Aside from the humorous rhyme which goes “beans, beans the musical fruit” this group of vegetables certainly deserve a second glance for their nutritional content. However, like many other types of foods, preparing them is a very important factor in creating a healthy dish without loading it up with saturated fats and calories. If you happen to have a patch of beans growing on the ground or a trellis in your backyard, you’re among the lucky few to enjoy them right off the plant at their peak nutrition with high levels of B complex vitamins, calcium and potassium among many others. However, it’s perfectly alright to get your beans fresh or dried from the market or grocery store.
Apart from being delicious, versatile to prepare and very inexpensive, beans are very nutritious and healthy. They pack a lot of energy and calories so it is wise to eat only a moderate amount especially when combining it with other ingredients, fats and oils. Among the vegetable groups, beans rank high in terms of the varieties available. They come in different shapes, sizes, colors and flavors making its culinary applications just as varied.
Beans, together with green leafy vegetables and fresh fruit ranks high among valuable food sources. Top of the list of nutrients in beans is protein. In fact, as they pack in a lot of protein, beans are sometimes made into the main protein source of those on a meat free diet with a much lower risk of developing osteoporosis and kidney disease which is sometimes the effect of excessive animal protein consumption.
Another significant bonus component in beans is fiber which helps maintain digestive health by acting as a broom in sweeping out the colon from all the residues and waste generated from daily eating. As the body requires energy to digest fiber rich foods or pass it through the colon onto the waste, beans can actually play a role in healthy weight loss. Just make sure to cook them in minimal amounts of oil and grease.
And as a final tip in cooking beans, to reduce gassiness from eating beans, try cooking them with herbs and spices and be amazed at how it keeps flatulence at bay.