Health benefits of eating more beans

Apr 13th, 2018 | By | Category: Food and Nutrition

When you hear “superfood,” you may think avocados, blueberries or kale. But something you need to add to the list is beans, one of the most nourishing foods available. They’re an excellent energy source and can help fight cancer and heart disease.

Learn more about the health benefits of versatile beans:

Protein. When matched with grains, cereals, seeds, nuts, dairy or egg protein, beans are an excellent source of low-fat, low-cost protein. In fact, they’re the richest source of protein available in our food supply.

Fibre. Beans are a rich source of soluble and insoluble fibre. Fibre controls diabetes, obesity and heart disease. It also lowers serum cholesterol and blood sugars and may help to prevent colon cancer.

Vitamin B6. Beans are an excellent source of vitamin B6, which plays a major role in controlling homocysteine levels and reducing atherosclerotic plaques, both factors contributing to cardiovascular disease.

Folate. All beans –  but especially cranberry and white pea varieties – are excellent sources of folate, which helps produce healthy babies and protects the adult heart and blood vessels from developing atherosclerosis.

Low in fat and cholesterol free. Beans are an excellent source of protein without the fat normally associated with other protein sources.

Magnesium. One of the most important and healing vitamins in the body, magnesium can help reduce heart disease, asthma and diabetes. It can also reduce fatigued muscle aches and spasms.

Potassium. This major mineral affects heart health and lowers blood pressure by working with other minerals and phytochemicals to make the heart and blood vessels resilient and resistant to disease.

Spice up weekdays with taco night

This hearty taco recipe features sweet potatoes, navy beans, corn and a spicy chipotle crème for a vibrant, healthy dinner from Ontario Bean Growers.

Bean and Sweet Potato Tacos

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 20-25 minutes

Yield: 10-12 tacos

Ingredients:

• 1 large sweet potato, diced, about
1/2” cubes

• 1/2 cup (125 mL) water, divided

• 1 clove garlic, minced

• 1 can (540 mL) navy beans, drained and rinsed

• 1/2 cup (125 mL) corn, canned or
frozen and defrosted

• 1 tsp (5 mL) paprika

• 1/2 tsp (2 mL) cumin

• 1/2 tsp (2 mL) chili powder

• 2 limes

• 1 avocado, diced

• 12 corn tortillas

• 1/4 cup (60 mL) fresh cilantro, chopped

• 1/2 cup (125 mL) plain Greek yogurt

• 1/4 tsp (1 mL) chipotle chili powder

• Juice from half a lime

• 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) chipotle chili pepper (optional)

Directions:

1. In a large non-stick skillet over medium
heat, add diced sweet potatoes and 1/4 cup water. Cook until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add garlic and navy beans, cook 2 to 3 minutes until garlic is fragrant and beans are heated through. Add corn, paprika, cumin, chill powders and remaining water. Cook until water has evaporated, about 3 to
5 minutes.

2. To make the sauce, add yogurt, chipotle powder (more if you would like it spicier) and lime juice to a small bowl; stir until combined.

3. Serve sweet potato and bean filling on tortillas topped with avocado, chipotle sauce and cilantro.

Nutritional information per serving: Calories 152; protein 6 g; total fat 3.5 g; saturated fat 0.6 g; trans fat 0 g; cholesterol 1 mg; carbohydrates 26.3; dietary fibre 5.5 g; sugar 3.6 g; sodium 190 mg; vitamin A 566 RE; vitamin C 11 mg; calcium 76 mg; iron 1.3 mg.


Find more information and great reci
pes online at ontariobeans.on.ca.

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