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Super Food ... BEANS

posted on Thursday, 17th March 2011 | find under Tamara


NOW whilst it might be true that due to the effect they have on your intestinal tract, these lovely legumes can make you a little windy, beans really are good for your heart.  In research pubished by the Archives of Internal Medicine, doctors found that the more legumes you eat, the lower your risk of heart disease.  

And according to top nutritionist Susan Krause, legumes, which include beans, lentils, peas, and chickpeas to name but a few, can also help to balance female hormones.  Not only are beans a great source of folic acid, essential for women of childbearing age but the isoflavins in green beans have been found to overcome the symptoms of PMS.

Low in cholesterol but high in fibre and protein, studies published in the International Journal of Cancer found that these superfoods, in particular lentils, can also help to minimise your risk of breast cancer.

But whilst beans are a great source of protein, it’s worth remembering that pound for pound, they are no substitute for the protein and amino acids to be found in meat and fish. Our digestive systems are designed to absorb protein from meat, it’s much harder for our intestines to absorb protein from non-meat sources like beans. So if you are a veggy, it’s worth consulting a nutritionist to find out how to get your optimum protein and amino acid intake.  If you are a meat eater, then consider going veggy for one day a month or include beans and pulses at least four times a week alongside your regular meat and fish intake.  Chilli-con-carne anyone?

For some beany recipes, other than the classic beans on toast, think about lentil and bacon soup or add chickpeas to a vegetable curry.  Or next time you pop out for a curry, why don’t you share some tarka dal with your significant other?
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