Beans…So Many Choices…So Good for you

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Beans –

Among the most popular:

Black Beans (adzuki and Turtle) – Adzuki beans are sweet and relatively easy to digest.  Turtle are a staple of Latin American and Caribbean cuisines; sides, soups, dips and salads.  They have a strong earthy flavor that is often combined with a more assertive flavor.

Why Black Beans? Digestive Tract Support.  Black beans protect the lining of your colon keeping it functioning properly.  It is also full of phytonutrients which are key in helping prevent disease and keep your body working properly.

White Beans (cannellini, white kidney, navy) – These beans have a smooth texture and nutty flavor. They are used in Italian Bean Soup, minestrone soup, and bean salads.

Why White Beans? – Navy Beans have Iron for Energy! Unlike red meat, another source of iron, navy beans are low in calories and are virtually fat-free with no saturated fat! I cup serving provides 24% of the daily recommended intake of iron.  White beans are also high in B1 and B6.

Garbanzo Beans (chickpea) – This is a nutty flavored pea, a staple in Middle-Eastern and Mediteranean cuisines.  It is used for everything from hummus to minestrone soup.  Dried garbanzo beans are very hard and take a long time to soak and cook. So you may prefer to use canned.

Why Garbanzo Beans? – High in Fiber, Manganese and phosphorous.  Studies have shown that when Garbanzo beans are added to the diet, the amount of snacking goes down and overall calories are decreased.

Pinto Beans (chili, pink) – These beans have a relatively mild taste, and are good for chili and refried beans.

Why Pinto Beans? – When combined with whole grains such as brown rice, they become a virtual fat-free, high quality protein. They also contain important vitamins B1 & B6, magnesium and potassium. Magnesium helps the veins and arteries relax and lessens the resistance, as well as improves the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.  Potassium is important in nerve transmission and muscle contraction – even the heart!

Red Kidney beans – Similar to the pink beans, they are also used in Louisiana Red Beans & Rice.

Why Kidney Beans? – Folate & Fiber.  Kidney Beans are high in the vitamin B1 or  Folate (essential for growth). They are also Fiber All-Stars (both soluble and insoluble) which lower cholesterol. They also help keep blood sugar under control.  They are loaded with trace minerals, which are responsible for detoxing preservative sulfites found in deli meats and salad bars.

After you start creating new bean dishes and adding them to existing dishes, try experimenting with some more exotic beans like: Christmas Lima, Calypso, Crab eye, Roman, European soldier, eye of the goat, and Jackson Wonder! Each has a slightly different taste, and the colors are endless.

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