The more ya eat, the more ya toot!
I used to have a real distaste towards beans without ever trying them. Just like most teenagers, I just made an assumption that I didn't like them. Now that I'm a mature (ha!) twenty-something, I've found ways to enjoy these fiber and protein, packed little nuggets. One way is in this fre$h salad!
My three-bean salad consists of kidney beans, navy beans and garbanzo beans, all have a around 15 grams of protein and 45 grams of carbohydrates (with 12 grams of fiber, making the net carbs around 33 grams) per cup! Not to mention the high amounts of manganese, folate, and iron.
Why are those three essential to our diet?
Manganese- Manganese is an essential mineral that our body doesn't need a whole lot of (as opposed to the way we fawn over Vitamin C and B-12) but that doesn't make it any less important. This mineral aids in bone health. It's stored in the bones and helps increase bone density. If you're at risk for osteoporosis, try getting more of this mineral to help keep those bones kickin'.
Folate is a vitamin that is mostly heard in relation to the prego ladies. That's because it aids in rapid growth and development, which is exactly what's happening inside those bellies! But folate, or folic acid, also helps those not expecting as it's needed to produce red and white blood cells in the bone marrow. The production of red blood cells are important to keep oxygen flowing through your veins and white blood cells kick butt against infections.
We all know this big guy, because I'm sure some of you have heard of or know someone who is anemic, meaning they have an iron deficiency. When someone has anemia, it means they are "lacking blood," and will most likely be treated with iron supplements, as iron is an important ingredient in hemoglobin (blood).
In addition to the major health benefits of filling that tummy of yours with beans, the reflection of them on my Blood Glucose (BG) levels was beautiful. Because beans aren't just carbohydrates but rather, accompanied by protein and some fat- they don't spike my BG. Yes, there are carbohydrates in them but I like to bolus post-eating because the carbohydrates raise my BG so slowly over a few hours after eating.
So now that you know how much awesomeness are in beans, here's a SUPER easy salad that you can make for a week of lunches! I made this bean salad and it lasted me a whole WEEK! The best part was that you don't have to eat it the same way every day. What I mean by that is that you can use it as part of a larger salad or add some goodies to it and spice it up (but please always eat it with your mouth haha)!
1 can garbanzo beans
1 can navy beans
1 can kidney beans
1/2 red onion, chopped finely
Mint (however much you see fit!)
1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
Salt and Pepper
Now pay attention closely, you're going to take all these ingredients and toss them in a mixing bowl. Voila! Magic.
Hint: Drizzy drizzzzle some Balsamic vinaigrette (I love the Balsamic dressing from from Primal Kitchen) on it before serving!
But really, this isn't anything crazy or revolutionizing the nutrition world but is really great for keeping you full on the go and full of fiber, carbs, protein and vitamins! Top with some avocado, add some tomato, scatter some beans on your favorite salad or maybe even mix with some tuna filets. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. Please consult your doctor before taking supplements and ask your Registered Dietitian about carb input. This is the method that works best for me and my diabetes, but we are all different.