Beans are a rich source of protein and carbohydrates, as well as being a good source of vitamin B complex such as niacin, riboflavin, folic acid and thiamine. It also provides iron, copper, zinc, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and calcium and is high in fiber. It is also an excellent source of polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Basic Guide to Beans

Beans are the seeds of flowering plants in the Fabaceae family and are classified as legumes. They usually grow in pods, which are capsules with various beans inside. These pods or capsules develop from flowers. Other vegetables include peas, Peanut to teas and lentils.

They contain amino acids, which are the chemicals that combine to form protein and help build muscle. Protein is an essential nutrient. Beans are a source of protein, vitamins, and fiber.

There are a variety of different beans, and most need to be cooked to be safe to eat. Some of the more popular varieties include:

  • broad beans
  • black bean
  • garrubias
  • soy
  • garbanzo beans
  • White beans
  • Pinto beans
  • red bean
  • lentils

Beans are a rich source of protein

Adding beans to grains can turn an incomplete protein into a complete one. Protein is a vital nutrient that plays a key role in virtually everything the body does. Beans are rich in amino acids, the building blocks of protein.

Protein sources can be divided into two different categories: complete and incomplete. Animal products, soybeans, and quinoa are complete proteins, which means they contain all nine amino acids.

Of all the types of beans, only soy contains all nine amino acids. Incomplete proteins can easily be combined with nuts, seeds, dairy products, or grains in a single meal or in several meals throughout the day to produce complete proteins.

For example, a person can eat beans with rice or couscous. Even having black beans for lunch and then almonds or cheese later in the day can ensure that people are getting complete protein.

Beans are an excellent source of protein for vegetarians and vegans . They are also lower in calories and saturated fat than other protein sources, such as dairy products.

Beans stabilize glucose levels

The bean can help stabilize blood glucose levels or even prevent diabetes. They are rich in fiber, which can help lower blood glucose.

A 2015 study found that a chemical found in soy leaves could help the body maintain healthy glucose levels.

Soy also supports healthy pancreatic cell function. The pancreas produces insulin, which regulates blood sugar.

Black beans improve gut health

Research has shown that a variety of beans, especially black beans, improve gut health by improving gut barrier function and increasing the number of healthy bacteria. This can help prevent diseases associated with the intestine.

The bean is originally from Mexico and its name in Nahuatl is ETL

There are multiple varieties of beans that are characterized by their size, their shape, the color of their seeds and their type of growth. Build a nice variety of beans in your pantry:

Mung beans are the beans that are grown for bean sprouts that you see in stores. The l entejas can be used in the same way. Cooked beans are an excellent food for babies who are already starting to eat solid food (bean broth can be fed to younger babies).

Navy beans have great versatility. They can be used in place of milk in sauces and cream soups, or even in place of oil in cakes.

The white beans are the beans used to make baked beans.

The black beans are meatier in flavor, so so real good burgers and burritos and salads.

The pinto beans are great in burritos and rice.

Lentils don’t need pre-soaking, and they’re a quick way to make a meal, whether it’s with rice, vegetables, and spices, in soups, or in tacos.

How to cook beans

If you are going to cook with beans, a little foresight is required. They need to be rinsed first (just as you would any vegetable) to get all the dirt. Most cooking methods require soaking the beans for 6-8 hours or overnight before cooking, and for every pound of beans, only a half teaspoon of baking soda is added to soften them.

The next morning all the water is poured in and they are placed for 10 minutes again to soak with pure water and then the water is emptied. Only use the baking soda if the bean is not fresh or new, that is, it has been stored for a long time.

After this process the beans can be cooked, either in a pot or an electric pot for several hours. If the beans are cooked in a pressure cooker, you will only have to wash them without the previous soaking that is required, this will carry out the cooking in less than an hour.

It is advisable not to add salt to the beans until they are finished cooking, as they will take time to soften. However, if you don’t like them this way, you can add the sea salt when they are almost cooked and let them finish with the salt.

If you cook large amounts of grains at one time, additional cooked beans can be frozen to use another day, thus shortening the cook time for the next meal. If you have a pressure food preservative, you can also preserve your own grains this way.

The most common side effects of eating beans are gas and intestinal discomfort. These are not dangerous, but they can be unpleasant and even painful for some people. For tips on how is the best way to cook beans to digest it better while avoiding gas, see  10 Food Combinations to improve digestion.

A person can reduce the risk of gas and other intestinal problems by soaking the beans and discarding the water used for soaking, sprouting, boiling or pressure cooking. Digestive enzymes can also be taken to improve the digestion of beans.

How to add beans to your diet

Beans are an inexpensive way to add protein to your diet . Buy grains in bulk, that gives you an even better price per kilo. That’s a lot cheaper than buying canned beans.

Just because you’re living on a budget for rice and beans doesn’t mean you have to eat them only in their original presentation very austerely. There are tons of different ways to serve them, including in soups, in burritos, hidden in baked goods, and as part of a sauce. Dried beans can be ground into flour. Also, mung beans and lentils are great for germination.

Some simple strategies for adding beans to a regular diet include:

  • Replacing the meat with beans. Try adding beans instead of meat to soups, stews, and pasta dishes.
  • Eat salads with cold beans. They are tasty and are filled as a stand-alone salad, or as a garnish for other salads.
  • Make them refried and eat them as accompaniments in stews and snacks.
  • Bean and grain mix. Adding them to grains can turn an incomplete protein into a complete one.

It may take a bit of trial and error to find the beans that work best for someone’s favorite dishes, but beans can be a healthy addition to almost any meal.

Black Bean Burger Recipe

The following is one way to use the beans for a delicious veggie burger. You will need to:


  • 3 cups of cooked black beans, ground.
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 4-5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic, or 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 large eggs (you can substitute two tablespoons of water if you don’t want to use egg)
  • 1 cup of whole oats
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Whole wheat burger buns for serving


  1. Cook the onion in 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat until the onion becomes transparent and begins to brown. Remove from heat.
  2. In a blender or food processor, grind 2 -1/2 cups of beans.
  3. Mix the puree and the rest of the beans with onion, garlic, oatmeal, eggs, soy sauce, lemon pepper, red pepper flakes and salt. Shape the mixture into 8 patties.
  4. Cook the burgers in a skillet over medium heat. Use just a few drops of olive oil so that they do not dry out and stick, do it for a couple of minutes, or if you prefer, bake them in the oven for about 15 minutes. Serve on hamburger buns with your favorite hamburger toppings.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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