Do One Thing

As your year moves forward, how are your resolutions coming along?  Perhaps among your resolutions was a promise to improve your diet habits.  Changing habits can be one of the most challenging tasks we try in life.  So pick one thing that is easy to do, inexpensive, and may be one of the most beneficial changes you will ever make to your diet.  Add beans daily.

You may remember the elementary school rhyme that assigns beans as the “magical fruit.”  While we laugh about the “toot” that may be generated after eating beans, we make a mistake to think the advice given is to avoid the “magic.”  Instead, the rhyme concludes with “. . the better you feel, so let’s have beans for every meal.”  So what is this “magic” that you can add to improve your life?

Beans are the most abundant source of soluble fiber of any food we can choose.  With just one cup of beans, you will consume more than half of the recommended daily intake of fiber.  Oatmeal is a good source of soluble fiber, but you would need to eat two cups to match the fiber content of one cup of beans.   Dark leafy greens are always a good choice for the plate, but for soluble fiber you would need to eat ten cups to get close to the daily recommended level of fiber intake.  Beans can be added in so many different recipes that you can easily meet the fiber intake needed for healthy living.

Beans are an abundant source of key minerals needed to activate critical enzyme reactions in your body.  Black beans are an excellent source of molybdenum – a mineral that is essential for sulfite removal in your body.  Those who are sensitive to sulfite preservatives in food and wine may benefit from eating more beans to acquire this mineral.   Manganese is another abundant mineral in beans which acts as a starter for enzyme activity related to controlling blood sugar.   Low manganese has been measured in diabetic patients, and increased intake of manganese may help to improve blood sugar control.

Beans are associated with a number of positive health outcomes because of the soluble fiber content and mineral source.  A survey of 785 senior citizens in five countries found greater longevity among those who regularly ate beans.  Another study of 5,000 Chinese senior citizens found always eating beans related to maintaining cognitive health.  For years, increased fiber intake has been associated with decreased colon cancer, prostate cancer, and breast cancer. 

As you look for some added “magic” this year, you will find beans to be an easy, inexpensive choice.  The concern about the “toot” will resolve quickly as your body gets used to the new addition to your day.  The one thing to do for positive improvement in your diet is to add beans daily.

For more whole food ideas to strengthen your body this year visit my website at