Care of Amy Symington

Not always seen as the most glamourous of protein options, beans are making a comeback this 2015 according to food trend surveys. And rightfully so! Beans contain high amounts of fibre which provides all sorts of health benefits particularly related to good gastrointestinal health.  They specifically contain high levels of resistance starch, a type of prebiotic that aids in the growth and development of probiotics, the beneficial bacteria that live in your large intestine.  This beneficial bacteria helps with the absorption of vitamins and minerals, aids in motility in your gut and strengthens your immune system.

Beans are also a functional food, aiding in the prevention of chronic diseases including Type 2 diabetes, cancer, heart disease and hypertension.  They contain antioxidants called flavonoids which contain anti-inflammatory and cancer fighting properties.  They are also amazing for regulating blood sugar levels and maintaining a healthy weight as they are digested slowly and keep you feeling fuller for longer.  High cholesterol levels can also be combatted with the consumption of this humble bean.

One cup of black turtle beans equals 15g of protein, 12g of fibre and 25% of your RDA for iron so use them more often in burritos, stews, chillis, sauces, dips, dressings and desserts!

Do try to avoid canned beans that contain the “endocrine disruptor” bisphenol A or BPA as it has the ability to disrupt estrogen receptor activity, altering fertility and increasing one’s risk of reproductive cancers like prostate and breast.  Use dried beans if possible or do your research on brands that have eliminated BPA from their products.