In his recent book Blue Zones, New York Times best-selling author Dan Buettner explores the dietary and cultural traditions of peoples around the world that have the largest number of centenarians. The dietary similarities in these groups can be summarized fairly simply. The groups with the highest longevity globally do two things. First, they eat meat as a condiment rather than as a dietary mainstay. Second, they eat beans daily.
Here are a few easy ways to increase the amount beans in your diet:
1) Buy some Red Lentils in the bulk section of your store.
- Red Lentils cook into a lovely creamy soup in just 15 minutes. Add a bit of curry powder and throw in leftover vegetables as it simmers. You need one-part lentils to 4 parts water/stock.
2) Keep canned beans on hand. (Black, garbanzo, pinto, etc)
- Rinse them and add to fairly small, cut up, raw veggies of your choice and add a vinaigrette dressing or oil and vinegar. Add crumbled feta or any dried herbs you like. Voila! You have a salad with protein that will keep in your refrigerator for the whole week!
- Like chips and salsa? Add some rinsed black or pinto beans to your salsa before you dip your chip!
3) Frozen edamame/soy beans
- Add them to a salad or fried rice or just eat them alone. Yummy!
Don’t forget your favorite bean chili, baked beans, and hummus count toward your consumption of beans. All beans, in whatever form you enjoy them, will add protein, soluble fiber and a host of vitamins and minerals, including iron.
If you have other ideas for incorporating more beans in your diet or need help in creating a healthier meal plan for you or your family please email Kathryn at email@example.com.
Diet & Nutrition
The only thing every person on the planet agrees on in terms of nutrition is that we need to eat more vegetables. Thankfully we’re in the summer salad season – but it takes time to prep a fresh lettuce salad and we can often get bored with the same choice.
Below is a new twist on salad – a way you can use a variety of vegetables you have on hand. As the name implies this is a salad that doesn’t get soggy because you don’t use lettuce. Since you aren’t worrying about it getting soggy you can easily make a batch of it on Sunday to pull from for an easy dinner side or packed lunch for the week. The flavor, color and texture variations on this salad are truly endless!
Marinated Hard Vegetable Salad:
Vegetables – At the base of the salad is any raw vegetable you like; the trick is to cut the vegetables in small ½ inch size pieces so that every bite has a good mix of flavor. Think carrot, broccoli, zucchini, purple or green cabbage, tomato, cucumber, onion, cauliflower, corn, radish….the list is endless. If it’s a vegetable and it doesn’t wilt in dressing it’s a good choice.
Vinaigrette dressing – Use one without additives or preservatives or simply add oil, vinegar or lemon.
Dried herbs (optional) – Sprinkle on any dried herb you like; such as Italian seasoning, cumin, oregano, dill, basil, etc.
Beans (optional) – Add any rinsed canned beans you like; such as garbanzo, black beans, great northern, etc. Adding beans provides protein and a different texture.
Crumbled cheese (optional) – If you enjoy a creamy tang add some feta or other crumbled cheese.
The longer this salad marinates the better the flavor develops. Enjoy!
For more information, please contact our Nutritionist, Kathryn Reed, MS, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Diet & Nutrition, Health News, Weight Loss
Beans, Crumbled Cheese, Dried herbs, nutrition, salad, vegetables