Why should I eat plants?
Begin your day with whole plant foods. These are the foods that bring healthy results. Really? What should I be eating??? That feeling alone can be a frustrating experience. Eat this, don’t eat that. No wait. I changed my mind. That might give me cancer. What’s a superfood again? Our media sensationalizes the latest study or trendy idea about food, but should I follow it? How do I know what’s actually good for me?
Your body responds in a positive way to whole plant foods.
We have been eating plants for millennia. We ate them as hunter-gatherers and then as agriculturists. They have been part of our healing regimens for thousands of years. Our bodies are adapted to eating plants, as our teeth, jaw composition and intestinal tract clearly show. So why not at least begin the process of eating more plants and less meat type foods? I believe you will see that you will begin to feel much better. Processing meat in our digestive tracts takes a very long time and much energy. Eating plants delivers high nutrient value and allows us to create a very diverse palate of foods.
The biggest benefits you will find by adding more and more fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds are as follows:
1. Your brain works better. You get better, faster blood flow everywhere, including your brain.
2. Lower blood sugar and cholesterol. Yes the debate is out on cholesterol, but we know that cholesterol forms plaques, so your vascular system is healthier when you eat plants.
3. Lower risk for cancers and a slower growth rate for certain forms of cancer. Wouldn’t it be great if you could protect yourself from cancer? Plant foods have so many phytochemicals and antioxidants to protect the body and create a healthier immune system.
4. Lowers inflammation. This is super powerful. It can lessen arthritic pain and rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and protect the body against autoimmune dysfunction.
The list of healthy attributes of plants is a long one, and there are plenty of foods out there for you to try and to fall in love with! But there is one plant family in particular that gets a bad rap, and is poorly understood. I think it’s time to learn more about this amazing group of foods– BEANS!!!
Beans are a healthy part of a whole plant food diet and should be eaten every single day.
Yep. There it is. Beans have been part of the human diet for about 10,000 years. All the blue zones, the healthiest folks on earth, have the bean in common. I personally love them and eat them regularly. I will say that my southern heritage has something to do with that. Yes, we southerners have a bad reputation for unhealthy foods, and that is true, but we also have some very healthy components to our diets, and that is where I get my love of beans. There are so many, and I have been loving lentils and all types of heirloom beans recently. You can peruse so many old and interesting varieties here, where I buy a good quantity of our beans. Please note that I do not receive any payment from any source– I just like these farmers. Click on the hyperlink to visit elegantbeans.com for more information. And I am so excited about beans that I gotta list my favorites! There’s some great stand-bys on this list and some heirloom and even a Native American type. And altogether there are about 40,000 different types of beans, at least according to Wikipedia, but we only eat a few of those. Here’s a great source to read up on a bunch of crazy cool beans!
Is there a bean here you could add to your list???
Good Mother Stallard
Brown Speckled Lima Beans
So why all the fuss and confusion about beans? They are a very powerful nutritional component to a whole food plant based diet.
Lectins, it seems, puts beans on the naughty list. However new evidence confirms that lectins are a beneficial part of the bean. The controversy stems from the belief that this binding protein harms the body. In fact, when beans are soaked and cooked, the lectins are greatly lessened. The good news about lectins is that they actually bind carbohydrates during digestion and that makes them low glycemic foods. And that is good news for those that are insulin resistant or type two diabetic.
Also, it seems that maybe even up to half of the calories listed on the nutritional label are not digested, as they are full of resistant starch, and help to create a better immune system in our intestines as they pass through. So there are many good reasons to investigate beans and add some variety to your diet. You can replace a meat portion with beans for healthy protein and a good dose of minerals, such as potassium and iron.
If you are new to beans, just start with a few. Your microbiome will repopulate with the bacteria needed to digest them properly once you start eating them regularly. Soak them before cooking to ease digestion or try lentils first. They are much easier to digest and are full of flavor.
Beans should be included along with many other types of plants to create the healthiest diet on earth.
Beans, greens, onions, mushrooms, berries, nuts and seeds comprise the most health promoting foods on the planet. When I decided to take control of my health and believe that I was worth creating the perfect day for– to love and honor myself enough to treat myself to optimal health– these foods became my daily fare.
We have many opportunities to create the life we desire, but we must seek out and plan for that life. A whole food plant based diet keeps me feeling great, in a good mood, and ready to create a beautiful day every day. The power of plants is undeniable. I leave you with a delicious recipe that features beans! Here’s to a long and healthy life, one that incorporates plenty of beans– and plants!!!
Jamaican Black Beans
This recipe is so delicious and flavorful, and I just love it over steamed vegetables or salad. It has a wonderful sauce and seems so filling and rich. I hope you enjoy this healthy plant based dish as much as we do! Check out the recipe below!
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