The nutritional profile of beans and legumes is close to perfect. They are packed with fiber, protein, and complex carbohydrates. They also contain significant amounts of vitamins and minerals—iron, potassium, phosphorus, folate, zinc, and complex B vitamins.

Beans make a great meat substitute for a number of reasons. They’re not just for vegetarians either! They’re great at reducing your cholesterol level and very low in saturated fat. Beans/legumes are also very affordable—one of the cheapest, healthiest foods you can find—packing one of the highest cost to benefit ratios of any food available. They are very satiating, making you feel full longer, which helps with food cravings and thus, weight loss. By adding beans to your diet you can also drastically improve your bowel regularity helping prevent constipation and decreasing the risk of colorectal cancer.

If you are battling high cholesterol or diabetes the fiber rich content in beans can help reduce cholesterol and glucose levels. Surprisingly, beans are also high in the antioxidant- anthocyanin. Anthocyanins are known for having one of the strongest anti-inflammatory impacts. So now that you know just how powerful the bean can be to improving your health get out there and EAT MORE BEANS!

photo: Painted Pony (photo by Travis K. Witt – Own work)