“Beans, beans, the magical fruit”… many of us have heard this familiar rhyme and although beans are not a fruit, they do offer many “magical” health benefits. Beans are actually legumes and come in many different varieties such as black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, lima beans, and garbanzo beans. Beans are unique because they fit into two different food groups, vegetables and proteins. Whether dried, canned, frozen or fresh, beans can contribute to a healthy diet. In addition to being inexpensive, they are packed with many important nutrients such as protein, fiber, complex carbohydrates, B vitamins, iron, potassium, zinc and more. Regularly including beans in your diet may help to protect against certain types of cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Beans can also help with weight management because they are low in calories and fat yet rich in fiber which helps us to feel full and satisfied. Fiber-rich foods like beans also promote proper bowel function and help reduce constipation and diverticulosis.
To boost your intake of beans, try adding them to salads, soups and casseroles.
For a delicious and healthy recipe that includes beans, try Italian Style Salmon Packets.