Beans may have a bad reputation for making people gassy, but that’s no reason to cut them out of your diet. Experts recommend you consume up to 3 cups of the legumes a week—because they are so good for your health. And the more you eat, the less likely you are to have tummy trouble. You have so many varieties to choose from—black beans, navy beans, and kidney beans to name a few.
1. They are full of fiber – Fiber helps your body feel full, so you don’t need to eat as much throughout the day. While current dietary guidelines recommend women get about 25 grams of fiber a day, many fall short. On average, women consume just 12.1 to 13.8 grams a day. Look to beans to help you reach your goal. Just a half cup of cooked navy beans contains nearly 10 grams of fiber.
2. Beans can help regulate blood sugar – on top of being high in fiber, most beans also score low on the glycemic index, a ranking of foods based on how they affect blood sugar. The carbs in beans are absorbed slower, which helps keep your blood sugar steady—one-reason beans are thought to help keep diabetes at bay. A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that people with type 2 diabetes who consumed one cup of beans daily for three weeks were able to maintain a lower blood sugar and blood pressure than when they started the diet.
3. Beans are good for your heart – A diet rich in beans is good news for your heart.. A study in the British Medical Journal looked at the relationship between fiber intake and heart disease as well as cardiovascular disease. Researchers found that getting in an additional 7 grams of fiber per day could significantly lower your risk of developing either condition by 9%. Beans are also good sources of potassium and magnesium, key minerals for your heart. Potassium naturally removes excess sodium and water from your system, which can reduce blood pressure. Magnesium on the other hand aids in nerve function and blood pressure regulation, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Get your bean fix at El Portal. Try Bean and Cheese burrito with their signature red sauce or Black Bean Soup – puree of black Abajeno beans, finished with a flavour of epazote, diced onion and touch of garlic. For more traditional meal try the Traditional Tostada with shredded chicken or beef, lettuce, diced tomato, grated cheese and pinto beans, Tamales de Yucatan, shredded chicken with a touch of epazote, folded in thin massa and wrapped in banana leaves, steamed and served with fresh tomatoes and black beans or Enchiladas de Mole with exquisite mole sauce served over two chicken enchiladas, topped with sesame seeds, with rice and black beans.
El Portal is located at 695 East Green Street. Call (626) 795-8553 or visit www.elportalrestaurant.com for more information.