Why Eat Beans?

There are plenty of reasons why you should eat more beans!

Why Eat Beans?

Eat more beans

According to the U.S. Dry Bean Council beans are:

  • Nutritious. Beans supply important nutrients your body needs. Beans offer complex carbohydrates, protein, important vitamins and minerals, and fiber in every low-fat, cholesterol-free bite. Now that’s power-packed nutrition.
  • Affordable. A bag of dry beans, once cooked, provides healthful food for many meals and costs less per serving than many other sources of protein.
  • Convenient and versatile. Easily cooked, beans can serve as a main meal or a side dish. They can also be added to other foods, such as soups and salads, to increase nutritional value and to add flavor and texture.
  • Widely accepted. Beans are consumed and enjoyed worldwide, in thousands of different and creative dishes. Add flavor and variety to your own traditional uses for beans by trying bean recipes and dishes from other cultures.

Health benefits

Experts around the world recommend people eat more beans for their health benefits.

  • Beans for energy and vitality. A nutrient-rich food, beans contain protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, antioxidants, and important vitamins and minerals, such as folate, manganese, potassium, iron, phosphorous, copper and magnesium. The lean protein in beans helps maintain and promote muscle while beans’ complex carbohydrates provide a sustained energy source.
  • Beans for a healthy heart. Unlike meat-based proteins, beans are naturally low in fat, are free of saturated fat and trans-fat, and are a cholesterol-free source of protein. Research shows that a diet including beans may reduce your risk of heart disease.
  • Beans for reduced risk of certain cancers. Beans are a natural source of antioxidants and phytochemicals. Research reveals that a diet including beans may reduce your risk of certain cancers.
  • Beans for blood sugar management. Beans boast a low glycemic index and contain complex carbohydrates, which are digested slowly. These facts make beans a good choice for people keeping their blood sugar in the normal range. Beans are a healthy, great-tasting food, familiar to people across the globe.
  • Beans for weight management. Beans are naturally low in fat, an excellent source of fiber, and a good source of protein. Research shows that people who eat more fiber tend to weigh less. Protein helps you feel full and promotes muscle building.
  • Beans for pregnancy and healthy babies. Folate, a vitamin very important for pregnant women and their unborn babies, is found in beans. During pregnancy, women need more folate. Expectant mothers who consume enough of the right nutrients can help reduce the risk of birth defects.
  • Beans for people with food allergies and intolerances. Beans are especially important for people with certain food allergies and intolerances. For example, some people can’t tolerate gluten, a natural protein present in wheat, barley and rye. Because beans don’t contain gluten, or major allergens found in various grains, substituting beans can help provide the fiber and other nutrients that people on restricted diets may be missing.

Tips for adding more beans to your diet

Health experts recommend people eat 3 cups of beans each week. Eating more beans is easier than you may think. Follow these tips for adding more beans to your daily diet:

  • Use beans instead of, or in addition to, meat in your main dish, or in soups, salads, stuffings, and rice and pasta dishes.
  • Top salads with beans.
  • Mix beans with rice.
  • Stir cooked beans into your favorite pasta sauce.
  • Fill a tortilla or a flatbread with beans and other ingredients — rice, meat, cheese, vegetables.
  • Use chopped or mashed beans in brownie and cookie recipes, replacing part of the fat ingredient with beans to add protein, fiber, texture and flavor while lowering fat, cholesterol and calories.

Questions about beans?

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