Sneaky Meat-Free Proteins #4: Beans

Living in Mexico for many years has exposed me to hundreds of recipes for beans, and I've managed to develop a tolerance for certain bean recipes. For vegetarians and vegans, however, this legume should be at the TOP of your healthy food list! Beans contain about 15 grams of protein per cup, over half as much protein as is contained in wild salmon. They are also an excellent source of dietary fiber, which keeps you full and satiated with far less food. The "magical fruit" effects aside, beans are probably one of the best non-meat sources of protein around. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="550"] Source: bcconnections.org[/caption] Black beans, in particular, offer a number of health benefits: Boost heart health -- High in fiber, beans fight cholesterol, reduce your risk of hypertension, and more. Improve digestive health -- Fight colorectal cancer, IBS, and other digestive disorders with beans' digestive fiber. Control blood sugar -- Stabilize your blood sugar thanks to the fiber in beans. Increase antioxidant consumption -- Black beans contain flavonoids, the same antioxidants that are found in dark chocolate and black tea. Time to cook up a pot of your famous chili!  
Featured Image Source:blog.foodnetwork.com
Resources: http://greatist.com/health/unexpected-sources-protein , http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=2

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