9-15 October is National Nutrition Week in South Africa and the this year’s theme is “Eat dry beans,peas and lentils.Love your beans.”
Beans are not only one of the cheapest source of protein, they pack a mean nutrition punch.They are full of good fibre,vitamins and powerful antioxidants which fight off chronic and inflammatory diseases.
Here are 5 reasons why you should not be treating beans as a side dish
1.Contribute to a healthy digestive system:Healthy guts equal healthy beings.The fibre in beans and pulses can help prevent constipation and keep you regular which helps to remove waste and toxins from the body.No more feeling sluggish!
2.Assist in cancer prevention:Beans contain potent phytochemicals and saponins which have anti-carcinogenic qualities.
3.Promote healthy hearts:It’s the fibre in pulses that can improve heart health by lowering bad cholesterol.The potassium in pulses can lower blood pressure by counteracting the effects of sodium.
4.Assist in managing diabetes.Beans and pulses are low GI foods.This means that they do not cause glucose spikes and dips.The controlled supply of glucose helps to keep steady sugar levels.
5.Can contribute to weight loss:The combination of high fibre and protein helps to keep you fuller for longer, reducing the need to snack in between meals.
The humble bean family definitely deserves our attention.They are not just for end of the month meals when there is more month than money left,they are a nutrition power house.
Start by slowly including them in your weekly menu.Look for a variety of ways of consuming them and you will find that there is more to beans than meets the eye.