Bean There, Done That

Legumes might not be quite as powerful as the magic beans that sprouted into Jack’s beanstalk, but they do contain a lot of nutritional bang for the buck — they’re filling, and an excellent source of fiber, protein, and complex carbs. Depending on the variety, they may also provide nutrients such as calcium, folate, and potassium.

If you think beans are bland, boring, or hard to digest, think again. With a little creativity, you can enjoy all the flavor and texture legumes have to offer:

Use hummus (made from garbanzo beans (chickpeas), garlic, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, and water) instead of mayonnaise on sandwiches for a lot more fiber — and a lot less saturated fat

Buy low-sodium canned versions or soak dried beans overnight, then cook according to package directions

Toss cooked beans into pastas, soups, and casseroles

Eat a variety of beans in moderation to make it easier for your digestive system to adjust; over-the-counter enzyme supplements can also help.

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