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Beans, beans, good for your heart, the more you eat the more…likely you are to live a long and healthy life? This week on The Feed we are delving deeper into this common store cupboard ingredient and uncovering the incredible nutritional properties that may just help you to live for longer.
Do you want to live longer?
Beans are the cornerstone food of the longest-lived people in the world. In fact, in the locations around the world with the highest concentrations of 100-year-olds, people are eating at least four times as many beans as we are. That is according to Dan Buettner, the National Geographic fellow who famously dubbed the areas "Blue Zones”. He studied these places extensively and noticed more than a few common patterns between these well-aged populations.
A common food in the Blue Zone diet is beans and Buettner claims that eating just a cup per day is the single-best longevity supplement available. He argues that beans of every type are the world’s greatest longevity foods, including black beans, pinto beans, white beans, garbanzo beans, fava beans, black eyed peas, and lentils.
"Beans are the single-best longevity supplement available." - Dan Buettner
The nutritional facts:
Providing the ideal mix of protein, complex carbohydrates, beans are a perfect meat substitute. Beans have a high concentration of iron and one cup of boiled black beans provides 29% of our daily recommended iron intake and most legumes contain 17-25% protein, which is roughly double the amount in grains and higher than that of most meat and eggs. People who eat more legumes have a lower risk of heart disease, thanks in part to their high concentration of potassium and magnesium. Together, the two elements remove sodium and water from your cardiovascular system while regulating blood pressure.They are also an excellent source of fibre and deliver more nutrients per gram than any other food on the planet. If that isn’t enough, beans have also been shown to support digestion, regulate blood sugar, lower cholesterol, boost heart health, and possibly even reduce cancer risk.
"Beans are the richest source of soluble fibre that we have." -Karen Hurd, biochemist & nutritionist
The impact on the planet:
Beans are an affordable option for plant-based protein and most commonly come packaged in glass and cans that can be stored for months and then easily recycled, which creates very little waste.
But with beans, sustainability starts at the root—literally. Whereas some crops strip the earth and degrade the quality of the farmland left behind, beans have the rare ability to replenish the soil they’re planted in. Thanks to their nitrogen-fixing properties, legumes (such as beans) have a reduced need for fertilisers, which, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, helps decrease greenhouse gas emissions. Including legumes in crop rotations reduces the risks of soil erosion and depletion and can even transfer fixed nitrogen to crops subsequently planted in the same soil.
The easiest way to eat well:
At TYME we are conscious that it’s not always possible to add the foods you want into your diet seamlessly as we are busy living active lifestyles. That’s why our menu features a range of beans and legumes to support a healthy diet with plenty of variety and flavour profiles. We take care to source our pulses and legumes from sustainable suppliers and so our products will support your body and the planet. Our menu.
Images: Philippe Vaures Santamaria