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Superfood Spotlight: Beans and Lentils

Beans

Beans and Lentils, which are in the legume family, are powerful superfoods which should be incorporated into your diet.  They are low in fat and sodium yet high in fiber and protein. Also…

  • They have a low glycemic index, meaning that your blood sugar will not rapidly rise when you eat them.  When you eat foods with a high glycemic index (sweets and baked goods), your blood sugar rises rapidly, and your body releases insulin at a faster rate, which contributes to fat storage.  By eating foods with a low glycemic index, your blood sugar rises at a slower rate and insulin is released at a steadier pace which your body can monitor better.
  • They are healthy for your skin!  These legumes are anti-inflammatories, due to the their glycemic index, which helps the prevention of dry, saggy and dull skin.  You can help your skin look younger and less wrinkly by eating them.
  • Fiber!!!  Of course, I have to highlight this benefit.  One cup of cooked beans can have a whopping 12-14g of fiber.  Most people do not get enough fiber (adult males should get 35g/day and females 25/day), and beans are an easy way to get to these daily amounts.  Read more about fiber at one of my earlier posts… All About Fiber
  • They are also a great source of protein with 15g in one cup of cooked beans.  To determine how much protein you should be receiving, take 1/3 of your weight to get a decent estimate. (ex: 150 lb person, should get around 50g a day)

I don’t mind eating beans plain, but I love to incorporate beans in my soups, salsas, eggs, and salads.  I am new to lentils, but I have recently made a few lentil soups and also added them to my quinoa.  They are very easy to make for a quick meal after work!

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