With the Pro-Plant movement on the horizon and Meatless Mondays becoming a huge hit, it is important to learn how to do a little bean math. Beans are packed with fiber and water keeping your body feeling fuller for longer. Beans, unlike meat, have phytochemicals in them, which are compounds that can only be found in plants and are a class of antioxidants. Antioxidants help reduce free radicals in the body, which cause damage to cells and other tissues.
According to the USDA nutrient database, beans contain large amounts of iron, phosphorous, magnesium, manganese, potassium, copper, calcium, and zinc. Most Americans do not consume enough fiber. It is recommended that women consume 25 grams of fiber per day and men consume 38 grams of fiber per day. Beans contain 12 grams of fiber per 1 cup, which provides almost half of the daily recommended amount of fiber for women. One half cup of cooked beans provides about 6-7 grams of protein. When swapping in beans for meat in recipes, do a little bean math to meet your protein needs.
1 Ounce of Meat = 1/4 Cup of Beans
Many people are scared to cook dried beans. Chez Bettay, the vegan gourmet, gives some great tips on how to cook dried beans. Here are also a few more tips for cooking beans and some quick recipe ideas!
Beans are not only veggie friendly, but they are delicious, filling, more ecologically prudent (compared to animal protein), and CHEAP. Remember to use your bean math next Meatless Monday!
Photo courtesy of I Believe I Can Fry.