aren't soaked it means longer cooking times before
they become soft enough to eat, and this can impact the nutritional
needs of your family.
Today, there are several reasons why beans are important for the active lifestyles of adults and children. Beans are an excellent source of complex carbohydrates for energy, as well as protein for growth and repair of body tissue. Many health organizations, including the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society and the American Diabetes Association recognize beans as a healthy and versatile way to meet nutritional guidelines because of these attributes:
Hot water increases the solubility
of the water soluble nutrients, and softens the cell
membranes of the beans, further accelerating the loss of these nutrients. This
should be a consideration, because of the long cooking time during which more
nutrients are lost.
That means all the good protein and nutrients we wanted when we selected the beans in the first
place are lost. Beans are protein, and pound for pound they are
equal to a good cut of meat, but cost only a few
Protein is essential for many bodily processes, including building and repairing tissue. Proteins make enzymes, hormones, and other essential body functions. Plus, your hair and nails are mostly made up of protein. It is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.
Protein is made of smaller components called amino acids, 12 of which are manufactured by the human body. Another 9, called essential amino acids, must be obtained from food. Foods can be combined to make complete proteins like pairing beans with rice,seeds, grains , nuts or corn. There are other combinations as well, like including meats, fish, eggs or dairy products to make a complete protein.
The Food Pyramid
Beans are one of the most nutritionally complete foods. Considered both a vegetable and a protein, beans are the only food found in two places on the mypyramid.gov.
As part of a balanced diet, beans make sense for anyone looking for better overall nutrition. No other food can match beans in providing high amounts of these nutrients:
Carbohydrates and Calories
Beans are high in complex carbohydrates, which are necessary for sustained physical activity, and also are low in calories. In fact, the calorie content of one cup of cooked beans equals the calories of one cup of cooked rice, one cup of cooked pasta, or a 7-ounce baked potato. This makes beans an excellent source of energy for health-conscious consumers.
Dry beans are the only vegetable high enough in protein, an important nutrient for maintaining muscle health, to be listed as both a vegetable and a protein on the USDA Food Guide Pyramid. One cup of cooked dry beans provides between 21 percent and 27 percent of the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance of protein.
Beans are an excellent source of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and plays an important role in metabolic functions. Soluble fiber also has been shown to help regulate blood glucose levels in people with diabetes.
One half-cup serving of cooked dry beans supplies as much as 40 percent of the minimum daily requirement of the B-vitamins thiamin and pyridoxine, which are important for healthy skin and bones.
Fat and Cholesterol
Beans are very low in fat and cholesterol. When part of a low-fat diet, dry beans have been shown to help reduce cholesterol levels.
Dry beans are one of the best vegetable sources of folate, an important B-vitamin for proper cell division and overall good health.