You don’t have to be a vegetarian to justify upgrade beans from a side dish to the main component of your dish. Beans are not only a great source of protein, but they are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber to give you the nutrients you need. One serving (⅓ cup) is only 80 calories, contains folate, B vitamins, iron, and no cholesterol! But beans go above and beyond, as they also contain these helpful nutrients:
- No Cholesterol – This helps to reduce the overall cholesterol levels in your body, making beans particularly healthy for your heart and blood pressure.
- Fiber – Foods rich in fiber (both soluble and insoluble) help to maintain blood sugar levels and regulates digestions. This makes beans a great choice for diabetics, and hypoglycemics.
- Phytoestrogens – These compounds, in particular the lignans found in beans, are antioxidants that have shown to be particularly helpful in preventing cancers. Beans may help to fight against estrogen-related cancers, like breast, colon, pancreatic, and prostate cancers.
While beans are typically overlooked as a side dish, they are truly a superfood. Substituting one meat for beans a week can drastically cut down on calorie intake, cholesterol, and fat while promoting overall good health and preventing cancer. So grab a bag or a can, and start enjoying your beans!