Beans are in the legume family and have a new profile. It was a staple in my family while growing up and still is in my own family. Everyone, the rich the poor, young, and the old are interested in good health. People are doing a variety of exercises to become fit. They are also changing their eating habits and the foods they are eating.

Meat eating is lessened because of the image it portrays with saturated fats. People are turning to alternative substitutes and dried legumes fit the bill. Dried legumes are beans, lentils, peas, and chick-peas (garbanzos). These have very good reputation for keeping you slim, making you healthy, are readily available, easy to prepare, versatile to eat as beans or can be used to pair with other foods. They are high in protein and very economical.

Beans are high in fiber, and carbohydrates so if you want to lose weight beans should be a part of the foods you include in your meal plans. A high fiber, high carbohydrate diet
Helps you to lose excess weight. Beans when included in your diet has few calories, and they provide satiety making you feel full. Beans do not have any fat calories. For example a half of a cup of baked beans contains only 150 calories and one cup of cooked kidney beans has about 100 calories.

Research shows that dry beans contain resistant starch that supports colonic probiotics and reduces the risk of colorectal cancer. These positive effects of beans start in the gastro-intestinal tract of the body. The digestion begins in the mouth and the small intestine breaks down the beans and releases many of their abundant beneficial components, such as vitamins, minerals and proteins. “After absorption at the ‘brush border’ these components then travel via the hepatic portal of the liver where they are used in a number of daily standard biochemical processes.” Fiber and other components that are not absorbed in the small intestine from dry beans resist digestion and thereby increase stool bulk.  Some serve to dilute, bind and decrease the transit time of potential carcinogens through the GI tract. Fiber can also affect the amount of secondary bile acids and salt in the tract, which are cytotoxic and carcinogenic, by binding them: or by lowering the colonic pH which might slow the conversion of bile acids and salts from primary to secondary

 The Merits of Fiber in the GI Tract

The non-digestible carbohydrates such as resistant fiber (RF) and resistant starch (RS) found in beans are thought to have a positive influence on health once they reach the colon. Most starch is very digestible throughout the intestinal tract. RS is the part of starch that is not digested by pancreatic alpha-amylase (an enzyme) in the small intestine. The report states that the “form of the food containing the starch also determines its resistance to digestion. For example, large and or intact starch granules are more resistant than are small and or fragmented granules.” Starches in whole grains are believed to be more resistant than refined starch. This explains the reasons for eating the whole grain because some grains are mechanically altered during processing, beans remain intact during processing and can be viewed as a “whole” food whose resistant carbohydrates are mostly intact before consumption. Dry beans are an excellent source of resistant starch (RS), representing as much as 35 percent of the legumes.


The American diet is often criticized that it lacks adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables and recommendation is given to eat more to maintain general health. However, it takes more to prevent diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cancer or heart diseases. You can do something about it by exceeding RS in amounts of 20 grams per day, are associated with improved bowel health, an increased absorption of nutrients and improved blood sugar control.   Below is a recipe for Tofu Dip. It is delicious and easy to prepare. Tofu is a product of Soy Beans.

                                    Tofu Dip


5 or 6 ounces tofu
1 Tbsp. apple cider
2 Tbsps. Olive oil
2 tsps. Tamari soy sauce
¼ tsp. liquid fructose (optional)
1/8 tsp. salt (dash)
¼ tsp. white pepper
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
2 Tbsps. Sliced green onions
1 Tbsp. chopped chives for garnish

Directions How to Make:

Blend all ingredients, except chives, until smooth.

Pour into a beautiful bowl and chill.

Just before serving, top with chives.

Arrange these vegetables on a platter: strips of carrots, celery, zucchini, green pepper, cucumbers, broccoli, green onions, and cauliflower pieces or your favorite vegetables.  Enjoy!

Author's Bio: 

Hope Anderson is a Registered Dietitian, Licensed Nutritionist Coach, specializing in Healthy Lifestyle. She is passionate about inspiring people how to engage and learn about food, nutrition and its impact on health in making informed decisions for themselves.

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