Hello Friends. Welcome back to Day 15. When we’re talking about fitness routine, and nutrients — how I can miss food.
Food is important part, so in the upcoming few days we will talk about food and what you can add in your diet.
Food will stand up to the promise — when you want to cut heart disease risk, prevent type 2 diabetes, lower the risk of cancer and other health problems.
Even in today’s time, there are few places where people live longer and have a lower risk of chronic disease.
You can find some of the healthiest and longest living populations in
- Ikaria (Greece),
- Okinawa (Japan),
- Sardinia (Italy),
- Loma Linda (California)
- Nicoya Peninsula (Costa Rica)
Choose any of the healthiest population and you will find one thing common, it’s their diet. Their major of their food intake is from beans, vegetables, and fruits.
The reason behind their health is the food choice that provides double the antioxidants, calcium, a good amount of protein and other nutrients.
The modern diet is a rich source of calories but doesn’t provide enough nutrients. The people eating food loaded with nutrients don’t have any negative impact.
They get good carbohydrate which is complex; it takes more time to digest and release energy. While dense antioxidants like Vitamin C and phytonutrients protect cells from free radicals.
There is no big secret of those healthy living population, they just stay dependent on natural foods provided by nature. If you consider staying healthiest, stay dependent on food available in natural form.
Diet is one of the important change or say the primary change. You will get a better result just by making small changes in your diet. So in the coming few days, we will discuss the changes you can make in your diet, to get a better result with less effort.
The first food we’re going to discuss are beans and legumes.
Today’s focus will be only on beans and legumes just to show its importance. They are the dense source of nutrients, yet they aren’t used, or promoted like they should be. By not promoting one of the nutrient dense food, people are missing their benefits.
You might think you eat enough beans and legumes, but there are two more criteria.
Types and quantity.
If you’re eating 1 or 2 types of beans or legumes, then you won’t get enough.
If you’re eating less than a 1 to 2 serving per week, then also you won’t enough benefit.
Beans are a dense source of important micronutrients. They are the best source of protein, if someone is a vegetarian. Instead of its abundant nutrients, they aren’t used widely in diet like they should be.
Just adding a cup of beans and legumes can increase the intake of fibre, protein, folate, zinc, iron, and magnesium. The intake of saturated fat and total fat will decrease.
According to the Journal of American Dietetic Association, adding beans can improve diet quality. The same case applies to every person around the world.
It’s found that more than 50% population don’t know that bean consumption can lower cholesterol, balance blood glucose, reduce risk of many types of cancer.
Basically, it cuts the risk of major health problems. Just adding 3-5 cups of beans can increase the nutrient profile of your meal.
Legumes benefits are well-documented, but the intake is low. They provide fibre, protein, carbohydrate, B vitamin, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and phosphorus. Also, they are low in fat and are cholesterol free.
1 serving can provide:
- 115 calories,
- 20g of carbohydrate,
- 7-9g of fiber,
- 8g of protein,
- and 1g of fat.
- Also, it has a low glycemic index, ranking between 10 to 40.
*Carbohydrates with a low GI value (55 or less) are slowly digested, absorbed, and metabolised and cause a slower rise in blood glucose and, therefore, it lowers insulin dependency.
According to data, only less than 8% of adults consume legumes.
Beans are the antioxidant superstar — low in calories yet abundant in antioxidants. Looking at the antioxidant content of food,
- red bean is at the top,
- followed by red kidney bean at second place
- and pinto bean holds the third place.
1/2 cup serving of cooked beans, percent are Daily Value (DV).
- Protein — 6 to 8 grams
- Dietary fiber — 6 to 10 grams
- Calcium — 2 to 6 percent
- Copper — 8 to15 percent
- Iron — 11 percent
- Folate — 23 to 45 percent
- Manganese — 19 to 26 percent
- Magnesium — 10 to 15 percent
- Selenium — 8 percent
- Zinc — 6 to 8 percent
They also provide nutrients that are found in seafood, meats, poultry and vegetables.
They provide good amount of protein, zinc and iron those found in seafood, meats, poultry.
Also they provide Potassium and folate those found in vegetables.
With such good nutritional profile, you may be sure that beans and legumes hold many benefits. They have, and let’s explore them.
1. Weight Loss and Weight Management
Weight loss and weight management both lead to physical and emotional stress. But adding beans and legumes in a diet can ease the problem.
They contain slow-digesting carb and protein, which keep you full for long. You won’t feel an energy crash. It has been found that people consuming beans have lower body weight and a smaller waist size.
So why not add them in diet and get the benefits?
2. Keep Heart Healthy
Beans are good for heart health.
First, it contains heart health promoting nutrients — fiber and potassium.
Second, it doesn’t contain nutrients that harm heart health — saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and sodium.
Also, the consumption of beans has a protective effect as it:
- Cuts the sodium intake and increase heart-friendly potassium
- The Soluble fiber content lowers LDL cholesterol
- While Anti-inflammatory nutrients prevent damage to arteries and LDL cholesterol
If you are a protein hunter, or say die-hard fan of protein, and looking for best source of protein — you can try beans. They’re the lean protein source.
3. Protect From Type 2 Diabetes
Types 2 diabetes is the worst thing that can happen to adults. But in today’s time, even kids aren’t safe.
For such situations, there is a solution.
Yes! It’s with beans consumption.
In studies, it has been found that the consumption of beans significantly lowered fasting blood glucose and insulin levels.
A combination of low glycemic foods like beans and legumes with a high glycemic food like rice can lower the Glycemic index of the meal.
The Glycemic Index (GI) is a relative ranking of carbohydrate in foods according to, how they affect blood glucose levels.
Carbohydrates with a low GI value (55 or less) are more slowly digested, absorbed and metabolised and cause a lower and slower rise in blood glucose and, therefore usually, insulin levels.
Lower the glycemic index of meals, better the protection from type 2 diabetes. Just by adding more beans you can significantly lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Also, don’t fall for perfection. Try to find and make better changes. But don’t stress over it. You don’t need to be a perfectionist.
4. Protects from Cancer
The people living in the Blue Zone depend on beans and according to the record; they have a lower risk of cancer.
Consumption of beans twice per week can reduce the risks of colon cancer by 47%, prostate cancer by 22%, and breast cancer by about 67%.
Studies have been limited to cancers, but the phenolic compound provides overall protection from the root cause of cancer — inflammation and oxidative stress. And don’t forget they are source of antioxidants.
Other benefits to wrap-up
- They’re gluten-free
- They are good for children’s physical and mental development.
- And finally, they are budget friendly, nutrient abundant superfood.
If you’re convinced and want to add them in your diet, then remember these two tips…
1. Increase beans intake slowly: Quick changes in diet can be hard on system. Healthy bacteria in digestive system are habitual to certain nutrients. Any sudden changes can lead to bloating and gastric trouble. To avoid such discomfort, go slowly. Once you feel comfortable to 1-2 serving, you can add more.
2. Soak your beans: Beans contain oligosaccharides that cannot be digested. Therefore, it increases bacterial fermentation and intestinal gas. Soaking and discarding the water removes major of these oligosaccharides.
That’s all you need to add beans in your diet. Tomorrow we will explore vegetable and fruit.
So I will wrap today’s content but don’t miss the workout routine.