Beans & Grains

Beans and Grains


Healthy diet plan, beans, seeds, how to lose weight, healthy snacks

Grains

Grains are a complex carbohydrate and a very important source of energy.  Some grains such as quinoa, pearled barley and bulgur score low on the Glycemic Index.

This means the blood glucose is released gradually into the bloodstream having the effect of making you feel fuller for longer. A well balanced diet should include a good portion of complex carbohydrates, though this also depends on your metabolic type.

Whole Grains

Healthy diet plan, beans, seeds, how to lose weight, healthy snacks

As their name suggests whole grains contain the entire grain. It is made up of the outer shell, also called the bran, the endosperm which forms the main part of the grain and the tiny germ.

Eating a diet rich in whole grains is far more healthy and is packed full of nutritional value. Whole wheat bread for example in comparison to heavily processed white bread is denser and has more colour and texture. The taste is far superior and satisfying and even slightly nutty in flavour.

The benefit of whole grain and whole food has been covered in previous sections so we will just touch on it briefly here.

Grains are a good source of fibre providing about 5g per serving. They are also an excellent source of protein which is important for muscle and tissue growth and repair.

When grains are combined with legumes and beans they make a complete protein equal to any animal product including beef.

Grains such as oatmeal, barley, rye, whole wheat contain a polysaccharide called beta-glucan which has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. Oatmeal manufacturers have been approved by the USDA to make claim to this fact on their packaging.

Whole grains include:

  • Whole wheat or brown rice pasta
  • Brown or wild rice
  • Whole oats
  • Whole wheat or whole grain cereals
  • Whole wheat flour or rye flour
  • Popcorn
  • Whole wheat or whole grain crackers
  • Bulgur (cracked wheat)
  • Buckwheat
  • Millet
  • Barley
  • Wheat berries
  • Quinoa♥ (my favourite!)

Healthy diet plan, beans, seeds, how to lose weight, healthy snacks

Including whole food in your diet guarantees a rich supply of goodies such as:

Protein

Natural soluble fibre

Vitamin E

B-6

Thiamin

Riboflavin

Zinc

Iron

Potassium

Folic

Whole grain is the way to go for a much healthier you!

Beans or luscious Legumes

Healthy diet plan, beans, seeds, how to lose weight, healthy snacks

Legumes belong to the single plant family called Leguminosae. The fruit from the Legiminosae plant are what we commonly call legumes.

They are edible seeds enclosed in a dehiscent pod. The seed pods split on two sides when they’re ripe. Beans, lentils, soybean and peas are all legumes. As a group they provide the best source of concentrated protein in the plant kingdom.

This versatile and nutritious food can deliver a healthy dose of antioxidants to your diet which can reduce your risk to cancer and other chronic illness.

The best thing about beans is that they are low in fat and cholesterol free. An absolute ‘must’ for your weight loss programme and beyond.

Beans are starchy but you don’t need to run off in the opposite direction with this particular type of starch. The resistant starch which is present in beans is not easily digested by the body and is released gradually in to the body helping you to stay fuller for longer. A great weight management tool but resistant starch also has another huge benefit to your health.

Resistant starches can act as a cancer fighting agent. After digestion the starch settles in the colon where it is attacked by bacteria. As a counter reaction to this attack the starch produces a short-chain acid known for its cancer-preventative qualities, according to the research from the University of Illinois. This is probably why beans have been the most successful in reducing the risk of colon cancer.

Beans are high in dietary fibre and a good source of protein. 1 cup of black beans (2 servings) provides more than 115% of your daily value of fibre! And a ¼ serving cup of beans for example equals 1oz of meat in protein value.

So instead of a three- ounce hamburger made from lean ground beef, why not try a ¾ cup of kidney beans instead. You’ll save yourself 229 calories and over 15 grams of fat from the burger and feel pretty satisfied with just 168 calories and less than 1 gram of fat from the beans. It will probably go down well with your curves too!

You don’t have to give up meat as part of your weight loss programme, but you will see better results if you cut meat down by about half and top up with beans. The fibre will keep you fuller for longer with less fat and cholesterol so its heart healthy too!

Black beans contain the highest levels of resistant starch and dietary fibre.With the large amount of thiaminefolateVitamin B-6 and niacin in beans, you are definitely on the right road to better health. And Beans Meanz Minerals too! So they are a good source of calciumiron, manganese,potassiumphosphoruszinc and manganese. There is such a wide variety of legumes you’ll be hard-pushed to run out of cooking ideas.

Let’s take a look at some Legumes some of which can be eaten raw from the sprouted variety (alfalfa) and also snap peas.

beans-and-grain

So bring on the beans and enjoy all the benefits of cooking with this healthy, nutritious and tasty food.

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