Rice and beans, as a dish, is a culture in itself; in fact, it is almost iconic in some countries across the world. They are affordable, absolutely delicious and as you will soon realize….immensely nutritious as well.
If rice and beans are a staple in your household, and you are thinking about removing it in the hopes of losing weight and becoming healthy, please read this article all the way through. Rice and beans is laden with more vitamins, enzymes and minerals than you think.
Benefit of beans: The Super Legume
Beans are severely undervalued, maybe because of its cheap price. But one look at its nutrition breakdown will prove otherwise:
Good protein alternative
Protein- Have you been looking to add plant based protein to your diet? If you are vegetarian, vegan or someone who indulges in meat sparingly, adding beans as a source of protein would be a good alternative. Some, off course, have a richer protein content than the others. Popular in many Mexican dishes, black beans and pinto beans contains 15.2 grams and 14 grams of protein in a cup, respectively.
Although not a complete protein, it does contain amino acid lysine which is usually absent in many other plant based protein alternatives.
Nutritious food for heart
Beans are one of the best food for your cardiovascular health. Daily serving of baked beans can lower your LDL (bad cholesterol) by up to 5%. They are low in fat and full of soluble fiber, which is great because this type of fiber adheres to cholesterol compounds and prevents it from getting absorbed by our body.
Beans also contain heart protective compounds such as flavonoids that suppress the sticking of platelets in blood which can cause stroke or heart attack.
Abundant in Folate
Folate is a B-vitamin whose deficiency can put you in risk for coronary heart disease and vascular diseases. It can also cause birth defects. Our body is not capable of synthesizing its own folate, so it needs to be derived from foods like beans and green leafy vegetables. Although, just a cup of beans will give up half of the daily recommended folate consumption for a day.
This simple mineral help digest carbs, fats and proteins. It is a building block of the process of DNA and RNA synthesis. Without it, muscles and nerves cannot be activated and several neurotransmitter, like serotonin, cannot be synthesized. In addition to that, it is incredibly important for a healthy heart. One cup of black beans contain 30% of the Daily recommended intake of Magnesium.
Beans contain non-heme iron, which a type of iron that is different from what you get from meat Because this type of iron is harder to be absorbed by the body, it’s important to keep your Vitamin C level up. 1 cup of kidney beans contain 5.2 mg of iron, and 1 cup of black beans contain 3.6 mg of iron.
Benefits of Rice- Health on a budget
Between white rice and brown rice, the latter is way more richer in vitamins and minerals. With white rice, most of the vitamins are bleached away, but in some cases they get re-added to the bleached rice and is packaged and distributed as enriched rice. So if you do opt of white rice, over brown rice, look for the enriched kind.
Free of cholesterol
Simply put, rice is devoid of unhealthy fat, sodium and other harmful compounds. Now, white doesn’t lower your cholesterol levels due to lack of enough fiber, but it does no harm either. When it comes to brown rice though since it is much higher in fiber, it adheres to cholesterol and eliminates it from our body.
Good for energy
Rice is filled with carbohydrates, which easily gets absorbed into your bloodstream and gets used by your body for fuel almost immediately. Since it is a complex carb, it causes your blood sugar to rise rapidly. But eating it with beans will definitely keep you satiated for long hours.
Brown rice contains manganese that helps our body derive fuel from both carbs and protein. They help in the synthesis of fatty acids, and sex hormones, which strengthening our nervous systems. More importantly, it is an important component of a antioxidant named, Superoxide dismutase that is housed in our mitochondria where it fights against the free radicals.
Very rich in Fiber and the Colon cancer fighting mineral, Selenium-
Brown rice has both of this element. Fiber keeps you full for long and lowers cholesterol, and just like selenium protects you against colon cancer. Selenium plays an important role in the functioning of our immune system, metabolism of thyroid hormones and the antioxidant defense pathways. Selenium repair damaged cells and DNA.
Lignans for a healthy heart
Whole grains, such as brown rice, is rich in a phytonutrient called plant lignans, which gets converted into mammalian lignans by the good bacteria in our gut. This compound is shown to protect against breast and other cancers, along with heart diseases.
As you can see, rice and beans is more than a delicious meal…it is also nutritious. It is very budget friendly and easy to make. If you are detoxing your meal plan, rice and beans is not the one to scratch out.
In the comments below, tell me how often do you enjoy rice and beans with your family?