What is a Bean?
A bean is a large seed from plants in the legume family. There are many variety of beans. Check out the list below:
The History of Beans
“Ten thousand-year-old lentil remains have been uncovered on the banks of the Euphrates River in what is now Northern Syria. In ancient Gaul, chickpeas appeared as an ingredient in vegetable soup as early as the 7th century B.C. Homer, in the “Illiad,” compared arrows bouncing off Menelaos’ breastplate to chickpeas being thrown by a winnower. On the far side of the Mediterranean, chickpeas were found in Bronze Age deposits in Jericho and Babylon.” http://www.republicofbeans.com/history.php
Beans are thought to be one of the first cultivated crops. Archaeologists have found evidence of beans being grown in Mexico and Peru as far back as 7000BC.
Lentils have been tracked back to 6750BC in the Middle East.
Fava beans were found in Egyptian tombs dating back 4000 years and in Asia soy beans were being used in 1500 BC.
For more information click the link below:
What are the Benefits of eating Beans?
Not only are beans cheap in relation to other nutritional produce but they are also a source of high complex carbohydrate and protein as well as being part of the vegetable family.
They are high in fibre, potassium, magnesium, iron, B vitamins, copper, zinc and antioxidants. Due to this they help in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, they reduce the risk of illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis and coronary disease. On top of that they regulate colon function, prevent piles and can cure constipation.
Because of the high fibre in beans you are kept fuller for longer so they are also useful in aiding weight loss.
One of the lesser known benefits is that fact that beans contain high levers of isoflavones; a compound similar to oestrogen. This can impact the menopause by significantly reducing the symptoms and can even reduce Pre-Menstrual Tension.
What do Beans Lack?
After reading about the benefits I’m sure you’re thinking, ‘wow beans are the best food ever!’
Yet there is something that they do lack. Beans are not classed as a complete protein because they don’t contain all the essential amino acids required for a healthy diet. Therefore adding certain foods to a bean meal would be necessary. This can be done easily by adding brown rice, corn, seeds or nuts to increase the amino acid content.
Yet, what you should also consider is that fact that all Soya products are classed as complete proteins. So, you could include tofu into your diet and eradicate meat for a healthier option at a bean meal. You could also was down a lovely bean salad with a glass of soy milk.
Are there Side Effects to the Bean Diet?
As the rhyme suggests beans are really good for the heart, but as the rhyme also says they do indeed make you…fart!
Flatulence can be a side effect of eating too many beans. This is because of the type of fibre in beans which causes the body to be unable to digest them properly.
Bacteria in the intestine breaks down the beans and produces the offensive (to some) gas.
How can you Add Beans into your Diet?
There are so many ways you can include beans into your meals. It is so easy. You can add them to soups and salads, you could just eat them as a healthy snack, you could make hummus to dip in cucumber and carrots or you could just substitute meat for tofu.
That is the great thing about beans; they are so versatile.
So there you have it, a list of lovely nutritional beans to add to your diet to aid in your digestive, heart and dietary needs.
With the benefits so great there is no reason at all not to up your intake as long as you include other things to make sure you are getting all the necessary amino acids and if you are worried about the side effects, perhaps leave your bean meal until your evening meal at home.
Please comment below to share your bean recipes or perhaps just to add to my list of beans (I know I must have missed some off of there).