Remember the magic beans from the Jack and the beanstalk story? Beans that were traded in for a cow and turned out to be magical? Well, bean crops (one of the longest-cultivated plants) have always been an integral part of human existence.
Right through the Old and New World, beans have remained an important source of protein. The oldest-known beans were found in the Americas, in a cave in Peru, dated to around the second millennium BCE! Yes, that’s how ancient and well-known they are. And hey, did you know beans are grown on every continent except Antarctica?
Apparently, there are around 40,000 varieties of beans prevalent today in numerous shapes, sizes and colors – kidney beans, broad beans or fava beans, runner beans, lima beans, chickpeas or garbanzo beans, hyacinth beans and lupini beans to name a few. However, only a few are commonly mass-produced for human consumption.
As nutritional powerhouses, beans are high in protein, carbohydrates, essential B Vitamins, iron and one of the richest sources of fibre. They are ideal for a fat-restricted diet as they contain 2-3% fat and help in reduction of cholesterol. A regular intake of dried beans as raw, cooked, sprouted, ground and fermented versions in soups, salads, curries, side dishes, etc. proves to be extremely healthy and an excellent source of plant based protein available at very low costs as compared to animal proteins.
A quick fact, soaking dried beans for a couple of hours makes them alive, more digestible and enhances their nutritional value. It is recommended that women should have up to 2 servings of beans per day and men up to 3 (1 serving roughly equals a 3/4th cup of cooked beans).
In the End,
Consuming beans with the right kind of foods helps body for better absorption of the nutrients. When combined with nuts, seeds or whole grains, they make a highly fibrous protein. For instance, one could combine bulgur wheat with kidney beans, black bean soup with whole wheat, corn tortillas with bean dip and so on.
To choose, which beans to pair with which grains is a personal choice, however, we have a wide range of beans and whole grains for you to make a dynamic, healthy bean and grain combo. For this, explore our plant powered range at http://www.lailafoods.com/plant-power/
What’s your preferred combination?