When we think of healthy side dishes to go along with our meals we usually think about salads, rice, vegetables, fruits, cottage cheese or slices of whole wheat bread with butter, but rarely do we think about beans. Beans of all kinds are excellent side dishes to our meals because they are loaded with health benefits that help protect our bodies from illnesses and help keep our bodies lean and mean.
For those of you who aren’t totally sure what beans are they are dried out seeds packed full of potent nutrients like fiber, antioxidants, protein, vitamin and minerals. There are several different types of beans you can eat like kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans, lima beans and navy beans. All beans are cooked or baked properly until they are tender and seasoned with spices, herbs or natural sweeteners such as honey to help give them flavor and even more health benefits.
Kidney beans are small deep red beans that contain nutrients like fiber, protein, vitamin K, thiamin, magnesium, potassium, copper, phosphorus, iron, manganese, tryptophan, foliate and molybdenum. These beans can help lower high cholesterol and help keep the heart healthy and strong. They also provide fiber which makes them filling so it they can be used to help you lose weight. Kidney beans are usually used in bean salads, chilies and rice dishes and can be found in cans already tender or in bags as dried beans.
Black beans are smaller than kidney beans and black in color with a rounder shape. They contain nutrients like iron, phosphorus, thiamin, magnesium, protein, tryptophan, foliate, fiber, manganese and molybdenum. Black beans are very good to eat to help keep blood sugars level in people with health conditions like diabetes. They as well can also help keep the heart healthy and cholesterol low. Black beans are used in chilies, salads and alone with seasoning as side dishes to Mexican and Spanish meals. I personally like to add them to my rice dishes instead of meat to get a healthy source of protein and fiber into my body to help keep my body lean and strong. These beans usually come canned.
Pinto beans are pink and beige colored and contain nutrients in it like potassium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, protein, copper, thiamin, manganese, fiber, foliate, tryptophan and molybdenum. These nutrients help prevent stomach and colon cancer by keeping the bad trapped toxins in our body moving through it faster so it isn’t sitting around inside of us creating health problems. Pinto beans even help keep cholesterol lowered, heart disease away and blood sugar levels stable. These beans even have the ability to help keep our blood flowing easily and freely throughout or body so we can have proper circulation. If your feeling fatigued you might want to consider eating up some of these beans because they will also give you energy. Pinto beans are usually used in rice dishes and salads and can be found in dried forms in bags.
Lima beans contain all the same nutrients as all the other beans above, but they are lime green in color and about the size of a quarter. They can be found dried in bags or canned. They prevent health problems like heart disease, colon cancer, diabetes, weight gain, high blood sugar, poor blood circulation, fatigue and stress. Lima beans are usually eaten alone with fresh herbs and spices or sometimes drizzled with olive oil or butter.
Navy beans are very small oval shaped beans that are white in color. Again these beans contain the same nutrients as all the other beans above and can help prevent the same health problems. The only difference with these beans is they are typically used for making baked beans. These beans can be found in cans or dried.