Healthy Holidays with The Bean Institute

The tree is decorated, presents are wrapped, and stockings dangle from the mantel. Christmas magic is in the making. As you plan your holiday meals, consider the gifts you can give through the food you serve, and dry beans are the gifts that keep on giving.

Unwrap Longevity

Diet has been shown to be one of the most important factors for a long and healthy life. One study found that in comparing dietary patterns of adults 70 years and older, the only statistically significant indicator of longevity was legume intake. For every 20g of legumes consumed per day, there was a 7-8% reduction in mortality.

Give the Gift of Heart Health

When it comes to heart health, beans deliver the whole package, and research shows that a well-rounded diet that includes beans may reduce the risk of heart disease. The fiber and antioxidants found in beans can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Because beans lack saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, and sodium, our favorite legumes are well suited to keep hearts singing “hallelujah” for many holiday seasons to come.

Help Loved Ones Reduce Their Risk

Beans may provide a powerful punch against some cancers. Like Santa’s reindeer, they deliver the gifts of fiber, folate, antioxidants, and phytochemicals in perfectly wrapped packages. Studies have shown that these attributes in beans may reduce the risk of colorectal, breast, and prostate cancers. By adding beans to a well-rounded diet, you can set your family up for a healthy holiday season.

Share the Benefits with All

Families are made of all kinds, and beans can fit in anywhere. Cousin John is now following a vegan diet, Aunt Barb has diabetes, Uncle Phil is getting ready for swimsuit weather. Beans are one dish to fit all situations. They are a source of plant protein, contain complex carbohydrates, and fiber helping all family members to be able to enjoy the meal without sacrificing their health and lifestyle.

Bonus Benefits

From plant-based protein to dietary fiber and complex carbohydrates, dry beans offer many nutritional benefits. In fact, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend consuming 3 cups of legumes each week. Beans package up essential vitamins and minerals, and most are good sources of potassium and rich in iron. They also offer nutrients many Americans lack, like copper, phosphorus, manganese, and magnesium. To top it off, dry beans are an economical way to add protein to the diet, as either a side dish or the main meal.

No matter how you consume dry beans, you are supporting sustainable, nutritious food grown by the hardworking farmers in the Northarvest region when you do. Be sure to save a seat for beans at your holiday table this year to celebrate dry bean farmers and a healthy, happy family.

Leave a Comment