These beans are boiled in a mixture of cold water and coconut water, then flavored with lime and coconut oil. So yummy for Cinque De Mayo!
Eastern View: Satisfying and loaded with protein, beans are nature’s remedy for strong food cravings. Beans are one of a few hearty foods that actually help you drop pounds. They are so frequently prepared like a comfort food, you might be surprised to find that they are an excellent ingredient in a Kapha reduction diet. A cup of a filling portion of cooked black beans contains only 11 percent of the recommended daily allowance of calories, all while offering much-needed protein and fiber.
The rich fiber content of beans aids in healthy elimination. ‘Bean liquor’ refers to the thick broth that forms while cooking beans – evidence of soluble fiber. The soluble fiber dissolves in water and keeps stools soft, acting as a bulk laxative. High in both soluble and insoluble fiber, the insoluble roughage stimulates bowel movements and helps to scrape the bowels. The fiber in beans also reduces cholesterol, all while increasing satisfaction.
Beans are especially medicinal in the early spring. As the body metabolizes a layer of insulating winter fat padding your skin, you may experience a two- to three-week period of small appetite, sluggishness, pressure in the ears, and upper-respiratory congestion. The back of your throat may seem damp and moist. Sweeter foods like bread, potatoes, and desserts only aggravate your discomfort this time of year. Beans to the rescue! The low glycemic index of beans is especially helpful in keeping your blood dry, thin, and congestion free. You may notice that beans even taste sweeter in Spring – a confirmation that beans belong on your plate.
Western View: Like other legumes, such as peanuts, peas, and lentils, black beans are prized for their high protein and fiber content. They also contain several other key vitamins and minerals that are known to benefit human health.
The iron, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper, and zinc in black beans all contribute to building and maintaining bone structure and strength. Calcium and phosphorus are important in bone structure, while iron and zinc play crucial roles in maintaining the strength and elasticity of bones and joints.
Roughly 99 percent of the body’s calcium supply, 60 percent of its magnesium, and 80 percent of its phosphorus stores are contained in bone; this means it is extremely important to get sufficient amounts of these nutrients from the diet.
Maintaining a low sodium intake is essential for keeping blood pressure at a normal level. Black beans are naturally low in sodium and contain potassium, calcium, and magnesium, all of which have been found to decrease blood pressure naturally.
Studies have shown that individuals with type 1 diabetes who consume high-fiber diets have lower blood glucose levels; additionally, type 2 diabetics may have improved blood sugar, lipids, and insulin levels. One cup (172 grams) of cooked black beans contributes 15 grams of fiber.
The black bean’s fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin B6, and phytonutrient content, coupled with its lack of cholesterol, all support heart health. The fiber in black beans helps lower the total amount of cholesterol in the blood and decrease the risk of heart disease. Vitamin B6 and folate prevent the buildup of a compound known as homocysteine. When excessive amounts of homocysteine accumulate in the body, it can damage blood vessels and lead to heart problems.
The quercetin and saponins found in black beans also aid in cardioprotection. Quercetin is a natural anti-inflammatory that appears to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and protect against the damage caused by low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Research also indicates that saponins help lower blood lipid and blood cholesterol levels, which prevents damage to the heart and blood vessels.
Coconut Lime Black Beans
- 2 cups dried black beans, rinsed
- 2 cups of coconut water
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2 green onions, greens only, sliced
Soak the beans overnight in cold water to cover.
Drain the beans and transfer them to a large saucepan. Cover with 3 cups cold water, coconut water and 2 teaspoons salt, set over medium heat and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, then turn the heat down to low, cover and cook until tender; depending upon the age of the beans, this will take between 30 and 45 minutes (older beans take longer).
When tender, add the coconut oil and lime juice and season with salt and pepper. Pour into a serving dish and garnish with the green onions.
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