The beans, also called «legumes» are a good substitute for the meat or the other animal products. In opposition to the meat that comes from animals, beans are in fact, plant-based protein.
Beans come in different shapes and colors. For exemple, you probably already know the chickpeas, the black beans, the kidney beans and the lima beans. They are always part of these champions of nutrition; the superfoods!
All there is to know about legumes
Legumes provide excellent nutritional value
Besides being economical and versatile, legumes provide excellent nutritional value. They are:
- High in carbohydrates and protein. Consequently, they are considered both a starch and a meat alternative.
- Low in fat and saturated fats. Thus, they are a beneficial meat alternative.
- Very high in dietary fibre, which contributes to their satiating effect (that full feeling), and are therefore helpful in controlling blood sugar and preventing cardiovascular disease.
- High in vitamins and minerals, including an excellent source of iron (if eaten with a source of vitamin C).
Discover different sources of vegetal proteins like legumes
(Video in French)
Legumes are a great meat substitute in your meals
Legumes are so versatile, they can easily be used in a sweet or a savory dish. For exemple, you can use seasoned lentils to substitute meat in a Shepherd's Pie. It's delicious and nutritious. You can also add black or kidney beans to you brownie recipe to make them more filling. Give it a try! You'll realize that it doesn’t alter the taste.
Legumes and beans have some additional benefits to meat and poultry we usually use in meal preparation. First, they are much more affordable and they usually cost less than 1 dollar per portion! Also, they are good for health. They contain a good amount of fibres witch can help lower your blood cholesterol, reduce constipation and help you feel full longer after a meal.
Moreover, eating more beans is good for the environment because they are among the most sustainable proteins.
For the ones who goes for a complete and balanced vegetarian diet
There are some important details to know about the consumption of beans. Because the protein in beans are plant-based, its important to combine them with grains, like rice (white or brown), couscous, wheat or quinoa in your meals to create a complete protein. Also, just like meat, beans are a good source of iron. But the iron of the beans is also plant-based and this form is harder for your body to absorb. To improve the absorption, you can combine the beans with vitamin C rich food like fruits and vegetables.
A good exemple of a meal with beans and theses 2 combinations would be a couscous with chickpea and red bell pepper or even a mexican rice with black beans and red cabbage. Lacking inspiration? Even Italian-inspired flavor lovers will enjoy this Italian Chickpea stew. Quick, easy, and tasty!
Beans are a good alternative because they are not only affordable, healthy and delicious, they are a good choice for those who wants to minimize their environmental impact.
If you ever need help to balance your menus based on your health situation, ask one of our Kinelite nutritionists.