Beans are often an underrated food group. You’ll rarely find them on a restaurant menu, and it’s likely if you do eat them, they’re often served as a side dish. We want to encourage you to make beans the start of your meal, so today, our featured ingredient is black beans. With a little help from our Registered Dietitian friends, we are going to show you how to make them four totally different and unique ways. But first, here are a few reasons to add some black beans into your diet.
Aside from being loaded with nutrition, black beans are inexpensive, making them an affordable staple in your meal rotations. While canned black beans offer added convenience, dried black beans are often less than half the price. We always recommend having a few cans of black beans on hand, for nights when time is tight, and you need to get a hearty meal on the table in a pinch.
Good Source of Fiber
One cup of black beans provides 29 grams of fiber, that’s more than what you need in a day! Fiber is essential for heart health and digestive health, but it’s also an important component in recognizing your fullness levels. Fibrous foods tend to expand in the stomach, helping you recognize your fullness much faster than if you were eating a non fibrous food, like a donut or cookie.
High in Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 helps regulate hormones like serotonin and norepinephrine, or in simpler terms, your “feel good” hormones. These hormones can help regulate your mood and sleep, and for growing children, can help regulate brain development.
Promotes Digestive Health
Your digestive tract is filled with beneficial “good” bacteria that help you digest food, keep your metabolism running efficiently, and keep your immune system strong. These “good” bacteria are called probiotics. The fiber in beans serves as a prebiotic, meaning they feed the probiotics (good bacteria) so they can multiply and grow. The more they grow, the stronger your digestive tract becomes!
If you’re inspired to add some more black beans to your diet, try one of these five recipes!
1. Black Bean Tacos from Nourish Nutrition Blog
2. Savory Black Beans from Triad to Wellness
3. Black Bean Soup from Christy Wilson Nutrition
4. Spicy Hummus Black Bean Veggie Burgers from The Foodie Dietitian
5. No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter (and Black Bean) Fudge from Bite of Health Nutrition
Which of these recipes are you excited to try to get more beans into your diet? Let us know in the comments below!