Did you know that beans are not only a major source of protein, but they are also a powerful immune booster?
Beans are one of the most powerful, nutrient-dense plant foods around. They are rich in antioxidants, phytonutrients, iron and protein. They are also packed with tons of fiber and are a whole carbohydrate.
So how does eating beans affect the immune system? It is those ever-powerful antioxidants. Studies have found that beans have more antioxidants than blueberries, green tea, turmeric and pomegranates. Why are antioxidants important? They help prevent free radical damage. Free radical damage takes a toll on our immune system. So, eating beans will help boost your immune system.
Some of my clients have told me that they tend to avoid beans because they cause gas. There is a simple solution to that. If you experience lots of gas when eating beans, just take a digestive enzyme.
Here are a few simple ways to serve beans.
- Toss beans and diced veggies (such as celery, shallots, and red peppers) with vinaigrette for a bean salad.
- Blend cooked beans with tomatoes, onions, and your favorite seasonings to create a yummy bean soup.
- Top a green salad with 1/3 cup of your favorite bean.
- Puree beans with a bit of olive oil, a garlic clove, salt, and your favorite seasonings. Voila! A fast dip or sandwich spread.
- Add beans to eggs. Top with avocado and salsa! (see photo)
- Add 1/4 cup pureed beans to your favorite pancake, waffle, muffin, or cake recipe. You’ll be surprised at how moist and springy baked goods are when baked with beans. Click here for a black bean cupcake recipe.
- Add beans to your favorite soup recipe. Click here for one of my favorite immune boosting soups. Just add beans or bean puree and you boost both your immune system and nutrition levels even more!
If you’re new to cooking with beans, try these tips:
- Wash and soak dried beans for 8-12 hours before cooking.
- After soaking, rinse, fill a pot with fresh water, bring to a boil, then skim off the foam.
- To aid digestion, add kombu, bay leaf, cumin, anise, or fennel to the water.
- Cover and simmer for the suggested time.
- Remember: only add salt at the end of cooking (about 10 minutes before the beans are done) or it will interfere with the cooking process.
- Quick tip: for speedier prep, boil dried beans for 5 minutes, then soak for 2-4 hours.
- Cooking beans was the primary reason I purchased my instapot. I wanted fast way to cook beans. Just don’t let the instapot cook down naturally. You’ll need to manually release the steam otherwise your beans will burn (I learned this the hard way.)
- Quickest tip is to use canned beans. Some people find them even easier to digest! Just read your labels. You’ll want to avoid canned beans with added salt or preservatives. Purchase only beans in BPA free cans and rinse the beans thoroughly once you remove them from the can. Beans are a staple in my pantry. They are a fast, cheap and easy go-to food for me.
So, what do you think?
I’ll leave you with the question of the day…. “to bean or not to bean”.
Ta, ta for now,
If you have been struggling with a stagnant metabolism and losing weight, let’s talk about my 1-1 personal weight loss coaching program. Click here to set up a time to chat.