Why you need more beans in your life

The health benefits of beans and lentils by Vinka Wong Nutrition

I can't believe I have never really used lentils and beans in my cooking! Where have they ‘bean’ all my life!

Since sending an SOS for some bean and lentil recipes I have been flooded with the most amazing recipes, which has meant that I have ‘bean’ cooking up a storm all week trying new recipes out. YUM YUM! For those wanting some more inspo, check out the comment section in my recent post here to see all the gorgeous recipes sent in. I will also post some recipes up this week as I try them out.

And for those that need a bit more convincing as to why you need to get more beans in your life, then here are my 7 top reasons:

1.They're full of polyphenols, which are active compounds that fight against harmful agents in the body—everything from ultraviolet rays and radiation to heart disease and cancer. So yeah, they're a big deal.

2. They're high in protein. One cup of lentils contains at least 18 grams of protein

3. They're a good source of (non-heme) iron. One cup of lentils also has 6.5 milligrams of iron, which is about one-third of what you need for the entire day. 

4. They're full of fibre. Virtually every Nutritionist loves to preach about the importance of fibre—especially related to digestive health and healthy weight maintenance. One cup of lentils has at least 10 grams of it.

5. Lentils are good for your bones, with 35 grams of calcium per cup

6. They're a good source of folate, which is an important nutrient to load up on all the time, but it's especially important when you're pregnant. 

7. They're high in magnesium. If you have trouble sleeping, are stressed or overworked, your body could benefit from regular consumption of magnesium—and lentils can be a great source at 71 mg per cup of cooked lentils.

And I couldn't talk about beans and lentils without talking about the rumbling trouser effect! For those of you who avoid them for this reason then you may want to try a couple of tricks to help with this:

  1. Use lentils instead of beans as they seldom cause the gas
  2. Use organic beans as this can often fix the problem
  3. Also soaking the beans will help break down the offending cause (oligosaccharides).

Now that I'm on a lentil buzz, I'm hooked! Here are two delicious lentil recipes for you to try. 

Lemon Lentil and Rocket Salad

Red Lentils and Poached Eggs

For more recipes see my website: vinka.co.nz/recipes