Be Heart Smart – Add Legumes to Your Diet

For those seeking more protein in their diet, legumes are a great source, and some might even consider them a healthier substitute for the protein-rich red meat that contains a higher amount of fat and cholesterol. Beans are rich in antioxidants and full of fiber and protein. Some beans contain more protein per serving than some lean meats. Beans are not only a high fiber and protein source, they also reduce your levels of C-reactive protein which is an indicator of heart disease. Beans contain Thiamin (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Niacin (B3), B5, B6 and are a good source of phosphorus, potassium, iron, zinc, calcium, and selenium.

Examples of legumes include but are not limited to the following:
• Adzuki beans
• Anasazi beans
• Black beans
• Black-eyed peas
• Broad beans (fava beans)
• Butter beans
• Calico beans
• Cannellini beans
• Chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
• Edamame
• Fava beans
• Great Northern beans
• Italian beans
• Kidney beans
• Lentils
• Lima beans
• Mung beans
• Navy beans
• Pinto beans
• Split peas
• White beans

Many times I will take half the meat out of a recipe and add black beans. I also love to make black bean burgers add them to omelets, soups, salads, dips … I keep them in a sealed container and toss them in whatever I’m cooking.

Interesting Tidbit: Bean eaters weigh as much as 6.6 pounds less than non-bean eaters.