An image depicting folks exercising

Beans Support Aerobic Exercise

If your New Year resolution includes a commitment to more aerobic exercise, take a tip from the Tarahumaras, a group indigenous to the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains of Mexico. Considered among the most skilled long-distance trail runners in the world, they’ve been the subject of books, magazine articles, and scientific studies. Remarkably, the diet that sustains their extraordinary fitness is built around beans, especially pinto beans. Corn, chili peppers, squash, and greens also play important roles in their menu.

So, before you hit the track or the gym, load up on a healthy bean-based meal like these tostadas.



  • 12 tostada shells (the crisp kind)
  • 2 15-ounce cans refried beans
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • 2 avocados peeled, pitted and chopped, or about 1 cup guacamole
  • 1 cup salsa
  • Optional: 8 ounces grated Monterrey Jack or cheddar cheese


  1. Heat the refried beans in a frying pan over medium heat until hot.
  2. Prepare the tostadas by spreading a large spoonful of beans over each one and then sprinkling on the toppings.