Beans for Your Heart

Following a legume-rich diet could lower total cholesterol by 14 points in as little as four weeks, according to new research. "At a time when most of us are trying to combat rising food prices but eat healthfully, beans are the thing," says Trish Ross, author of Easy Beans. Here's how to incorporate them into your diet. 

Go Beyond Bean Salad
Beans make a filling addition to soups, rice dishes, wraps, and veggie lasagna. For a high fiber stir-fry, mix chickpeas with fresh vegetables, tomato, and onion and season with thyme and basil. 

Skip the Slow Soak
Buy canned beans or quick-soak the dry variety: Place a cup of rinsed beans in a saucepan and cover with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for three minutes. Remove beans from heat, let them stand for at least an hour. Drain, rinse with cold water, and cook as usual.

Ease Off the Gas
To prevent gas, start with one or two weekly servings and gradually add more. Preparing your beans with ginger (such as in dal) can also soothe your stomach.

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