I‘ve always loved the saying “spill the beans”, because it suggests that you’re about to learn a delicious dark secret. When it comes to eating well and good health, beans are certainly a “secret” ingredient that appear regularly on my grocery list.
I personally crave beans often and have far-off memories eating real, home-made Mexican food when I was just a toddler living in California, before moving to Pittsburgh. I often think of a story told by my good friend Geraldo, the talented, hard working chef from Dino and Harry’s.
When he was a teenager, working in fields and other physically demanding jobs, nothing could quiet his growling belly after a long day like inexpensive bean tacos. Freshly chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime topped off with saucy black beans along with warm corn tortillas was a fulfilling lunch or dinner. It was a feast for him long before he started cooking succulent filet mignon and rich mashed potatoes.
I choose beans for many of my recipes because they have the ability to satisfy specific cravings since they can be creamy, thick, even chunky, depending on how you cook them.
I also appreciate beans since they are a bountiful, nutritious food that can help you to stay lean, and reduce belly puffiness that comes with poor digestion. As an former IBS sufferer, I was excited to hear that fiber-rich beans may prevent digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulosis.
Beans are also high in folate – both fiber and folate help people drastically lower their risk of cardiovascular disease in studies. Magnesium, another crucial mineral for heart health, helps to maintain normal blood sugar levels and normal heart rhythms.