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4 Reasons to Eat Beans
Published: 4/8/2014

They often get a bad rap for causing indigestion and flatulence, but the health benefits of beans (and other legumes, such as lentils) make them a stellar choice in a healthful diet. Beans are:

  1. An excellent source of vegetarian protein, providing six to seven grams per half-cup serving.
  2. High in folic acid, which may help to protect against cancers of the lung, colon and cervix, and prevent birth defects.
  3. A great source of fiber, dishing up 25-30 percent of the Daily Value of dietary fiber, 75 percent of which is insoluble - the type that reduces the risk of colon cancer.
  4. A low-glycemic-index food, making them a good option for diabetics.

In addition, most varieties are inexpensive and versatile. I recommend one to two servings of beans and legumes per day - easy to do if you swap out meat for beans in salads and sandwiches, and make hummus or bean dip part of an afternoon snack. And if stomach upset is a concern, you can improve the quality and digestibility of beans by consuming them with grains such as brown rice, which provide a complimentary protein profile. Discarding the soaking and cooking water when using dry beans may also help reduce flatulence.

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