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Beans and Lentils for Good Health


What good are they? You may not realize the benefits of eating a food that is not very interesting or exciting.

There are ways to make boring food exciting. Aside from being boring they should be a part of your healthy diet. They contain an abundance of protein and fiber and are low in fat content. In addition they contain antioxidants and something called phytochemicals.

Diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, Cancer and inflammatory diseases can be prevented or minimized through eating phytochemicals.

In particular black beans contain soluble fiber, which is effective in lowering the bad cholesterol (LDL) by up to 24%, in turn can lower your blood pressure. These beans can also keep blood sugar levels at a healthier level thus blocking the effects of hunger for diabetics. This concept may lead to a reduction or elimination for the need of insulin in the diabetics.

Black beans are not the only beans that are chocked full of fiber so are many other types of beans and peas as well. The most popular kinds of beans and peas include chickpeas (or garbanzo beans), lima beans, fava beans, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, navy beans, pinto beans and great northern beans - See other high fiber foods

Lentils are rich in many nutrients but are particularly rich when it comes to the B vitamins. Consuming sufficient amounts of B vitamins from food sources such as lentils and other foods can help to prevent heart attacks. Besides B vitamins, lentils are also very rich in protein, fiber and a variety of minerals such as ones that help support the strength of the immune system. Examples of these are copper, zinc and manganese. Iron is another mineral that lentils are rich in.

Miso is not a household food by any means but it is a very healthy one. Miso is a type of soybean paste that is often used as a seasoning for sauces and soups. Miso is rich in substances called isoflavones which are believed to help protect against the development and growth of breast cancer because they inhibit the growth of the blood vessels that are responsible fro the rapid growth of tumors.

Also rich in both iron and calcium (when it is sufficiently processed with the salts of calcium) is soybean curd or tofu. Other soy products that boast high levels of vitaimin A, B6, magnesium and zinc is tempeh. Tempeh has slightly lower levels of fat in it than does tofu. Other soy products that are worth considering because of their nutritional value include soymilk and other soy beverages such as chocolate soymilk, soy nuts, soy yogurt, tofu (as previously mentioned) and a variety of products made from tofu.

All soy products derive from soybeans and this means that they are high in protein content. Protein is made up of all of the essential amino acids that the body needs to function at its healthiest. Soybeans are also extremely rich in all of the B vitamins, as well as fiber, the omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and phosphorus.

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