Beans an often ignored super foodPublished 10:39am Friday, August 16, 2013
Today, I’d like to share information on a very underrated super food … beans.
Along with grains, beans were one of the first crops harvested, and date back to the Bronze Age.
Beans have even been discovered in the tombs of the pharaohs and Aztecs. So revered were beans, that the Roman’s four most esteemed families were named Fabius (fava bean), Lentulus (lentil), Piso (pea) and Cicero (chickpea).
Beans are the only cultivated plants that actually increase soils’ fertility (by fixing nitrogen), rather than depleting it, while growing. One of the most nutritious beans is the red bean. Red beans are a rich source of antioxidants. In fact, researchers from the United States Department of Agriculture found red beans to produce the highest level of antioxidants of more than 100 fruits, vegetables and nuts studied, including blueberries and cherries.
Antioxidants protect the body from free radical damage, which can cause cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer. Red beans can be a healthy substitute for meat too, because they provide an excellent source (17g per cup) of protein. Red beans also contribute an outstanding supply of dietary fiber. Just one cup provides half your daily requirement.
Fiber helps keep the digestive system healthy, and even decreases blood cholesterol levels, reducing risk for cardiovascular disease. Fiber also helps regulate blood sugar levels. Red beans are virtually fat free and contain no cholesterol.