Beans are often overlooked because of the time it takes for them to cook and the bad reputation they have for causing gas. But they’re a staple in Mexican food and healthy diets alike — and they’re also cheap, which makes them a good substitute for meat when you’re on a budget. At Fonda La Paloma in Milford, CT, you can find beans on many of their delicious menu items. But why should you seek out these underrated legumes? On top of being delicious in tacos and fajitas, beans are one of the healthiest foods you can eat.
Why You Should Eat More Beans
Fiber is the part of plant-based foods that can’t be digested, so it travels through the body whole. It leaves you fuller longer, which helps combat obesity and other weight issues. It also prevents constipation and keeps cholesterol low, which helps fend off heart disease. Fiber also regulates blood sugar levels, which is especially helpful to those with diabetes.
Beans are high in soluble fiber, meaning the fiber dissolves in water. Though both soluble and insoluble fiber are good for you, soluble fiber is better at lowering cholesterol and keeping blood sugar in check than insoluble fiber is. Soluble fiber also helps maintain digestive health. Vegetables, on the other hand, are high in insoluble fiber, which maintains bowel health. A fajita, which combines beans and vegetables like peppers and onions, is a delicious way to eat both types of fiber.
Protein isn’t so much a health benefit as it is a health necessity. Protein makes up nearly 15% of a person’s weight, from fingernails to muscle mass. When you have a deficiency of protein in the diet, the body breaks down its own protein source — essentially eating itself — in order to get the amount it needs. Protein is mostly found in meat, but peas and beans are cheap vegetarian alternatives.
Like fiber, protein keeps you fuller longer, which can help prevent weight gain. Unless you’re looking to gain muscle mass — eating protein is essential to building muscle, since muscle is made of protein. Digesting protein works the metabolism harder than other foods do, and when the metabolism picks up speed, fat is burned. Beans are ideal for weight loss because they have the fat-burning qualities of protein without the saturated fat found in meat.
3. Resistant Starch
Resistant starch is a type of fiber found in pasta, potatoes, rice, and oats. It’s also abundant in beans. Resistant starch doesn’t digest in the body, so it speeds up your metabolism while keeping you full — which is perfect for losing weight. It also controls blood sugar levels, may help to prevent cancer, and supports a strong immune system. Rice and beans together — a popular side dish in Mexican food—is packed with this kind of starch.
If you’re looking for healthier alternatives when you go out for Mexican food, dishes that include beans are an excellent choice. To explore the mouthwatering selections at Fonda La Paloma, visit their website. You can also call (203) 693-2924 to make a reservation today.