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Beans: Varieties, Health Benefits and Nutrition Facts

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I find in my practice that there are still many people that are not aware of the great nutritional qualities that beans provide. They are certainly considered one of nature’s superfoods. Beans are a great source of protein and fiber and the fat content will only come from the addition of oils and possibly meats that you add in your recipe. You will notice by looking at the chart below that a cup of bean provides 2 oz. of protein (1 oz equal 7grams) and almost half the 25 grams of fiber we need in a day.

Let’s look at the wide variety of beans available and how we can enjoy them. They are truly one of those versatile ingredients that can be added to your everyday dishes.

Common Types of Beans

The most common type bean is probably your kidney bean that are often called “chili beans”. They are naturally red brown in color and characterized by a strong flavor that makes them popular in chili and the old-fashioned three bean salad that our parents were brought up on.

I tell clients that 3-bean salad is the greatest snack in the afternoon. It can be purchased in jars or cans typically in a zesty vinaigrette dressing. Clients love to keep a can in the refrigerator and often will add to their lunch as a side veggie. You also can take a can of S&W Kidneybeans, Garbanzo beans and a can of Del Monte String Beans and make your own.

I also suggests to families on a budget to check out Stagg, and Dennisons 99% Fat Free Chili in a Can. You can buy it with turkey. Obviously, the meat is just used for flavoring. I do not recommend buying meat in a can. Many of my clients take it for lunch and enjoy it with broccoli and string beans over lettuce.

Did you realize that garbonzo beans are the basis for hummus. Maybe all this time you did not realize that at a party you were eating pureed beans. Try my recipe for homemade hummus. Store bought hummus has too much fat and salt. You can easily add the veggies and spices that you enjoy.

  • Fava Beans. Also called as “broad beans”, fava beans are often unappreciated because of their slightly bitter taste. They usually come in pods, which are removed before eating or cooking, and they are usually dried or mixed in dishes. They are best served steamed with olive oil, salt and lemon, or as an addition to pasta and soups.
  • Black Beans. These beans are often called “black turtle beans” in reference to their jet-black color and oval shape. Because of their meaty texture and mushroom-like flavor, black beans are often paired with chillis and are often used in tacos, burritos and soups. Check out my black bean and corn salad under recipes. My clients love this easy to make recipe.
  • White Beans. They are also referred to as cannelini beans and often found in Italian Cuisine. They are mild in taste. Enjoy my recipe for tuna and white bean salad.
  • Lima Beans. Also known as “butter beans”, lima beans are generally green in color, oblong in shape with a buttery and starchy texture. Their exquisite taste makes them a good compliment for a variety of dishes and herbs.

15 Bean Soup. This can be bought at your local Safeway or Trader Joe’s. It comes in a plastic bag and it is amazing how many beans there are. They are all different sizes and colors and there is a recipe on the package. You can add marinara sauce, chicken broth, garlic, onions and make a hearty soup that will last a week for your family. Trust me you will be thrilled to learn about this tasty, delicious meal for the family.

Beans’ Nutrition Facts

Below is information on the calorie, protein, carbohydrates and other minerals found in a single-cup serving of different bean varieties. This will guide you in choosing which type you should use in your meals.

TYPES OF BEANS

Calories
(cal)

Protein
(g)

Fat
(g)

Carbohydrates
(g)

Fiber
(g)

Calcium
(mg)

Iron
(mg)

Kidney Beans

225

15.35

0.89

40.36

11.3

50

5.2

White Beans

    220

   12

  10

38

16

50

5

Fava Beans

187

12.92

0.68

33.4

9.2

61

2.55

Black Beans

227

15.24

0.93

40.78

15

46

3.61

Lima Beans

176

10.1

0.72

33.06

13

70

4

Garbanzo

269

14.53

4.25

44.97

12.5

80

4.74

If you have not added beans to your menu I hope this article will motivate you to add them to your life. At first you can buy beans in a can and rinse them of the salt. After you begin to enjoy them it is best to buy them dried and soak them overnight and then add them to your recipes. Call me if you have any questions.