Beans, Beans, the Life-Saving Fruit!

Beans, Beans, the Life-Saving Fruit!

If you don't already know it, beans are amazing. They're filled with prebiotics, flavonoids, vitamins, protein and more and are especially great for diabetics who struggle with their fiber intake. But we understand that for many, incorporating them into a daily diet can be daunting. Where do you start?

Beans can be a thickener in your favorite meal or soup, they're great at enhancing flavors (try them mixed into a hamburger patty), they can be a wonderful texture enhancer in your favorite salad, or can work as a simple part of your everyday meal. Pureed black beans with scrambled eggs, a side of diced tomatoes and a wedge of avocado is one of my favorite breakfasts! You can also use your NutriBullet to incorporate them into your daily Blast.

Eating a half-cup of beans every day can substantially improve your dietary balance. Think about it - each ½ cup serving of beans provides a 15 gram carbohydrate serving for only 99 calories, 25 percent of which comes in the form of all natural, plant-based protein. They keep you fuller for longer, which can not only keep your energy up, but can aid in weight loss and heart disease prevention.

Not ready to soak and cook beans for long hours? Canned beans are fine, but be sure to rinse them thoroughly before using them. Rinsing removes large amounts of sodium,Bisphenol A (BPA) and some of the sulfites, or you can also purchase canned beans labeled BPA and sulfite-free.

The Musical Fruit

Love beans, but worried about gas?

The reason for flatulence, or gas, is the digestion-resistant carbohydrates in the beans called oligosaccharides. When these carbohydrates pass into the large intestine undigested, fermentation takes place and gas is produced.

You can help break down these carbohydrates with the addition of a tiny amount of baking soda to the initial soaking water. Allowing them to soak for 18 hours. This water should be thrown out, the beans rinsed and finally boiled in water or broth for 30 minutes to 2 hours in your pressure cooker or stovetop.

Interesting Tidbit:

It's been suggested that the plant epazote can add a dash of flavor to any dish, while also reducing gas. Epazote can be found in most Latin markets or Hispanic grocery stores. There are many places online that sell dried epazote, which can work if you don't find any fresh. It's also known as Mexican tea, wormseed, pigweed, West Indian goosefoot, hedge mustard, Jerusalem parsley and pazote.

Beans, once cooked, freeze very well and can be defrosted in small amounts to enjoy them on a daily basis.

Try this recipe to start incorporating them into your diet today!

Registered Dietitian, Licensed Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator

Comment by maggie rose
October 13, 2014
So helpful trying to control diabetes r.a and a vegeterian to boot..haha need all the help can get...
No Avatar

Thank you for your comment! It is pending approval and should be posted shortly.