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The Benefits of Beans – Delivering More Nutritional Bang for Your Buck

benefits of beans

Beans have finally been lifted out of oblivion and into the nutrition spotlight as the new centerpiece of a well balanced diet! In 2005, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggested that we eat more protein from plant based foods like beans and nuts instead of meat. And we, at SuperFoodsRx, are especially glad because beans are a SuperFood.

High in protein, low in fat, and loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber, the benefits of beans are tremendous. They are a nutritious and inexpensive source of lean protein, which makes them a wise choice for the entire family. Also, kids especially love them.

If you’re too busy to buy, soak and cook beans yourself, canned ones are a convenient alternative. Drain and wash them thoroughly if the liquid in the can is thick and slimy. Slimy beans are a sure turnoff for kids.

But speaking of children, they love hummus (mashed garbanzo beans) served with fresh veggies, and it’s easy to make your own and get the kids to participate in the preparation. Or have them load up the beans in a food processor and make a delicious white bean dip. They’ll keep busy with the colorful dipping vegetables. Encourage adventurous eating and serve the spread with thinly sliced raw beets.

Another great thing about beans is that they are infinitely diverse and can be added to countless foods. Add your favorite beans to:
  • Pasta: Use beans alongside veggies, pesto, or just plain olive oil, garlic, and parsley.
  • Soup: Add a variety of beans to minestrone, vegetable and chicken soups (and chili, of course).
  • Salad: Sprinkle your favorite beans to green salads, pasta salads, chopped veggie salads and tabouli.
  • Sandwich: Smashed beans or bean dip spreads are a great alternative to lunch meats.
Serve your little ones various colorful beans like red and white kidney beans and lima beans as finger food. Make them as dry as possible and let them play with their food. If your child needs extra incentive, serve them with a splash of their favorite salad dressing or toss with a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar and kosher salt.
Bean burritos are another nutritious and easy food children love and can help you prepare. Give them a bowl of black, pinto, or red kidney beans, a whole wheat tortilla, a piece of low-fat string cheese, mashed avocado, their favorite salsa, and let them fill and roll. Microwave the burrito for 30 seconds.
Get beans into your child’s diet as early and often as possible. They are the healthiest source of low fat, high fiber protein available. Experiment and enjoy!
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