There are many beans with benefits that extend to many areas of your health. Beans are a great addition to any meal plan because they’re chock full of nutrients you need for overall wellness. They’re super easy to prepare and make a simple substitute for meat in a many meals. Use them in place of ground beef in burgers or chili. You can toss beans into salads or soup and add them to tacos and burritos. See what I mean? Easy, right? The beans with benefits on this list have so much going for them. Pinto, black, navy, cannellini, kidney and garbanzo beans are great options.
Beans with benefits means you can load up protein when you include them as part of your healthy meal plan. Protein is a nutrient that plays a role in virtually every function of your body. It helps keep your skin, hair and nails healthy as well as offering energy to power you through the day. People who don’t eat meat often choose beans as a healthy alternative.
Most varieties of beans are loaded with fiber. This is a magical little nutrient that can help control your appetite. Fiber digests slowly so it keeps you feeling full longer. That means you can resist the temptation of the vending machine or the gas station snacks because you’ll be full. Also, beans are low in calories so you can eat them completely guilt free. Getting enough fiber is also important for healthy digestion and cholesterol levels.
Many types of beans have antioxidants. These are plant compounds that protect you from free radical damage. Free radicals occur naturally in the environment and also come from eating a poor diet. You can counteract the damage they cause in your body by boosting your antioxidant intake. Free radical damage can lead to health problems that include heart disease and cancer, so eating your beans is a great way to protect yourself.
Iron is something that all people need, though women should be getting more than men due to blood loss during menstruation. Iron helps transport oxygen through your blood and all over your body. Without enough, you suffer the risk of developing anemia, which is a recipe for fatigue and flagging energy levels. No one wants to deal with that, so go ahead and fill your cart with beans next time you get groceries.
Your body uses B vitamins to help convert the food you eat into energy, so it’s a good idea to get enough of them. Because meat is a good source of B vitamins too, some vegetarians choose beans as a way to increase their intake. However, B12 is only available from animal foods, so if you don’t eat meat, beans won’t fulfill that requirement. Instead, you may need a supplement. B vitamins are also responsible for healthy red blood cells.
Potassium is a nutrient that helps control your blood pressure. A deficiency is rare, but it can lead to heart problems so you should never skimp on this nutrient. Beans are just one great way to boost your potassium intake, but it sure is a delicious one!
If magnesium isn’t a nutrient you think about often, it’s time to give it some thought. It plays a role in a huge number of your bodily functions, including bone health, DNA synthesis, enzyme systems, muscle function and glucose regulation. You can’t afford to be low in magnesium. Adding beans to your meal plan is a simple way to get more of this vital mineral.
What’s your favorite type of bean? Remember to rinse canned beans because they are often very high in salt.
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