What's for lunch? Pinto beans!

In an earlier post I explained my weekday breakfast goal is to eat a cereal high in fiber, low in sugar and made of real food ingredients. My goal for weekday lunches is just as simple: beans or greens. Beans means a bowl of homestewed black or pinto beans. Greens is a salad of spinach or arugula (depending on the season).

It's true what the kids say: beans, beans they're good for the heart. So today I'll highlight a few of the reasons beans make the MVP list of heart healthy eating.

1. Beans are an excellent source of cholesterol-lowering, heart diease preventing, fiber! In fact "a cup of cooked pinto beans provides 58% of the recommended daily intake for fiber". 
2. That same cup of beans fulfills 23% of a body's daily need for magnesium. What does magnesium do for the heart? It "improves the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Studies show that a [lack] of magnesium is...associated with heart attack". (Full article here: WH Foods)
3. One cup of pintos also provides 73% of the recommended daily intake for folate. Top 5 Health Benefits of Folate (Folic Acid) listed here
4. Besides, your colon just loves pinto beans! My Dad would refer to them as "roughage". (As in, "You need to make sure you're eating enough roughage".)

Beans! The more you eat the better you'll feel. Beans, beans - well maybe not at EVERY MEAL - but how about four times a week? Your body will thank you (but your significant other may not).

Side note: A pot of stewed beans is a very cheap meal that requires four hours of stewing and returns many days of eating. We purchase our dried beans in quart containers from YDFM. Costs about $2.50. Stewing them is a day long process. (Historically stew day coincides with wash day, Monday, and the left over meat carcus from Sunday's meal). A big pot will make more then enough for Oliver and I to eat Tuesday through Friday as lunch. By Saturday we're both tired of them and what's left tends to be thrown out. Picking up a bag Vigo beans and rice at the grocery is a tempting alternative but high sodium content counters some of the health benefits.