Kidney beans, soy beans, lima beans, black beans, mung beans, pinto beans – there are so many different types of beans that you can choose from. But what are the benefits of beans aside from being a really cheap addition to add to your diet?
Beans are a cheap highly nutritious non-animal protein source, so are great as an alternative protein for our non- meat days along with being a valuable addition to those of you on a vegan or vegetarian diet.
The Benefits of Beans
Beans are not only a great source of protein but are also very high in fibre, the B vitamins, iron and potassium, as well as being low in fat.
They are a healthy choice to add to your diet that contain phytochemicals which can help lower the risk of heart disease. They also have properties that can help fight different types of cancer. Studies have shown that women who regularly eat beans can have a lower risk of breast cancer.
As they are such a wonderful source of soluble fibre they can also help your lower cholesterol.
Another great thing about beans is that as they are a combination of protein and complex carbohydrates, they slowly release glucose into our body so can also help those who need to manage diabetes.
Beans are a high fibre food that is also low in fat and they can help boost your metabolism and assist in your weight loss goals. Just don’t overdo it too much on your daily bean intake as they can make you a bit gassy!
Beans Are Cheap, Healthy & Versatile
Beans can be used in so many different ways and have been a staple part of stews and casseroles for years. They can also be used as an ingredient for salads, making veggie burgers, delicious dips, wholesome soups, burritos and even ice-cream.
Everyone has their favourite type of beans that they normally buy and mine have to be red kidney beans. I normally buy dried kidney beans, as they are a lot cheaper than the tinned variety plus don’t have any of the extra additives added.
They are a bit more time consuming to prepare though and I normally soak the beans overnight then rinse and cook the following morning. As they do take longer to get ready for use I normally make a batch and then make a couple of recipes with them and put some in the freezer for later use.
Here is a quick and easy tasty recipe for you to try that I make using Kidney Beans.
Healthy Kidney Bean Burgers
- 1 ½ cup of cooked kidney beans
- 1 cup of grated carrot
- 1 red onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 2 tbsp flour
Put kidney beans in a pan and mash them all up, then add carrot, onion, garlic and garam masala and chilli.
Mix all together and mash them all.
Add the flour and get your hands in and make six individual patties.
Put on a tray lined with parchment paper in the freezer till solid , then put into individual freezer bags.
You can take one out at a time to defrost and then either cook as a burger to have in a wholemeal bun with salad. Alternatively break the patty into mini balls before cooking and serve with pasta and a spicy tomato sauce.
As you can see there are some great benefits of beans, they are both high fibre and a great non-animal protein source so are a perfect choice for vegans and vegetarians or for those of us who just fancy a meat free meal. I hope you start incorporating this great cheap yet very nutritional food into your weekly diet.
Why not leave a comment and tell me what your favourite type of beans are and how you include them in your diet. If you have any favourite recipes you’d like to share I’d love to try them…