dairy products.
- Beans help lower cholesterol. Beans are high in soluble fiber, which promotes the production of bile in your liver. Bile emulsifies or breaks down fats that may otherwise be difficult to digest, reducing their overall absorption into the bloodstream. This reduces the amount of cholesterol being transported in your blood and lowers your risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease as well as other conditions like irritable bowel syndrome.