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Have a Plant: Fruits & Veggies for Better Health

Eat Your Beans, Get Your Fiber!

If you can’t remember the last time you ate beans, you’re not alone. American’s consume three times LESS than what is recommended by the USDA for maximum health benefits. Diets including beans may reduce your risk of heart disease and certain cancers. Beans and other legumes are some of the most widely available, inexpensive and nutritious staple foods!

Beans are grouped in two places – with high-protein foods such as meat, eggs, poultry and fish, and also with vitamin-rich vegetables. The double dose of nutrition packed into beans make them a “must have” in the daily diet.

Beans are rich in complex carbohydrates, protein and dietary fiber. They’re also low in fat, calories and sodium. As little as a half cup of beans added to the daily diet can be very helpful in reaching important nutrition goals. Beans also contain calcium, folate, and potassium!

Beans are one of the best sources for dietary fiber. A high-fiber diet can help control diabetes and maintain healthy blood glucose levels. And, since fiber-rich foods like beans are filling, they are helpful in weight control. Just one cup of cooked beans can provide as much as 15 grams of dietary fiber, more than half the Daily Value (DV) of 25 grams.

A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine confirms that eating high-fiber foods, such as beans, helps prevent heart disease.

Ways to Eat More Beans
Add beans to salads, soups, stews, or salsa. Their also perfect for making dips and sandwich spreads.

Tips for Cooking with Beans

  • Dry Beans For each pound (2 cups) of dry, packaged beans, add 10 cups of cold water and let soak overnight, or at least 8 hours.
  • Canned Beans Since they are already presoaked and precooked, canned beans are a great convenience. Always drain and thoroughly rinse canned beans before adding them to a recipe.

With so many types of beans, it may be hard to choose which ones to use. You can interchange almost any bean within a recipe. For variety, try black beans, fava beans, garbanzo beans, Great Northern beans, cranberry beans or pinto beans!

Recipe

Fresh Mushroom 3-Bean Salad
Makes: 12 Servings
Prep: 10 minutes

Ingredients

    • 10 ounce (3 cups) fresh white mushrooms, quartered
    • 1 jar (about 7 ounces, or ¾ cup) roasted red peppers, drained, cut in strips
    • 1 can (15 ounces) white beans (cannellini), 50% less sodium, drained
    • 1 can (15 ounces) red kidney beans, 50% less sodium, drained
    • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
    • 2 celery ribs, sliced
    • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, coarsely shredded, divided
    • 3 cups Italian salad dressing, no salt added, homemade or prepared
    • 3 cups chopped fresh parsley

Directions
In a large bowl combine mushrooms, peppers, the 3 kinds of beans, celery and ¼ cup of the cheese. Add dressing and parsley, toss to coat well. Stir in parsley. Serve topped with remaining cheese.

Variation: To make this a main dish, add cooked chicken or sliced ham.

Nutrition Information
426 Calories; 20g Fat (4g Saturated, 8g Polyunsaturated, 4g Monounsaturated); 47mg Cholesterol; 164mg Sodium; 1069mg Potassium; 46g Carbohydrate; 12g Fiber; 19g Protein

Recipe courtesy of Mushroom Council

 

 

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