You may have heard the term "Super food" being tossed around in some health blogs. But what exactly is a Super food? Super foods are whole foods that are not processed, so they retain more of their balanced combination of nutrients that nature gave them. These nutrients include a mix of the essentials- fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and other familiar nutrients that our bodies require to function properly and maintain good health. Super foods also include various natural plant substances called phytonutrients that play an important role in reducing health ailments such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer. The best way to capture all of these benefits is to eat a variety of whole foods. This series will help you choose which super foods you should be including in your diet. Lets get to it...
Today's Super food is Beans. Beans are a versatile source of essential nutrients. These protein rich legumes are virtually fat free and contain more fiber than most whole grains. They also make for a great meat alternative. According to studies, beans are associated with lower risks of heart disease and some cancers. Beans contain significant amount of folate, manganese, magnesium, copper, iron, and potassium. These are all very important nutrients for overall health.
Beans come in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes, and are often interchangeable in recipes. Dried beans are inexpensive, but required more time to prepare. For convenience, you will find many types of cooked beans available in cans. Dried beans last for around one year or more if stored in an airtight container. Store cooked beans in the refrigerator up to one week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Beans may be bland tasting, but they take on the seasoning of any dish. Many cultures have perfected the art of combining beans with grains or seeds to provide a nutritionally complete protein. Rice and beans are a classic example of the complete protein combo. Using beans in a recipe can be as easy as opening a can, draining, rinsing, and adding. If you use dry beans, it is best to soak overnight. Beans are very versatile and can be added to a variety of dishes, such as chili, rice and beans, and even as a meat substitute for burgers. The varieties are endless, so go out and experiment.
Well that is all for now. Thanks for stopping by and I will see you again soon.