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Dried Beans - A Healthy Food

Updated on April 29, 2019
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I am interested in making delicious, unusual meals and desserts, particularly for special occasions. Quick and easy meals are also great.

Large Variety of Beans


Dry Bean Facts

There are many reasons to eat dried beans as they are one of nature’s healthiest foods. They are a great source of protein, vitamin B, potassium, iron and fiber with complex-carbohydrates, little fat and no cholesterol.

Protein builds and repairs muscle; carbohydrates give you energy to get through the day. In addition, dried beans are rich in fiber and the typical American diet does not include enough fiber. They are an incomplete protein, so look for other protein sources to complete a meal.

The national and international expert bodies such as, the World Health Organization, the National Research Council, the World Cancer Relief fund, the National Heart and Lung, and Blood Institute and the U. S. Surgeon General have all reviewed many scientific studies with he conclusion that eating beans can enhance your health and may reduce your risk of getting heart disease and certain cancers.

There are other studies that show beans can be useful in managing diabetes and may reduce the risk of hypertension, plus they may help you lose weight. Beans are thought to reduce cholesterol as they have no saturated fat. Another good thing about eating enough beans in your diet is high fiber foods help keep you regular.

Pinto Beans


Beans - More Information

The USDA recommends that adults should eat more than three cups of beans each week for maximum health benefits. This is about three times higher than the average American consumption. The new bean dietary guideline lists more than a dozen types of beans, both dry packaged and canned.

The recommended beans are; black eyed peas, great northern beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, black beans, cranberry beans, red beans, lima and baby lima beans, garbanzo beans and navy beans. Many vegetarian recipes use dried beans as one of the main ingredients. Bean soups are also very popular.

In the United States the top growing bean states are in North Dakota, Michigan, Nebraska, Minnesota, Idaho,Colorado, California, Washington, Wyoming and Texas. Many beans are grown on organic farms and the demand has increased.

Best Way to Cook Dry Beans

Great Reasons to Eat Beans

To be successful in adding more fiber to your diet, do so gradually, making small changes rather than fast ones. Allow about 3-4 weeks for your body to adjust to the higher intake of beans.

Another method to help with the higher intake is to soak the beans in hot water before cooking, then drain that water and refill with fresh water. This will help reduce the gas forming sugars found in beans without losing any large amount of nutrients

There are many other practical reasons to eat beans including:

  • They are inexpensive.
  • They are easy to store long term. Store them in a tight container in a dark cool place, like in your pantry.
  • Beans can easily fit into a busy lifestyle as bean meals can be prepared in about 30 minutes. Bean dishes can also freeze easily, and use your microwave to heat them up.
  • The mild flavor of beans lets you season them in a variety of ways, and you can spice them up as much as you can tolerate. Some common spices used with beans are garlic, onion, peppers, tomatoes, oregano, cumin, parsley, bay leaves, coriander and thyme to add zest to your recipes

Healthy Recipes - Black Bean Soup

Ways to Cook Beans

Typically, beans are boiled on the stove. Soaking them in water the night before you cook them will shorten the cooking time considerably. Rinse them and soak them for six hours. Many people own the instant pot and will pressure cook the beans in a very few minutes.

Seasoning for beans may be a piece of ham or even bacon. Spices and herbs (rosemary, sage or a dried bay leaf) may be added at any time. Add salt to taste when you begin to cook. Acid foods may be added as well, such as lemon juice, vinegar, tomatoes or wine. Aromatics like carrots, garlic, onions, plus fennel and leeks trimmings are also popular. Garlic may be removed before serving.

Bean may also be cooked in a the oven using a Dutch oven with all your ingredients; then bake at 250 degree F (120 C). Bake until the beans are tender but avoid cooking them until they are mushy. Test them periodically until they are done.

Beans in Frying Pan


In Conclusion

You can’t go wrong eating beans. They are so healthy, and there are multiple recipes that can be utilized. Furthermore, they are inexpensive, easy to store with a long shelf life and packed with nutrition.

Eat Your Beans

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.


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